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How-To: Shrinkify Your Arduino Projects

How-To: Shrinkify Your Arduino Projects @ MAKE. Matt writes…

Ever since I started making projects with the Arduino, I’ve had a desire to shrink them down to a single, small circuit board. One of my first projects, a customizable SLR intervalometer, was packed in a phonebook-sized cardboard box and used the Arduino Deumilanove connected to a breadboard with jumper wires. I brought the box out to Central Park at 5am to make a timelapse of the sunrise, but when I got to the park, I spent 20 minutes fixing the connections between the Arduino, the breadboard, and the components. Since then, I’ve explored a few different ways of shrinking projects down and making them more robust. For the intervalometer, I designed a circuit board that had female header pins to seat an Arduino Nano. It was a huge improvement on the design, but I knew I could do a lot better.

I tried to teach myself AVR programming, but ran into a lot of snags along the way. By the time I got an LED to blink, I had invested hours in the project (a stark contrast to my first Arduino experience) and was feeling quite discouraged. I also tried using PICAXE chips. While it was much easier to get started with these chips than with AVR programming, I felt like I was abandoning all my years of C programming to learn a form of BASIC that’s an entirely different animal from when I used it as a kid.

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1 Comment

  1. Hey guys, this is huge! I don’t know if anyone has struggled with programming an ATtiny series chip with an Arduino, but I have. Gave it another go this morning with the files on this tutorial, and boom, it works great! I have the Miniature 8×8 Red LED Matrix driven by the MAX7219CNG LED Matrix/Digit Display Driver running on an ATtiny85! It’s like a portable fix for blinky junkies. Now to dream up a project for that tiny matrix..

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