What’s on the burner…

We’re working on some new Arduino projects. It’s fun working on open-source hardware. Both these projects are out for manufacture now, so hopefully it will only be a few weeks until they are ready.

Solarbotics GVS ShieldProject One: The GVS Shield

We love Phidgets. They have all kinds of useful sensors, to which most subscribe to a handy pinout “Ground / Vcc / Signal”, which also describes most servo interfaces. It’s turning into the general standard for most dedicated interfaces. So, to make use of these with an Arduino, we’ve put together our own GVS Shield.

We could have made it with a simple 3-row x  18 block of male pins, but that wouldn’t fit the locking buckle-type connectors found on many Phidget and other accessory items. We’re using nicely space, proper shielded pin plugs. Here are some design highlights:

  • D1, D2, Gnd pin connector for serial I/O
  • D2-D12 right-facing plugs
  • A0-A5 left-facing connection buckled plugs
  • Three 0.1µF decoupling capacitors
  • One 330µF electrolytic surge capacitor
  • “BlinkM” compatible I2C plug (shared with A4/A5 plugs)
  • Pin 13 LED & Reset brought up from main board

Arduino - very small!Project 2: The Ardweeny!

Yes, the name was a challenge. They didn’t think I’d have the guts to follow through with the name, but it’s just so suitable.

Our trial of the One-Chip ArduinoThis project is inspired by Kimio Kosaka’s One Chip Arduino project, where he jams all the parts for an Arduino on top of the IC, and just plugs the IC into the breadboard directly.

This is an Arduino PCB designed reverse to most others. Instead of mounting the IC to the board, we’re mounting the board to the IC (let me clarify…).

Put all the stuff on the top. Install looong leads through the rows on the outside edge. Jamb your ATMega328 in from the underside so the chip leads are pointing down, in the same direction os the long leads. Tack solder the chip leads to the long leads. Or not, if you think friction fit works.

Prototype ArdweenyDepending how you soldered the ATmega to the pins, you can either make it fit a 0.3″ space header (where it straddles the breadboard centerline perfectly) or 0.4″ wide (where it straddles the breadboard centerline, but uses up 1 extra empty hole next to the centerline).

Besides needing an FTDI cable, or SparkFun-like USB adapter/programmer, this will be a very inexpensive and compact way to do Arduino development. Stay tuned!