Don’t have $25 to spend on an Uno? Piece together your own board instead.
When it comes to the Maker community, Arduino has become the go-to board for anyone looking to bring a project to life. Despite its popularity and ease of use, Instructables user Gursimran Singh asks, “Why spend $25?” Rather than having to dig into his wallet, the DIYer decided to create his own barebones version.
The build starts out with a fairly involved bill of materials, including an ATmega328P to power the board’s logic, as well as another AVR chip to handle serial communication. These components are then combined to make a board based on the Beeduino DIY Arduino with a built-in programmer and serial interface. Interestingly, the Beeduino costs a claimed $6, while the Singh’s Gduino comes in a dollar less. Perhaps one estimate is off, or the Gduino author has cheaper part suppliers.
Either way, both projects are impressive, and good resources if you want to attempt to devise your own Arduino-like MCU. Both guides feature a section on how the board was etched, drilled, and components soldered to it. Though it has to be really cool to see something like this come together, the process seems somewhat time-intensive. $25 might be a reasonable price to pay for something already assembled depending on your project goals.
On the other hand, if you want to truly build a quadcopter from scratch, you could construct your own board and use it as an Arduino Uno quadcopter flight controller!