On the drawing board: Arrduino Prototype PLUS+

I am just finishing off a new design for a better prototyping system for the Arduino.

You've designed your project, and got it all wired up on a breadboard. You'd like to make it a little more permanent, so you can mount it into your project.

Now, you could take an Arduino and put a prototyping shield on top of it and wire everything in there, but that's somewhat wasteful, and anyway a prototyping shield doesn't give you much room to play with. And it's unprofessional as well.

Many people like to take the MCU off their Arduino and build a "bare bones" Arduino on a breadboard, or take a piece of matrix board and solder in one of the small Arduino boards. But what if I did that for you? What if I made a prototyping board that has an Arduino built in. An Arduino using the ATMega328P-PU DIP chip in a socket, so you can take the chip out of your development Arduino and drop it straight in?

Well, that's exactly what I have just been doing. What do you make of this?

What we have here is a DIP socket to put your Arduino's MCU in, a 5V regulator with decent heat sinking (you should see the size of the thermal area on the back...), screw terminals for providing power (no more barrel jacks), a 16MHz crystal (I personally hate ceramic resonators), ICSP and UART programming headers, all the Arduino IO pins laid out for you to solder directly to, and a massive (36 x 36 hole) prototyping area.

Oh, and some M4 screw holes in the corners to make it super easy to mount.

Is that posh or what?

I'm going to give it my customary day or so of extra thought before I send off the design to be manufactured so I can test it properly.

Update: I have ordered a small batch for testing. If they're good I'll build them all up and get them on sale. If you're lucky you might be able to grab one!

Another update: They have arrived, and I've built and tested one. Not that there's much to test really. I've created a product for them on my shop. I'm going to build these boards to order until I can judge demand. It only takes a few minutes to build one up, but if I don't have the components to hand it may take a day or so for them to arrive (most components are ones I keep in stock all the time though).

M51 Counter