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Wireless-equipped Arduino clone is AA battery sized

Apr 22, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 2032 views

The open source “AAduino” Arduino clone measures 44.9 x 13.8mm, and integrates an ATmega328P MCU, 32KB of flash, temp sensors, and a RFM69C radio.

For two and a half years, Nathan Chantrell’s open-spec Tiny328 has held the record for smallest, radio-enabled Arduino clone. It was therefore fitting that Chantrell was one of the first to compliment Johan Kanflo on his posting of an “AAduino” project for a similar device with a “What a brilliant idea!” The AAduino is even smaller than the Tiny328, and it fits snugly into a AA battery holder next to its AA power sources. The device is well suited for low-cost, low-power, wireless IoT endpoints.

AAduino in battery pack, powered by two AA batteries
(click image to enlarge)

Specs for the open source Arduino clone were posted on Github, and Atmel tweeted about the accomplishment to showcase the role of the Atmel ATmega328P MCU that drives the device.

Kanflo used the Tiny328 in a number of his IoT projects, but wanted a device that was more easily deployable. Looking at a three-battery holder, he realized it would make a perfect case. But first he would need to squeeze the guts of the Tiny328 into a slimmer package that would fit into one of the battery bays. Kanflo eventually came up with a board that does just that. The AAduino measures 44.9 x 13.8mm (629 sq. mm), compared to 36.3 x 22.9 (831 sq. mm) for the Tiny328.

AAduino, MCU side
(click image to enlarge)

The board’s 8-bit ATmega328P can operate at up to 20MHz, but the AAduino is clocked at 8MHz to save power. Kanflo plans to experiment with 4MHz to see if he can get reasonable performance.

AAduino, radio side
(click image to enlarge)

The AAduino is equipped with 32KB of flash, 2KB of SRAM, and 1KB of EEPROM. An RFM69C radio module acts as an ISM transceiver for applications such as wireless alarms and sensor networks. The device also integrates a pair of DS18B20 temperature sensors, as well as an LED indicator.

The design incorporates Keystone battery terminals rotated 180° to act as positive and negative terminals. There’s even a spring on the end for easy access.

Further information

The AAduino announcement may be found at the Johan Kanflo blog. Open source code, schematics, and BOM are available at Github. We learned about the AAduino from a story at SlashGear.

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One response to “Wireless-equipped Arduino clone is AA battery sized”

  1. analogtek says:

    This is going to make a very interesting 2016. The variety of battery holder type’s and size. Will bring lot of varied projects. Small will be good!

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