Breaduino: the all-breadboard Arduino clone

The Breaduino is an Arduino clone you assemble on a breadboard. You get the experience of constructing your Arduino, instead of simply assembling it. This gets you much closer to the device, letting you better understand the platform. As a benefit, it's also a lot cheaper than a full board-bearing kit. It's simple enough that you can easily move it from solderless breadboards to solder-down protoboards for permanent installations.

Key benefits of the Breaduino

  • Compatibility: the Breaduino works with the Arduino environment
  • Low component count: the simplest Arduino Duemilanova clone
  • Ease of assembly: it's easy for anyone of any age to put together
  • Speed: it can be assembled in under 10 minutes, start to finish
  • Cost: the Breaduino is one of the cheapest Arduino clones on the market
  • Transparency: you connect all the parts yourself

Is the Breaduino for you?

Schematics, instructions, and video online

Students/Instructors: the kit includes a schematic, so you can walk through how it's actually working. It's a great chance to learn about what goes into running the Atmega328 at the heart of the Arduino, as well as how you interface things to a microcontroller. It's also a good chance to learn about voltage regulation, pin-outs, pull-up resistors, and crystal oscillators. It's totally solder-free, so it's safe for any age group or classroom setup. You can even run it off 9V batteries, so expensive bench supplies aren't needed (batteries and clips not included in the kit).

Perfect for low-cost permanent installations

Artists: beyond learning about how the Arduino's guts work, this thing is pretty darned cheap. It's perfect for installing in finished pieces, costing $15 instead of $30 for a Duemilanove. This lets you keep your current Arduino for further prototyping. Even if the cost isn't a convincing argument, this puts you a few steps closer to mastering the Arduino platform, which will let you do things you couldn't before.

An ideal tinkering platform

Hobbyists: are you interested in tinkering with Arduino, but don't want to spend $30 to get into it, this is a great introduction. Have you been building a bunch of Arduino-based projects with only one Arduino board? This gives you an inexpensive drop-in replacement, so you can run your homebrew Arduino-controlled Halloween lights and that Arduino barbot you built, simultaneously. And, for the BasicStamp, PIC, and other microcontroller folks, this is a great opportunity to bootstrap an AVR/Atmel environment. Add one of AdaFruit's excellent USBTinyISPs, and you have a complete Atmel development environment, adding another platform to your repetoire.

More information

Curious about the details? Here's all the resources that are available online at this time:

Also: this kit doesn't include a programming cable! To put new Arduino software on, you'll need an FTDI cable of some sort; Adafruit has one for $20: FTDI cable at Adafruit. You should also look over the required supplies list before ordering.

Credit where credit is due

I want to extend a huge thank-you to the folks at ITP, who put up Setting up an Arduino on a breadboard. It served as a guiding post for this kit. Many little things are different, but the core idea is the same. When I went looking for anyone who'd done an all-breadboard Arduino, ITP's page was the first thing I found. I had a slightly different set of component values in mind when I started this project, but, having seen how great their instructions where, I changed over to theirs.

Also, many thanks to Most Productions for helping with video production. I'm really happy with the video tutorial, and look forward to even better ones for future kits.

Get your own Breaduino!

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