The MonkMakesDuino is designed to neatly complement solderless breadboard both for the experienced hobbyist building projects and for anyone wanting to learn how to use Arduino (TM).
The key features of the MonkMakesDuino are:
- Breadboard friendly - clearly labelled pins
- Arduino Uno compatible (Board Type: Arduino Uno in the Arduino IDE)
- Low-cost simple design
- Built in USB interface with high quality drivers available (CP2102)
- Polyfuse over-current protection
- 5V USB powered
- 'L' LED on pin 13
The idea for this board started with my need for a low-cost but good quality Arduino board with built-in USB to bundle with an Arduinio Kit to be part of MonkMakes range of electronic kits. Although there are several types of Arduino board that are breadboard friendly, such as the Arduino Nano and Arduino Pro Mini, I have never been totally satisfied with these boards, partly because of their relatively high cost, but also difficulty in identifying the pins. In the case of the Pro-Mini boards the need for a separate USB interface to program the boards is less than ideal for a beginner.
The MonkMakesDuino is the Arduino compatible board that I really needed but couldn't buy.
The single row of connections of the MonkMakesDuino means that it occupies most of the breadboard rows on one half of the board, leaving the other half free for the other supporting components. For example, connecting up a load of LEDs becomes really straightforward.
Its also pretty easy to connect up an I2C display and a couple of switches to make a timer:
or even, a 16x2 LCD display and TMP36 temperature sensor, although this does require a lot of jumper wires.
Who's it for?
The board is great for an experienced electronics maker wishing to prototype on breadboard, but its breadboard compatibility, low cost and the ease of pin identification means that its also great for use by anyone starting out with Arduino.
The most basic reward is a single MonkMakesDuino board (supply your own micro USB cable). The board is also available in double and triple packs that include a USB lead.
If you are impatient, then the boards from the first batch of 100 boards will be available a month earlier than the general reward fulfillments at a slightly higher price, but a USB lead is thrown in.
Two kit rewards are also provided.
MonkMakesDuino LCD Starter Kit
This is a complete kit to get you started with some interesting projects using your MonkMakesDuino board. As well as a MonkMakesDuino and micro USB lead, the kit includes an LCD display, solderless breadboard, jumper leads and everything you need to make the following projects all described in the booklet that is also included:
- Blinking LED (of course)
- 12 LED 'Larson Scanner'
- RGB LED color mixer
- LCD message board
- LCD thermometer
- LCD countdown timer
MonkMakesDuino Protoboard Kit
Designed with the electronics hobbyist and maker in mind, this kit includes both a MonkMakesDuino board and a MonkMakes Protoboard kit (my previous Kickstarter campaign) along with breadboard, jumper wires and a set of side components for the Protoboard.
Note that you will need to be able to solder for this project as the 'side-components' do not come ready-soldered to the Protoboard.
NEW: Stretch Goals
Here are some stretch goals for the project:
- Funding reaches £7000 - full public online documentation and code for an LED Dice project using components from the MonkMakesDuino LCD Starter Kit
- Funding reaches £10,000 - full public online documentation and code for a Binary Clock project using components from the MonkMakesDuino LCD Starter Kit
- Funding reaches £20,000 - full public online documentation and code for a project using components from the MonkMakesDuino LCD Starter Kit to display the IP address of your computer.
The current status of the project is that I have been through a series of fully functional prototypes and built a few test projects using the boards.
I want to make one significant change to the board design (and hence produce another prototype) and that is to swap the location of the AREF and RESET pins from their positions on the current prototype.
My reasoning is that RESET is probably more useful. It also makes building a harness for flashing and testing the boards easier.
So, after a final round of prototyping, the product should be good to go.
What's the Money For?
The cost of producing a board like this is very dependent on the batch size. The first small batch of boards will be ordered from our own funds as soon as we know that the Kickstarter is going to be successful. When the funds arrive, this will pay back the first batch and fund a second much larger batch of however many boards we need.
Risks and challenges
The prototype boards work well and conform to the specifications and reference designs of the components used. We have secured quotations for production and are confident that we can produce the boards and other rewards at the right price.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)