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Project Notes

#423 MakerUno

Checking out the Maker UNO, a feature-packed Arduino-compatible board from Cytron in Penang, Malaysia.

Build

Here’s a quick video of the board in action:

clip

Notes

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:

kit_front

kit_rear

Construction

The full schematic is available from Cytron:

MakerUno_schematic

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 INPUT_PULLUP pin mode
    • 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)

MakerUno_partial_schematic

Code Demonstration

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

Credits and References

About LEAP#423 Arduino
Project Source on GitHub Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is my personal collection of electronics projects, usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting (IMHO!).

The projects are usually inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the sources such as:

Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know. See the individual projects for credits where due. There are even now a few projects contributed by others - send your own over in a pull request if you would also like to add to this collection.