Femto-ize it! There’s no gender bias with the Femtoduino; it’s just a really small Arduino Leonardo clone.
Ho-hum, another clone you say? Not so. The Femtoduino packs on board Bluetooth (BLE), accelerometer, altimeter and a USB port into a 34.54 mm (1.36 inches) wide PCB. At USD $75.00 a pop, it’s obviously more than the price of an Arduino. Or any super-powered MPU, for that matter. But with this kind of form factor, there’s no excuse for big ugly prototypes.
With tiny Linux boards popping up like dandelions, it was only a matter of time before someone came out with a really tiny Linux board. This is it: a tiny board less than an inch on each side with an 802.11n System on Chip running OpenWrt on Linux. The best part? You can pick one up for $20 USD.
It’s Cake Boss meets the world of DIY Printed Circuit Boards.
Pieco’s “Paste Press” solder paste dispenser makes applying all the super-fiddly solder bits onto your custom PCBs far simpler and less sploogy. The design from NYC-based Pieco feels solid to the grip and dramatically reduced production time on my current Arduino knock-off PCB. More tasty tools like this, please!
Maybe it’s more a beta than a true 1.0… But it works!
Our first stab at creating a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) from scratch was a thrill, especially because it DOES something. It does anything an Arduino Due can do, to be more precise, since the board’s a close clone. Up at Haythem Elawary’s excellent Zahn Center incubator lab @ CCNY, Manhattan maker Jonathan Hirschman led a small group of PCB designer newbs. It was soup-to-nuts across two (very long) classes: from building the schematic based on a raw Bill of Materials to doing the copper pour via DipTrace, with final design layout shipped off to Osh Park for milling.
The PCBs came back all squeaky and ready for solder. Despite the loss of a few diodes after an ill-timed sneeze, we got everything pasted and baked. The ultimate test? Does it really work, starting with that “Hello World”-ish chestnut, the LED blink? And…
Hudsonhardwear “HudsonDuino” PCB v1.0
So it’s now a reality: bona fide DIY PCB and a working Arduino clone for just a few bucks. Next stop: smaller, leaner version designed with only required components for our wireless, rugged webcam.