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$4,716 pledged of $10,000 goal
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$4,716 pledged of $10,000 goal
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About this project

Best Value: The $45 pledge level for 3 Mini Duino+'s is a great value at $15 per unit. Bulk pricing without too many boards!

3D Rendering of Current Revision
3D Rendering of Current Revision

Note: Silkscreen text is not overlapping in gerber files, and will be okay in produced boards

Stretch Goals: 

#1 $15,000 - All backers will receive a 2 by 6 in Mini Duino+ Logo Sticker with their pledge!

The Story

I started this project to solve a few problems with current small Arduino compatible boards. I wanted to create something that had more features and ability, but yet kept the cost down. This way a full-featured platform could be developed that doesn't break the bank. It could be small and affordable enough to leave in projects, and it needed to be completely open-source. The Mini Duino+ was born

More Features, More Fun

The new advancement in Arduino compatible hardware utilizes the ATmega 1284P AVR, in place of the common 328p that is used in current Arduino hardware. The 1284P is the perfect mix of features, program space, and cost. Cheap enough to be used in almost every project; capable enough to deliver. No matter what you're trying to build, the Mini Duino+ packs the punch to do it and more.

Extra space for extra code: With 4x the flash memory (program space), 4x the EEPROM, and 8x the RAM versus the 328p, your programs will never be limited by space constraints. You will be free to code without worrying about a data cap looming over you.

Create more developed projects with the extra pins: Supplying 32 I/O pins, you will never have to make the tough choice of which peripheral to keep in your project, and which to toss out. The Mini Duino+ is designed to fit them all! It can also source up to 40 mA of current per pin compared to 25 mA capabilities of ARM based boards.

Get more data in and out (digital and analog): Other features include 2 UARTs, 8 Analog Input pins, 8 Pulse Width Modulation enabled pins, 3 External Interrupt pins. The Mini Duino+ also has SPI and I2C capabilites, with a jumper to enable or disable included 4.7k pull-up resistors for I2C Comm lines.

Power saving options: The ability to enable or disable the voltage regulator, power indicator LED, and connected D13 LED is provided with jumpers. This is great for eliminating quiescent current in projects that are not connected to an unregulated power source, without having to hack away at traces with a hobby knife and a soldering iron.

Multi-use on-board button: Configurable with a jumper, the on-board button can be used to reset the AVR or as an input to pin 2. The reset function is great for serial to UART converters without a DTR connection. If your sketch will be a permanent one, or the DTR connection is broken out, the button can be used in your sketch. Pin 2 is also an external interrupt capable pin, allowing the button special use in sketches.

(Boards with the multi-use button have not been tested yet, but it is a very small change so I wouldn't worry about it not working correctly. Just thought I'd be as transparent as possible about this project.)

In a compact package: The Mini Duino+ has the same footprint as a 40-pin DIP package, but yet all the features of a low-cost development board! The Mini Duino+ is only .8" longer than a popular 328P based board, and only to incorporate more pin connections. Why buy just the chip when you can have the entire Arduino ecosystem running in the same area!

Compare to existing Arduino compatible options: The Mini Duino+ offers more features at the same price point. This table outlines some of the details:

A comparison of the Mini Duino+ vs a popular 328P based board
A comparison of the Mini Duino+ vs a popular 328P based board
Mini Duino+ compared to a popular 328P based Arduino compatible board
Mini Duino+ compared to a popular 328P based Arduino compatible board
Mini Duino+ compared to a Quarter
Mini Duino+ compared to a Quarter

How to use the Mini Duino+: All you need to upload a sketch to the Mini Duino+ is a FTDI breakout board. This can be connected to the 6-pin header at the top of the board. By not including this, a lot of cost is saved on each board and it is passed on to the end user. So much cost that the money saved on just 2 boards is enough to buy an FTDI breakout board! Not including an FTDI chip also keeps the size of the board down.

Next you will need to copy and paste a folder that I will provide to the hardware directory in your Arduino IDE's install location. Once this is done, all that is necessary to do in the Arduino IDE is select the Mini Duino+ and your version, 16Mhz or 8Mhz, under "Boards" and click upload. It's that simple. A detailed guide on all of this will be made after the Kickstarter campaign completion. 

See the Mini Duino+ in action: I have provided a short demonstration video showing the Mini Duino+ working. Take a look:

**Warning: Flashing Lights. Don't watch if you suffer from epilepsy or other visual stimulation disorders.

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Open Source

Open Source = +1: For the good of the community, and to make it easier to re-create and re-design, the Mini Duino+ is completely, 100% open-source. Schematics, Board Files, Bootloaders, and all will be available on GitHub on the Kickstarter Campaign's completion. All files will be released under the Creative Common Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

Making it easier to prototype: For those of you who wish to use the 1284P in a new device, the open-souce files will be a great assest to you. Look in the schematic, copy the supporting hardare connections you need, and add your own twist. It could not be easier to design your own boards when prototyping with the Mini Duino+!

The Mini Duino+ Full Pinout
The Mini Duino+ Full Pinout

Tech Specs

  • Built around the Atmel AVR ATmega1284P (QFN Package)
  • Support for the Arduino IDE 1.0+ (OSX/Windows/Linux)
  • 100% Open-source
  • Uses Mighty 1284P Platform Bootloader
  • Pin footprint (minus bootloading header) is the same as a standard 40-pin DIP socket (real dimension of entire board are 2.12 in by .72 in)
  • On-board 5v or 3.3v 150mA regulator (voltage depends on version) (can enable/disable with jumper)
  •  32 I/O pins
  • 5 jumpers to increase power saving and enable features
  • Multi-use on-board button that can be configured as a reset or input to pin 2 (via a 3-way jumper)
  • Communication includes 2 UARTs, 1 I2C, and 1 SPI
  • Included 4.7k Ohm pull-up resistors for I2C (enable/disable configurable with jumper)
  • 8 Analog In (ADC) pins
  • 8 PWM pins
  • Power Indicator LED (enable/disable configurable with jumper)
  • LED connected to pin 13 (enable/disable configurable with jumper)

Development

With the development of the Mini Duino+ there has been a few revisions. Originally the project was going to be called the Mighty Mini Duino, but I decided that was too wordy. The first was a proof of concept board using a 1284P TQFP version, seen here below:

TQFP Version (Concept)
TQFP Version (Concept)

The next was a jump to the 1284P QFN microcontroller, to shrink the size of the board down to the 40-pin DIP footprint:

QFN Version (v0)
QFN Version (v0)

Next it was revised again, fixing a few problems, improving layout, beefing up power step-down traces, changing the name to Mini Duino+ and adding a logo image to the silk screen:

QFN Version (v1)
QFN Version (v1)

And then the OSHW logo was placed on the board:

QFN Version (v1-2)
QFN Version (v1-2)

Finally, the multi-use button capability was added. Also changed was the D prefix being removed from the header silkscreen:

2D rendering of current board revision (v2)
2D rendering of current board revision (v2)

This is the current version, and while the boards have not been received for testing yet, is almost certainly functional. Only very small changes were made. This version will be tested before the campaign ends.

Once this version is tested, a very small silkscreen error will be fixed. INT should not point to 11 and 12, but to 10 and 11.

Community

We want your input! Since this is an open-source project, we want the community to help finalize some details. Take a look at this list. By becoming a backer, you will get to vote on these options for the production version of the Mini Duino+:

Board Color: What color should I use for the final PCB soldermask? I'm leaning towards blue, being an Arduino compatible board, but its not my choice; its the community's.

LED Colors: The color for the power and D13 connected LED still needs to be decide for the final design. 

Rewards

Rewards levels geared towards everyone: Whether you just like to tinker with Arduino boards, your making a prototype, or you're making a production model, there is a reward level to fit your needs. The more you pledge for, the cheaper the unit cost is. It's nice to have a reference available when prototyping, so don't be afraid to pick up a couple extra Mini Duino+'s. You'll save some money that can go towards your project.

Early Bird Rewards: These rewards give you the chance to get the Mini Duino+ at a discounted price, to the point where there's no profit made on them. Get your hands on them quick, because they will sell out very fast.

International Backers: If you don't live in the US, don't worry; I can still ship to you. I ask that you add just $5 dollars to your pledge to help cover the cost, no matter the pledge level. 

Kickstarter Edition Rewards: By becoming a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or even Platinum Backer you are truly supporting the Mini Duino+. For your pledge you will receive not only ten  Mini Duino+'s, but also a Kickstarter Edition Mini Duino+. The board color for these special edition boards will be green, and have the words "Kickstarter Edition - 'Level' Backer", "Level" being the respective pledge level given (Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum). These rewards have limited availability, and for showing true support of the project you will receive a Kickstarter Edition board as a limited edition token of gratitude. You will also receive 10 Mini Duino+ Logo Stickers, and a Mini Duino+ Logo t-shirt in any size you wish!

**Mini Duino+ is not an official Arduino-brand product. (But neither are most Arduino compatible boards. )

Risks and challenges

With most of the prototyping being completed, there are very few risks to this project. The only thing I can think of would be production delays. If a fab house takes to long for production, backers may not receive their board on time.

Other than that, there really aren't any major risks. Most of the hard stuff has already been worked through. This isn't my first electronics Kickstarter project and I have a good idea of what to expect, and how to solve future challenges I may face.

Wow, you read through through the entire project! Now that you know all about the Mini Duino+, what are you waiting for! Make a pledge and get your own!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Your name will be added to the Special Thanks section of the Mini Duino+ README file. Whenever someone downloads the open-source files, your name will be downloaded too.

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    Get a Mini Duino+ below cost. We will ask you to choose a 3.3v/8Mhz or 5v/16Mhz version later.

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    A Single - Get a Mini Duino+. We will ask you to choose a 3.3v/8Mhz or 5v/16Mhz version later.

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    A Duo - Get TWO Mini Duino+'s. We will ask you to pick what version you want later. You may pick and choose any combination of the 3.3v/8Mhz or 5v/16Mhz versions you like.

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    Become a prototype tester for the Mini Duino+. You will receive a prototype beta version of the Mini Duino+ and be asked to test it in every way you can think of.

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    A Trio - Get THREE Mini Duino+'s. We will ask you to pick what version you want later. You may pick and choose any combination of the 3.3v/8Mhz or 5v/16Mhz versions you like.

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    Early Bird: Get 5 Mini Duino+'s below cost. You may pick and choose any combination of the 3.3v/8Mhz or 5v/16Mhz versions you like.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A Quintet - Get FIVE Mini Duino+'s. We will ask you to pick what version you want later. You may pick and choose any combination of the 3.3v/8Mhz or 5v/16Mhz versions you like.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A Decet - Get TEN Mini Duino+'s. We will ask you to pick what version you want later. You may pick and choose any combination of the 3.3v/8Mhz or 5v/16Mhz versions you like.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Kickstarter Bronze - Become a Bronze Backer! You will receive a single Kickstarter Bronze Edition Mini Duino+ hand assembled by me as soon as the designs are finalized, and you will also recieve TEN regular Mini Duino+'s later on. Your name will be put in the readme as a Bronze Backer.

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    Kickstarter Silver - Become a Silver Backer! You will receive a single Kickstarter Silver Edition Mini Duino+ hand assembled by me as soon as the designs are finalized, and you will also receive TEN regular Mini Duino+'s later on. Your name will be put in the readme as a Silver Backer.

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    Kickstarter Gold - Become a Gold Backer! You will receive a single Kickstarter Gold Edition Mini Duino+ hand assembled by me as soon as the designs are finalized, and you will also receive TEN regular Mini Duino+'s later on. Your name will be put in the readme as a Gold Backer.

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    Kickstarter Platinum - Become a Platinum Backer! You will receive a single Kickstarter Platinum Edition Mini Duino+ hand assembled by me as soon as the designs are finalized, and you will also receive TEN regular Mini Duino+'s later on. Your name will be put in the readme as a Platinum Backer.

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Funding period

- (30 days)