Making Your Own Arduino Part 2 (Arduino on Breadboard)

Arduino Breadboard Banner2
This post is a follow up of Part 1. Read it here if you have not done so.

Now I will address one of the issues of making your own Arduino. On the Uno boards, there’s an IC which is responsible as a USB to serial converter and it makes it possible to program the Arduino and also communicate with it from the computer. The problem here is the IC is an SMD (Surface Mounted Device). The R3 uses an ATmega 16U2 while the older revisions uses the 8U2.

Then, what about the older Arduinos? The Duemilanove? Still no luck, it uses a FT232RL chip, which is also an SMD.

To make it easier, I’ll show you an alternative. Just get a ready made USB to Serial chip 🙂

There are so many of them online, but I’ve decided to get it from Cytron because their service is top-notch.

It’s called the UC00B. Only RM 19.00. Link here.

Close-up.

Installation is pretty easy. Just download the driver from Cytron’s website and execute the installer. Here’s what you’ll see in the device manager after installation.

With this done, we can concentrate on the Arduino.

There are many schematics available online for constructing an Arduino on a breadboard, but after an extensive research and some personal modifications, I’ve come up with this.

You can download the EAGLE schematic file here.

Here’s the constructed circuit on a breadboard.

Without the connections to the UC00B, the circuit is in fact very simple.

There are many ways of connecting the UC00B to the breadboard but I’ve gone the lazy way 😛

Finally to test it, just upload a simple blink sketch.

If it says Done uploading means the Arduino is working fine.

I hope this post is helpful to those who want to go into the Arduino world but can’t afford a full fledged Uno board.

Have a good day 🙂

  1. johny12-03-2014

    Just answer the question i made on this site please so others can see it ….

  2. johny12-03-2014

    Can i use this “selfmade arduino” to burn a bootloader to another empty Atmega328 IC ,and this way make another Selfmade Arduino with a bootloader and ready to run “Hello World” code on it .

    you guys could : buy a atmega328 MCU with a bootloader installed on it , right? so you dont have to have a arduino to install the bootloader…

    • waihung12-03-2014

      Yeah. You can do that. The self made Arduino would be able to burn bootloader on another chip as well. Or you could but the ic that has already been preloaded with the bootloader.

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  4. ras03-02-2013

    i’m using arduino uno and try to upload a sketch to it using UC00A (cytron) but have error with it… the error is “avrdude: stk500_getsynx(): not in sync: resp=0x00” what is the problem???
    can u help me…. thankz….

    • Wai Hung03-02-2013

      Hi. Did u successfully burn the bootloader? It should say done burning bootloader.

      If yes, did u get the auto reset circuit correctly? There should be a 100n cap in series in between pin DTR and RESET.

      Lastly the TX RX lines should be connected in reverse, meaning TX to RX and RX to TX.

      • ras03-10-2013

        burn the bootloader using UC00A or using other device?

    • Wai Hung03-11-2013

      I burn the bootloader using another Arduino. Or u can get USBasp. UC00A cannot burn bootloader.

      • ras03-15-2013

        if i want to use the uno board but upload the sketch using UC00A it is possible?

        • Wai Hung03-15-2013

          Not possible, the UC00A is just a USB to serial adapter. You have to get an avr programmer like this http://www.cytron.com.my/viewProduct.php?pcode=AVR-USBASP&name=AVR%20USBASP%20Programmer

          UC00A is not a programmer. The reason why u see me using this to program the Arduino is because I’ve already burn the bootloader into the IC. The bootloader does the magic of receiving serial data and wiriting the program into itself. Without the bootloader the UC00A is nothing.

          • ras03-16-2013

            thankz 4 your info… its really helpful…

            • Wai Hung03-18-2013

              You’re welcomed 🙂

  5. Ming You01-19-2013

    I have few question would like to ask, first, isn’t it any settings like programmer we have to change if we want to use UC00B as programmer? Second, I can only success upload one time after I burn bootloader, if I wanna upload different coding, I found this problem “avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00”. Can you help me?

    • vick01-19-2013

      @ming you,

      No setting is required. You just have to install the driver for the UC00B then just connect it and you can upload code directly.

      For your second question, it might be your connection problem. Try to check it out especially the programming port using UC00B.

      Thanks alot !

    • Wai Hung01-20-2013

      Hi. As Vick said, there are no settings for the UC00B programmer.
      It acts exactly like the built in FT232RL chip on older Arduinos.

      About the upload error, did you select the correct Arduino under Tools –> Board?
      If yes what about the auto reset circuit? Is it working correctly?
      There should be a 100n capacitor connected in series between pin DTR and RESET.

      • Ming You01-20-2013

        Thanks! I think my capacitor is fault. I change a new one and they work fine! ^^

        • Wai Hung01-22-2013

          Glad to hear it worked out 🙂

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  7. vick07-03-2012

    why not you use your arduino as an FTDI programmer ?
    Hahahah

    • Wai Hung07-03-2012

      It’s possible but you need to take out the 328 chip everytime you do that.

      • vick07-04-2012

        yaya,,mafan lo

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  8. TomerBu06-11-2012

    Thanks for the elaborated post 🙂
    Will this solution achieve a standalone Arduino board?
    (without the power).

    will it allow uploading your own code from your computer, without using an actual Arduino?

    • Wai Hung06-11-2012

      Hi tomerbu,
      Yeah this will give you a full working arduino but to upload the code you must have a USB to serial adapter, such as the UC00B.

      You only need an actual arduino ONCE to upload the bootloader and after that you don’t need it anymore. This atmega 328 mcu on the breadboard will fully become an arduino.

      • TomerBu06-11-2012

        Thanks! looks great. I ordered the parts and am looking forward into multiplying the number of “Arduino’s” I own 🙂
        Sometimes It’s so hard to disassemble a project. so – no more, for the good ones I will use your awesome solution!

        Thanks again for all you help.

        • Wai Hung06-11-2012

          You’re welcome 🙂

          Cheap arduinos FTW! Lol.

  9. vick05-27-2012

    What is the function of UC00B actually ?

    • waihung05-27-2012

      It’s a USB to Serial adapter. Very very old Arduinos use Serial interface (no USB like Uno).
      To implement USB, they had to use a USB to Serial converter IC, and all of them are in SMD form.

      So, by getting the UC00B, we can skip the hassle and just plug it right into the circuit 🙂

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