Let's Make Robots!


Here's my little prototype Arduino knockoff. I'm calling it the Pseuduino. Yeah, I know, the world doesn't need more Arduino knockoffs, but I don't care, I wanted one anyway! Besides, it was still cheaper than buying someone else's version (about 7-8 USD)(cheaper if futurlec would actually get parts delivered).

I don't have any LDO regulators, so this thing has two different inputs, one for 7-12V through a 7805 to power the micro, and another for 6V to power ten of the servo headers. The other two servo headers (D9 and D10) have 5V power from the reg (to run a PING))) for example). Six of the ten headers are on the analog pins. After I soldered it all up I realized it could be handy to have a jumper to select between 5 and 6V power to those pins, since any analog sensor plugged in there should be using the same 5V as AVCC and AREF (which is the same 5V as VCC)

While I'm still using the Arduino IDE to program it (because I drank too much in college to remember C++), I don't use the FTDI USB thing on this one. The 2x3 header at bottom-right is just the ICSP header, which the Arduino IDE can be set to use instead of USB. A future version may have a proper usb-serial connection, which would certainly be handy for debugging purposes.

The main point of this particular board is to be the brain of my current project, "Dan". Details on "Dan" should be coming in the next few days.


No, I'm not going to post a picture of the other side of this thing. It looks like red/silver/green christmas spaghetti.

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guibot's picture
This is what I was doing, as you can see I am not connecting the brown wire to the ground, now I know I should ground it...
I must try to click on the upload button and than reset..  will post results tomorrow  :-)

Rudolph's picture

I fiddled with this a bit. It seems to work normally without the brown wire grounded, without the RTS connected to pin one, and without both of those. So your setup should work as you have it.

I also finally remembered; I hold down the reset button, press the upload button, count to three, then release the reset button. Then the IDE seems to upload the smoothest.

Hopefully a silly question; Did you already burn the bootloader to the chip?

guibot's picture
I´m sorry for not answering your question in time ...
I am uploading now!! :D
Thanks a lot  :D
guibot's picture
I´ve just sticked the 0.1 uf cap between the green wire and the reset pin and it chip automatically resets the chip before uploading the code! It´s Amazing!! I´ve made my day!!  :D
Rudolph's picture
Glad that works. I'm jealous, I haven't got mine to auto-reset before upload yet. You using the windows version, or another? I think my linux box doesn't send RTS right, but I don't know for sure.
guibot's picture
I´m on a macbookpro running leopard.
Rudolph's picture

I don't honestly know how critical the brown wire to ground is. That's what I've seen on others (like boarduino) so I did it too. Also not certain if RTS (green wire) needs to be connected for upload to work or not. I don't see why it would matter, since you have to manually reset to start an upload anyway. I guess it's possible it needs to be able to reset at the end to "finalize" things or something? I've not read the bootloader source to notice either way, nor have I tried it without.

If grounding the brown wire doesn't change anything, try sticking a .1uF cap between green and pin1 and see what happens.

I still haven't been able to get to the bench to play today. I'll try both those variations as well this evening sometime.

Rudolph's picture

Yeah, there's a couple ways I can upload. On this particular board I use an ISP programmer (specifcally this one) using the 2x3 header in the lower-right of the photo. This way I don't have a bootloader installed, get the full 16k of flash, and a couple less components on the board. It's just a quick tweak to either the arduino preferences.txt or boards.txt to use the ISP instead of USB.

I also have one of these for a more arduino-style usb connection (similar to the boarduino and others). To use that on this particular board I have to use jumpers and such, and add a capacitor between the cable's RTS line and the AVR's reset pin.

If you have pin headers on your board (or if using a breadboard) you shouldn't need to swap the actual chip back and forth. You will probably need to remove the chip from the diecimila, then put jumpers from diecimila's 1,2,3,7,8 pins to your 1,2,3,7,8 pins, then use the diecimila (1 is reset, 2 RX, 3 TX, 7 VCC (5V), 8 GND) to program. Kinda like this. That said, it may just be easier to swap chips...

guibot's picture

I am trying with the FTDI-USB cable without any success.. I know I have to press the reset button and than immediatly click the upload button, but I don´t know why I just can´t upload nothing.. could you tell me how do you use this cable? a better detailed description would be awesome!

thnx  :)

Rudolph's picture

Make sure you've got the transmit and receive lines hooked up correctly. The RX from the FTDI cable goes to the AVR's TX (pin3) and the FTDI's TX goes to AVR's RX (pin2). Also make sure you've got the grounds correct, two of the FTDI cable's lines need grounded (black and brown, both side-by-side on the same end), even if you're not using the 5V supply from the cable for power.

IIRC, I got more consistent results by poking the Upload button first, then the reset button on the board semi quickly after that (~1 second).

I'll set up a breadboard 'duino later today and fiddle with things and try to remember if I'm forgetting something.