Arduino-Type Microprocessors

This is a notional category. I'm saying 'Arduino-Type' to cover a whole raft of differently named and featured microprocessors, some of them costing under $10. There is also a thriving ecosystem of Arduino clones.

A important point that is often lost ( lost on non-EE degreed me anyway ) is these beasts can work with a range of voltages, typically between 7V and 15V. Most computers take only 5V and are very picky about that. Most microprocessor devices are far more electrically robust than a computer. Maybe think of them as sophisticated current switching devices ...

I had not planned on doing intense Arduino development and still don't, but I got a simple ( and cheap ) Inland Developer DIY kit at Micro Center and it's been an interesting few months understanding it and getting it going. Well worth the effort, especially for HomeAutomation.


A few basic links. This section may evolve into a whole group of related pages ...

Arduino is an open-source prototyping platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. ...

... As soon as it reached a wider community, the Arduino board started changing to adapt to new needs and challenges, differentiating its offer from simple 8-bit boards to products for IoT applications, wearable, 3D printing, and embedded environments. All Arduino boards are completely open-source, empowering users to build them independently and eventually adapt them to their particular needs.

It's a huge community, starting to generate megabucks of hardware sales, which is no small achievement in the open-source open-licence community.

... The reference designs for the Arduino boards are available from their specific product pages. They're licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license, so you are free to use and adapt them for your own needs without asking permission or paying a fee ...


Sparkfun is almost an Arduino institution in itself, tons of gizmos. They have their own branded clone, the RedBoard ( for $5 less ! ).

The Sparkfun Wifi Mystery

By decending product ID, presumably latest first. - SparkFun ESP8266 Thing ( Dev Board ) - $15.95

This is the SparkFun ESP8266 Thing Dev Board – a development board that has been solely designed around the ESP8266, with an integrated FTDI USB-to-Serial chip. - Wifi Module - ESP8266 - $6.95 - Sparkfun Wifi Shield ESP8266 - $14.95

... The ESP8266 WiFi? Shield finds a middle ground between the Module and the Thing that provides a great introduction to the ESP8266 – without leaving the comfortable hardware confines of your Arduino ... - SparkFun ESP8266 Thing - $15.95

... We’ve made the ESP8266 easy to use by breaking out all of the module’s pins, adding a LiPo charger, power supply, and all of the other supporting circuitry it requires. - Sparkfun Wifi Breakout - CC3000 - $35 - Sparkfun Wifi Shield - CC3000 - $40 - "makes incorporating internet connectivity into your project simple" - Arduino Wifi Shield - $85 - specialized Arduino, with built-WIFI

The Arduino WiFi? Shield allows an Arduino board to connect to the internet using the 802.11 wireless specification (WiFi?). It is based on the HDG204 Wireless LAN 802.11b/g System in-Package. An Atmega 32UC3 provides a network (IP) stack capable of both TCP and UDP. Use the WiFI library to write sketches which connect to the internet using the shield ...

[Comment] ... According to Arduino “NOTE: this product is currently retired and the documentation will not be kept up-to-date.”

OR - Arduino Ethernet - $60

The Arduino Ethernet is an Arduino development board with the Wiznet Ethernet interface built in on the same board! It has 14 digital input/output pins, 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a RJ45 connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button.


To make room for the Ethernet interface, they removed the USB-serial driver so you will need an FTDI breakout or similar device to upload your Arduino sketches. Also, Pins 10, 11, 12 and 13 are reserved for interfacing with the Ethernet module and should not be used otherwise. This reduces the number of available pins to 9, with 4 available as PWM outputs.

OR - Arduino Yun - $75

... The first Arduino Yun is the combination of a classic Arduino Leonardo (based on the Atmega32U4 processor) with a WiFi? system-ona-chip running Linino (a MIPS GNU/Linux based on OpenWRT). Arduino embedded the Linux machine directly on the PCB of the Arduino Leonardo and connected the two so that from Arduino it’s very easy to run commands on the Linux side and use it as an Ethernet and WiFi? interface.

OR ( An Entirely Non-Arduino Cloud-Based Alternative ) - Particle Photon ( With Headers !!! ) - $19

... Particle has combined a powerful 120Mhz ARM Cortex M3 micro-controller with a Broadcom Wi-Fi chip in a tiny thumbnail-sized module called the PØ (P-Zero) ...

... Your Photon comes with access to the Particle Cloud, a free cloud service ...

Particle provides free access to Particle Cloud for prototyping. Paid tiers of Particle Cloud start when you create a product with more than 25 devices. - Intel Edison - $50

Powered by the Intel® Atom™ SoC dual-core CPU and including an integrated WiFi?, Bluetooth LE, and a 70-pin connector to attach a veritable slew of shield-like “Blocks” which can be stacked on top of each other.


Sparkfun Wireless - SparkFun RFM69 Breakout (915MHz) - $9.95

SparkFun RFM69 Breakout, a small piece of tech that breaks out all the pins available on the RFM69HCW module as well as making the transceiver easy to use. The RFM69HCW is an inexpensive and versatile radio module that operates in the unlicensed ISM (Industry, Science and Medicine) radio band ...

The RFM69HCW uses an SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) to communicate with a host microcontroller, and several good Arduino libraries are available ...

Current consumption: 0.1uA sleep, 1.25mA standby, 16mA receive, 130mA transmit (max) - RFM69HCW Wireless Transceiver - 915MHz - $4.95

This is the 915MHz base RFM69HCW Wireless Transceiver that is found on our RFM69 Breakout ...

The RFM69HCW uses an SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) to communicate with a host microcontroller, and several good Arduino libraries are available. It supports up to 256 networks of 255 nodes per network, features AES encryption to keep your data private, and transmits data packets up to 66 bytes long. - RFM69 library for RFM69W, RFM69HW, RFM69CW, RFM69HCW (semtech SX1231, SX1231H)


For instance ...

Arduino IDE

ARDUINO 1.6.12 [ as of Oct 12 '16

The open-source Arduino Software (IDE) makes it easy to write code and upload it to the board. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The environment is written in Java and based on Processing and other open-source software. ... This software can be used with any Arduino board.

The Arduino Integrated Development Environment - or Arduino Software (IDE) - contains a text editor for writing code, a message area, a text console, a toolbar with buttons for common functions and a series of menus. It connects to the Arduino and Genuino hardware to upload programs and communicate with them.

... Boards ...

Arduino Pro or Pro Mini (5V, 16 MHz) w/ ATmega328

An ATmega328 running at 16 MHz with auto-reset. Equivalent to Arduino Duemilanove or Nano w/ ATmega328; 6 Analog In, 14 Digital I/O and 6 PWM.

Also See - Language Reference

Note that the Arduino is was at one time on the list of single-board computers, which it really shouldn't have been according to 'some' definition. Apparently, people other than me are also struggling with the distinction ... still not sure about it, single task, no real OS scheduling ?

dead link, now charging for access ->

still free ->



Last modified 3 months ago Last modified on 02/13/2017 01:24:07 PM