02 May 2011

The Evil Arduino

I can't help but like a place called Evil Mad Science. I picked up a couple of their ATmegaXX8 Target Boards and a couple ATtiny2313 Target Boards with the intention of using them to do ICSP programming. I realized that with the addition of a few common components, the ATmegaXX8 Target Board could do that and also be used as a basic Arduino clone. EMS also has a good price on Zero-Insertion Force (ZIF) sockets which are great if you're swapping the MCUs in and out a lot.

So this is kind of a simple-minded project and I'd be surprised if it was an original idea, but I thought I'd show how I used EMS' "fine DIY and open source hardware" to make a simple Arduino clone. Just a fun little project that can be tossed together in about an hour.

On the other hand, a person could just go with EMS' Diavolino kit. At $13, it could well be cheaper than the target board approach, especially if you don't have the incidental components laying around as I did. And the Diavolino also has the Arduino form factor. So it depends what you want. The target board approach has more of a DIY flavor as opposed to a kit.

Parts list:

C1,2  18pF ceramic, or as needed to match crystal*
C3-6  100nF ceramic
C7    10uF 16V electrolytic
IC1   ATmega328P
LED1  Red garden-variety (Pin 13 LED)
LED2  Green garden-variety (Power LED)
Q1    16MHz*
R1    10K
R2,3  1K
S1    SPST MC NO Tact switch
n/a   ZIF or other 28-pin DIL socket
n/a   Evil Mad Science ATmegaXX8 Target Board

*EMS sells a 16MHz Crystal and Capacitor Set, which is what I used, but of course they could also be purchased individually, or a resonator could be used instead.


Arduino-compatible built on EMS target board

Action shot ;-)


  1. Howdy JC, I stumbled on your blog via your xbee post and am very impressed by the quality of your work. I was wondering if you'd be interested in writing an article on your sensor network for a print magazine called Citizen Science Quarterly. If so please shoot me an email at jacob {at} citizensciencequarterly(dot)com

  2. I built one of these exactly like Jack's. It's an excellent device for burning boot loaders and also uploading sketches with an FTDI cable. I've also purchased a couple of Diavolino's from EMS. Thanks for the tip Jack. Very useful!