Checking out the Maker UNO, a feature-packed Arduino-compatible board from Cytron in Penang, Malaysia.
Here’s a quick video of the board in action:
I was recently shown an Arduino-compatible board made by Cytron in Penang, Malaysia called the Maker UNO. I gather it began life as a very successful kickstarter that aimed to produce a better board and associated teaching materials for K-12 education.
It packs quite a few additional features in the Uno form-factor:
- LEDs on all digital pins
- a piezo buzzer on pin 8
- a push-button on pin 2
It uses the CH340G USB-UART chip for USB connectivity, so additional drivers may be required. See LEAP#405 ATmegaSerialProgrammer for a deeper dive on the CH340G.
And a really nice feature is the price - currently listing for RM15 (~$3.60 USD).
It also looks pretty spiffy to boot:
The full schematic is available from Cytron:
Here’s a re-drawing that focuses on the details of the digital pin features. In particular, note:
- LEDs are indirectly driven with low-side n-channel MOSFETs
- presents a high impedance to the pin, so its normal function is largely unaffected
- a high-value (3.3MΩ) pull-down resistor ensures the gate doesn’t float
- The piezo buzzer on pin 8:
- connected in addition to the LED
- switched with an NPN and 1kΩ base resistor
- has a manual SPDT switch that can be used to disable the buzzer
- Push-button on pin 2:
- with resistor that pulls the pin low when the button is pressed
- should be used with
- pin 2 supports hardware interrupts, so allows interrupt-driven coding rather than polling of the button state
- connected in addition to the LED (the LED will normally be on, and go off when the button is pressed)
The MakerUno.ino sketch is a simple demonstration of the features, requiring no additional components:
- steps through the digital pins (except 2 and 8), lighting the LED
- plays a tone proportional to the pin number
- on a falling interrupt from a button press, reverses the order that it is cycling through the pins/tones