We sure love the ATmega328 here at Adafruit, and we use them a lot for our own projects. The processor has plenty of GPIO, Analog inputs, hardware UART SPI and I2C, timers and PWM galore – just enough for most simple projects. When we need to go small, we use a Pro Trinket 3V or 5V, but if you want to have USB-to-Serial built in, we reach for an Adafruit METRO Mini.
METRO Mini is the culmination of years of playing with AVRs: we wanted to make a tiny, breadboard-friendly development board that is easy to use and is hacker friendly. Metro Mini can be programmed with the Arduino IDE (select ‘UNO’ in the boards dropdown)
ATmega328 brains – This popular chip has 32KB of flash (1/2 K is reserved for the bootloader), 2KB of RAM, clocked at 16MHz
Power the METRO Mini with 6-16V polarity protected on the Vin pin, or plug the micro USB connector to any 5V USB source
METRO has 20 GPIO pins, 6 of which are Analog in as well, and 2 of which are reserved for the USB-serial converter. There’s also 6 PWMs available on 3 timers (1 x 16-bit, 2 x 8-bit). There’s a hardware SPI port, hardware I2C port and hardware UART to USB
GPIO Logic level is 5V but by cutting and soldering closed a jumper on the bottom, you can easily convert it to 3.3V logic
5V onboard regulator with 150mA out, 3.3V 50mA available via FTDI chip
USB to Serial converter, there’s a genuine SiLabs CP2104 hardware USB to Serial converter that can be used by any computer to listen/send data to the METRO, and can also be used to launch and update code via the bootloader
Four indicator LEDs, on the top of the PCB, for easy debugging. One green power LED, two RX/TX LEDs for the UART, and a red LED connected to pin PB5 / digital #13
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.