|PCB Circuits (click to enlarge)||Circuits and Info|
Bare uC Breadboard
Eagle CAD: 1. Bare uC Board Schematic
Eagle CAD: 2. Bare uC Board PCB
Click .gif below for short video
(Bill of Materials)
There are many Arduino Uno R3-like microcontroller boards on the market.
If you try to build your own Uno you've probably been intimidated by the precise soldering required with surface mount devices (SMDs). The alternative is to build a breadboard microcontroller and probably stop there.
In this segment I'm going to build an Uno-like microcontroller board (that uses through-hole electronic components). I'll send the design to my fave PCB production house to have the boards etched. The "fun" will be in populating it with through-hole components when the boards return.
I'll let you know if there are any bugs in yellow highlight immediately after the build and testing in case you decide to use this as the base for your own design.
In the top picture in the left panel is a breadboarded Arduino Uno-like microcontroller. Let's keep things simple and just call it a uC which is short for microcontroller. ( μ or Mu is the 12th letter of the Greek alphabet and is commonly used to replace "micro". It is shaped like the letter "u" hence the reason you see uC.)
To the right of the uC is a red, inexpensive USB-to-FTDI serial module that plugs into your breadboard or the uC you'll build. We'll use it to upload our code using the Arduino IDE (integrated development environment).
The nice thing about using this configuration is that within the Arduino IDE you don't have to add any additional boards like you would if you wanted to upload code to an ATtiny85 or whatever. You simply select Arduino/Genuino Uno and the USB port your Windows 10 PC found when you plugged your USB cable into the USB-FTDI module, then click the Upload button. The Rx and Tx LEDs on ports D0(RX) and D1(TX) will flash and a moment later your program will begin to run.
This can be seen in the .gif file near the bottom of the adjacent panel; click it to load a short .mp4 video file. In the short video, I clicked the Arduino IDE Upload button which reset the uC, started and finished the upload, then starting the blue LED flashing once per second.
The uploaded and running program is nothing more than the Blink.ino sketch found in your Arduino IDE under File|Examples|01.Basics:Blink.
The schematic and potential printed circuit board (PCB) layout are also shown adjacent left. They are not completed yet as I build additional expansion boards and work to ensure that all of the boards will stack properly.
Later, I'll be adding expansion boards to the base uC board.
The uC we'll use is the ubiquitous ATMega328P in a DIP20 configuration. In the adjacent images, I added a sticker to the top of the IC that shows each pin's name when used in the Arduino environment. Here is the official pinout diagram used for this chip in the Arduino Uno R3 board.
Let's talk about the uC board design:
- 2 power sources:
--- a barrel connector for "wall wort" power: 7v to 12v DC, max 1A
--- a female miniUSB connector for 5v DC power only (no data)
--- a 2-connector screw terminal block for 5v DC was removed to make room for the RTC
- reverse power protection via low-drop diode D1
- 4 LEDs: power, D13, RX and TX LEDs from D0 and D1 ATMega328P pins
- similar design to the Arduino.cc Uno R3 board
- labeled ISCP port that can be used for programming or SPI comm.
- no built-in USB serial port. You will need to attach a USB-to-FTDI-Serial module that matches the board-labelled pinout
- both power sources and the ON/OFF switch are together on the left side of the board
- the Reset switch should be accessible even with a second storey board installed
Micro SD Card Module
If we were to keep the ATMega328P uC design to only use through-hole components, there was no room left on the Expansion Board so the SD card module was moved to the bottom of the uC board.
Ensure you're using decent SD cards. FAT32 can handle file sizes to a max of 4GB even though the card can be larger so you will need to keep that in mind if datalogging.
Please format your SD cards with the original SD Association's formatter utility which can be found here, otherwise they may not report the correct size, etc.
The Arduino Bootloader
To write and upload code to the ATmega328P using the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE) currently at version 1.18.xx, you will need to install a bootloader on the ATmega chip. Once done, you can use the USB-FTDI serial module to upload your programs to your new uC anytime.
Here's a link that shows how to write the bootloader to the ATmega328P chip using an Arduino board: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoToBreadboard
Tags: Arduino-type Microcontroller, ATMega328P