If you are like me and build projects with Arduino, you must have felt the frustration with ripping your project apart, because you wanted to build something else with that Arduino. I have had the same issue many times, so I decided to find a way to solve this once and for all. Hence, how to build an Arduino clone for less than 5$.
Warning: Now before we continue a warning. This post explains how to build Arduino cones for less than 5$, but it will mean that you either get creative with you current Arduino to program the Arduino bootloader, or you invest a bit in a standalone ISP programmer and a FTDI interface board (total about 20$ one time investment).
The reason we can build a relative cheap Arduino clone is that Arduino consists of the following parts:
– ATMEGA328p with oscillator and bootloader
– 5V power circuit
– Bunch of headers
Now to build that 5$ Arduino clone, all you need to do is burn a ATMEGA328p with a bootloader (or buy one with bootloader), add the 5V power supply and use a FTDI USB to serial converter, like described in detail here.
Presto: With a bit of time and patience, you can build your own Arduino clones on breadboard or a piece of protoboard for less than 5$.