Let's Make Robots!

Freeduino -aka bbb/rbbb

Vendor's Description: 

For the bbb

The Bare Bones Board is an Arduino-compatible board (Freeduino) that implements the functionality of the Arduino Diecimila, on a smaller printed circuit board, by removing the USB communications chip to a cable. More on this below. It is completely compatible with the Arduino project software and IDE. Currently the Bare Bones Board is listed on the Arduino site as "Recommended Third-Party Hardware". It has also gained a devoted following among Arduino users, as a convenient, effective, and low-cost hardware solution.


for the RBBB

This is a mini board designed for those experimental applications that require small processors, such as wearable computing, near space experiments, toy prototyping, artist's projects or any use for a fairly small microcontroller. As far as we know, it's the smallest and most low-cost Arduino-compatible available right now.

The BBB and kit.

The bare bones kit, comes in the typical plastic components (antistatic?) bag with all components needed plus some extras depending on how you want to set up the board.  Only one of the parts, is surface mount part (15uh inductor) that appears to be the only one that could potentually give the newbie to soldering any trouble. All other parts are through hole, making this a very good board for practicing and gaining more exp on soldering. 


The board itself looks to be of excellent quality with labels clearly makred. The board is white which helps in reading where the components go(excellent choice) .Both sides of the bard have solder points which is a nice feature.  A note on the board, it has a three hole area for the resonator, but also has pads that may allow for mounting a 2 pin crystal and sm caps. This will be useful for mounting the 22pf caps that appear to be required for the crystal. The center pin goes to ground.


 Another part of the full kit, is the usb cable. This calble isn't ordinary as it has the ftdi ft232r chip built into it for easy interfacing of the proc to your system. This is the most expensive part of the whole setup. around 20 for it. you save a little with the whole kit.




This is an interesting setup,  small, thin and ready to be used on a breadboarded project. The website mentions that you can trim down the board so that you only have the uProc, powering it through the bb pins, but that may be something you'd want to try if you got a couple spares.

The price for this is around 2 bux...great for a minimal starter board.


More to come.

* building the kit

* first time starting

* ease of use


Written while enjoying a fine Bordeaux.

2000 - Chateau Lagrange St Julien 


This is a great wine I happened to have saved from several years back...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Great write-up,
Looks like a fun project, I'm tingling all over!
What other board-kits have you used which you could compare BBB kit with?

Do you see other Pros & Cons, besides price being a great Pro?


This is a first with the Arduino, so I don't have much to compare, just my initial first impressions.

I have to say, building the board is pretty easy, though the inductor was a bit more difficult than I thought it would be(I blame the tip on my iron though). You can however omit this part if you want to and just solder the two points together...

Again, pros, easy to build, cheap, well marked board, parts are easily available if you want to change a cap or the vreg.  Cons, I'm not a fan of the power plug that was used and I think another type could have been setup instead. Adding a crystal could be a bit more tricky vs the resonator. 



Thanks for sharing, voodoo!  One question: Is the RBBB identical to the BBB, or is it lacking some features?  Clearly it's lacking components (right?) so it must not have as much capability?

The rbbb pretty much makes the proc a self contained stamp with the power either onboard or off. It has a lot fewer parts, and looks to be set up for a resonator only as there is limited pad area to mount caps for a crystal.  It's primarily made for breadboarding. one thing that you will need to be aware of is that the board is set to use both the onboard power and the usb power. The recommendation was to avoid using a wall supply if this is your external supply. It has the same capability , just aranged differently.



Just finished building the rbbb. This board is pretty tight on room so follow the instructions on building it so you don't run into any problems. With this one I used a crystal and 2 caps...very tigh. 


This is the board mostly built.


uhm looks very interesting! :P

well done your description. Imho the BBB is better than the original Arduino Boards, like the Diecimila, which I own, or  the new Duemilanove. The connectors are more user-friendly for breadboard use.

I also own the USB cable, witch work great. This cable you can reuse for other projects, just put the connector on your board. There is no need, to have an USB UART controller on every board.



I have to agree on that cable, it's so general purpose and would work with most projects. Only thing is it is set for a 5v power supply....thats it's only limit...not that bad imo!
You know, I have found that with the simple addition of wine, a humble shop turns into a fine studio!
I'll raise a glass to that!

I hate the taste of wine, maybe that's just because I've only had crappy wines :P