Have you ever thought of having a custom made Arduino circuit for your project? The good news is that it is possible for you to do it yourself. There are many reasons why you should consider building your own Arduino circuit. The Arduino itself is made up of simple cheap electronics. But what makes the entire kit a little bit expensive is the package and layout. Therefore, the Arduino clone becomes a viable option. The Arduino circuit that you build takes less space while customizing it for your application. Besides, you can exclude bits you do not need to keep costs down.
There are various Arduino boards in the market such as Arduino Uno and Arduino Nano. We take a special interest in Arduino Nano – a small, compact, and breadboard-friendly board based on Atmega 328P that offers similar functionality, connectivity and specs as the Arduino Uno board in a smaller form factor. The board has become exceptionally popular among the developer community due to its unmatched variation of potential applications. The mini-USB power cable means you can use it with any PC or laptop device.
Build your own Arduino Nano
What you need
- Copper Clad Board that s double-sided.
- Ferric Chloride
Step 1: Designing the Circuit
Use an EDA tool (a PCB design Software) to design the circuit. There are various EDA tools available such as EAGLE PCB Design and Kicad EDA. Among them, EAGLE PCB Design is mostly used.
Step 2: PCB layout design
After schematic diagram design, you can now design the PCB layout in the Eagle EDA tool and download the Arduino Nano Schematic File for EAGLE together with Arduino Nano File for EAGLE. It is important that you only use a LASER printer to print after you’ve mirrored the image of the top layer so that the circuit is not inverted.
Step 3: Cut the Copper board
The copper board is cut according to the PCB layout size. Place the top layer of the cut paper on the top side of the PCB and the bottom layout paper on the bottom part of the PCB.
Step 4: Toner Transfer and Etching
Transfer the PCB design from the glossy paper to the copper board by placing the printed side of the glossy paper on a very clean copper board and applying pressure and heat. A toner can be used. However, this is only possible after modification of the toner so that the toner can achieve a temperature of 2100C. You need to change the potentiometer to increase the laminator temperature beyond the maximum temperature of the toner.
You can etch using Ferric chloride (FeCl3) as etchant after checking all the tracks. In case of a broken track, use a marker pen to redraw the track carefully. Clean the board using acetone after etching.
Step 5: Drilling and Soldering
Drill the PCB using PCB drilling machine. Be careful so that all the components can fit in and then solder the components.
Step 6: Burning the Bootloader
Another Arduino board is needed to burn the bootloader of your new board for the first time.
Step 7: Testing
Your Arduino Nano is ready for testing. Connect USB to TTL together with the Arduino Nano to upload the sketches.
For more gadgets to make Arduino Nano, please click here.