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My Favorite Arduino, the Nano


The Arduino Nano is my favorite version of the Arduino. Pictured here in my breadboard next to a custom made FTDI adapter, more on that later.

The Modern Device Educato might be a close second but I don’t have one to play with yet.. The reason is simple.  I use the Arduino with solderless breadboard all the time. The Nano plugs into my breadboards with some room to spare on both sides. Provides easy access to all the I/O and is a full speed Mega328, my favorite AVR chip

There are a few other Arduino boards that are better suited for breadboard use then the basic Uno. I know some are going to point out that you can use the basic Arduino with your breadboard by just using jumpers to the shield headers.  I don’t like that method as it’s fragile and I end up hunting for bad connections when my real problem is elsewhere.

The Educato is closer as it is specifically designed for the breadboard. The I/O is all on one side so it can plug into the breadboard in a fashion similar to the older bare bones board, a prior favorite. The Nano wins on cost and size for me although it’s close in my mind.

Especially important to me is that I get access to ALL the usable I/O pins.. Some mini boards have most but don’t always have them all and some put pins on sides where they will mate with the solderless breadboard.

Pricing and availability.
Strangely I don’t see the Nano for sell at Sparkfun or Adafruit, I must be missing it somewhere. They have similar boards but not the Nano. My guess is that they both have their own competing versions. Do you know of a source?

A Nano compatible board, made by OSEPP  is available at Amazon for $40 and Fry’s for $35. This is the board I use and I think I paid about $10 for it somewhere but I cant find that source now. Any ideas?

I did find another “Nano” like knockoff at Banggood for $3.73, including a USB cable!.. yes you read that right, less than $5. I have written about things from Banggood in the past. Here and Here. You have to wait a month to get the items but everything I’ve bought at Banggood was exactly what I expected.

At under $5 I would just solder down then module on my PCBs as it has the USB interface and an ICSP programming header ready to go. The AVR chip cost nearly $4/each…

Questions? Please respond with a comment…

  1. Is there a reason not to purchase this cheep Arduino compatible Nano?
  2. A reason not to embedded it into a product?
  3. Any know issues?
  4. Any better option for solderless breadboard work?

Posted in Arduino, Development Tools, Discovering, Microcontroller, Parts, Review, Tips.