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Arduino & Black Friday event

Black Friday with Arduino, it sounds like my kind of Friday!

Your gateway drug to electronics: Arduino, is hosting a Black Friday event in which you can buy their most popular boards at a much more attractive price. With excellent documentation and a community full of projects and ideas, Arduino boards got me into electronics. If you were postponing your move, don’t wait any longer and grab one of the boards below to get started.

Which Arduino board is for you?

Arduino Store has a wild selection of microcontrollers to suit anyone’s needs. Don’t worry, if you are not sure which board you should start your adventure with. I will list the best boards currently on sale, talk about the strong points and link a project or two for you to try.

This way, you can quickly pick the one suited for your project or get inspired by the projects linked in for each board type.

Arduino UNO R3/SMD

It’s the most popular and one of the oldest Arduino boards. A great all-rounder to get your electronic projects off the ground. Arduino UNO came through several revisions and now it’s available as the R3 with a socketed ATmega328P and SMD version of the same microcontroller.

Its functionality can be expanded further with shields and add-ons that can be simply snapped to the existing headers, making your prototyping simpler and more exciting.

Both versions come with the same specification, but I would encourage you to pick the socketed version of the Arduino board if you are getting started. This way, if you fry your microcontroller, you can simply pull it out and replace it with a new ATmega328P IC.

In my office, you can find 2 things powered by Arduino UNO boards. A photogrammetry spinning table for glam shots of small products (used in this video) and “Sky” robotic kit with a manipulator’s arm.

Black Friday offer: Arduino UNO R3 £17.00 and Arduino UNO SMD R3 €15.20

Cool projects:

  1. Photogrammetry project I made with a sensor kit
  2. Mini CNC machine
  3. Alarm clock

Specs:

OPERATING VOLTAGE5V
INPUT VOLTAGE (RECOMMENDED)7-12V
INPUT VOLTAGE (LIMIT)6-20V
DIGITAL I/O PINS14 (of which 6 provide PWM output)
PWM DIGITAL I/O PINS6
ANALOG INPUT PINS6
DC CURRENT PER I/O PIN20 mA
DC CURRENT FOR 3.3V PIN50 mA
FLASH MEMORY32 KB (ATmega328P) of which 0.5 KB used by bootloader
SRAM2 KB (ATmega328P)
EEPROM1 KB (ATmega328P)
CLOCK SPEED16 MHz

Arduino DUE

Arduino DUE
Arduino DUE

If 16MHz isn’t enough, pick an Arduino Due, an upgrade based on the Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 CPU. Armed (sorry about the pun) with 54 GPIOs, the board is ready to tackle the most elaborate projects. It was the first 32bit based Arduino board and until recently, it was considered one of the fastest Arduino boards too.

It’s the 1st time I have the board myself, but I can see why anyone looking to expand their project would pick this one. Extra pins will come in handy when your project has lots of going on.

Just remember that the board uses 3.3V logic unlike other Arduino offerings, so mind that while connecting sensors and accessories.

Black Friday offer: Arduino DUE €29.75

Cool projects:

  1. Waveform Generator
  2. Dual weather station
  3. VR headset
OPERATING VOLTAGE3.3V
INPUT VOLTAGE (RECOMMENDED)7-12V
INPUT VOLTAGE (LIMITS)6-16V
DIGITAL I/O PINS54 (of which 12 provide PWM output)
ANALOG INPUT PINS12
ANALOG OUTPUT PINS2 (DAC)
TOTAL DC OUTPUT CURRENT ON ALL I/O LINES130 mA
DC CURRENT FOR 3.3V PIN800 mA
DC CURRENT FOR 5V PIN800 mA
FLASH MEMORY512 KB all available for the user applications
SRAM96 KB (two banks: 64KB and 32KB)
CLOCK SPEED84 MHz

Arduino MEGA R3

 Arduino MEGA
Arduino MEGA

For elaborate projects with dozens of inputs and outputs, Arduino Mega R3 is your best bet. The board caters to anyone who needs extra pins. Arduino Mega R3 uses ATmega2560 to manage all 54 GPIOs and it’s also compatible with Arduino UNO shields thanks to a similar pin layout.

You could think of the MEGA R3 as a brother of Arduino UNO. It shares a similar form factor but comes with small differences. It uses 5V logic voltage, offers a bigger number of analogue pins but it’s slightly slower and has less flash.

It has excellent compatibility with Arduino UNO shields and add-ons – perfect for anyone looking to expand their projects

Black Friday offer: Arduino MEGA €29.75

Cool Projects:

  1. Pinball machine
  2. Entire car factory!
  3. Smart Garage

Specs:

OPERATING VOLTAGE5V
INPUT VOLTAGE (RECOMMENDED)7-12V
INPUT VOLTAGE (LIMIT)6-20V
DIGITAL I/O PINS54 (of which 15 provide PWM output)
ANALOG INPUT PINS16
DC CURRENT PER I/O PIN20 mA
DC CURRENT FOR 3.3V PIN50 mA
FLASH MEMORY256 KB of which 8 KB used by the bootloader
SRAM8 KB
EEPROM4 KB
CLOCK SPEED16 MHz
LED_BUILTIN13

Arduino Nano

  Arduino Nano
Arduino Nano

If the project has size constraints, then Nano is my go-to board. This ATmega328 based board offers great GPIO selection, small form factor and great power consumption. The internet is full of Arduino Nano based projects as people take the advantage of its size and the fact the board is easy to use with batteries.

I used it as well in my 4 years now project to automate the staircase lights. A proof that not every project needs internet access to be part of a smart home.

Black Friday offer: Arduino Nano €15.30

Cool Projects:

  1. NERF turret
  2. Wearable HR monitor
  3. Smart coffee machine

Specs

ARCHITECTUREAVR
OPERATING VOLTAGE5 V
FLASH MEMORY32 KB of which 2 KB used by the bootloader
SRAM2 KB
CLOCK SPEED16 MHz
ANALOG IN PINS8
EEPROM1 KB
DC CURRENT PER I/O PINS40 mA (I/O Pins)
INPUT VOLTAGE7-12 V
DIGITAL I/O PINS22 (6 of which are PWM)
PWM OUTPUT6
POWER CONSUMPTION19 mA

Arduino Micro

   Arduino Micro
Arduino Micro

If you need the form factor of the Arduino Nano, but you are short on GPIO or two, you could pick the Micro board instead. Based on ATmega32u4 IC it offers a couple of extra pins and a bit more SRAM to play with than its smaller counterpart.

The biggest advantage of the board is the USB interface which makes it the perfect board to make your own USB peripherals

Black Friday offer: Arduino Micro €15.30

Cool Projects:

  1. RFID lock for PC
  2. Airplane controllers
  3. Start your motorbike with RF implant

Specs:

OPERATING VOLTAGE5V
INPUT VOLTAGE (RECOMMENDED)7-12V
INPUT VOLTAGE (LIMIT)6-20V
DIGITAL I/O PINS20
PWM CHANNELS7
ANALOG INPUT CHANNELS12
DC CURRENT PER I/O PIN20 mA
DC CURRENT FOR 3.3V PIN50 mA
FLASH MEMORY32 KB (ATmega32U4) of which 4 KB used by the bootloader
SRAM2.5 KB (ATmega32U4)
EEPROM1 KB (ATmega32U4)
CLOCK SPEED16 MHz
LED_BUILTIN13

Final thoughts

Arduino Black Friday event is definitely worth checking out. Perhaps this year, instead of a consumer product, treat yourself to a DIY challenge. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a very rewarding project that would make a perfect Xmas gift for someone you love. Got great Arduino projects? Let me know in this Reddit thread.

🆓 – See the transparency note for details.

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