Sunday, June 20, 2010

Free Arduino Microcontroller Kits

he new electronics hobby parts giveaway at uC Hobby features the Arduino board and kits fromModern Device Company. The Arduino is an open-source microcontroller hardware and software environment closely related to the Wiring andProcessing open-source initiatives. The microcontroller is an Atmel Atmega 168 AVR.

Update: You can get a very nice, breadboard compatible serial adaptor to use with the Bare Bones Board from Wulfden for about $4. Look down the page for the “P3 – Serial Programmer”.

Update: To connect this kit to your PC you will need to make or purchase a USB to TTL interface cable or RS232/TTL adaptor. The RS232 adaptor is easy to make or buy fromSparkfun. The USB cable is available form Modern Device Company or from Mouser. I plan to do a write up for a simple RS232/TTL adaptor which would be easy to put together. If someone beats me to it, they will get a free kit.

The cool thing about Arduino is that you don’t need to buy a programmer or development tools. A great Integrated development environment (IDE) is available free. Better yet, it’s designed to be easy for beginners. You just run the free software, connect the Arduino to your PC via serial (or USB with a special cable) and get busy writing programs to interact with your projects.

To receive a complete Arduino kit including the pre-programmed Atmega 168, PCB and parts, you need to submit an article for publication at uC Hobby. Links to uC Hobby from your electronics related web site or blog get you either an Atmega 168 pre-programmed with the Arduino code or the Arduino bare bones PCB ready for you to populate with parts supplied by you. There are also a few of the LED assortments still available so you can chose to receive those instead of the Arduino parts.

Arduino (Atmega 168) Features:

  • Ard on breadboard14k flash program storage
  • 1k RAM for program memory
  • 6 PWM outputs
  • 6 A/D inputs
  • UART and SPI interfaces
  • Hardware interrupts
  • 20 general purpose I/O pins (shared with PWM and Analog pins)
  • 16 MHz RISC microcontroller
  • Open-source hardware, IDE, bootloader
  • Easy upgrade to more powerful hardware (Wiring)BBardBoard

Read through these post to learn about the uC Hobby parts giveaways.

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