Sparkfun just released yet another Arduino variant, the Wii “Wee” –
SparkFun’s minimal design approach to Arduino. This is a 3.3V Arduino running the 8MHz bootloader (select ‘LilyPad’ within the Arduino software). The Wee is not a fully certified Arduino board. We’re working with Arduino.cc towards certification.
We really wanted to minimize the cost of an Arduino. The Wee is like the Arduino Mini (same pin out) but to keep the cost low, we used all SMD components, made it two layer, etc. This board connects directly to the LilyPad USB Link
– Wee (Compatible with Arduino)
In the Maker Shed:
Arduino Mini Board, fully assembled
12 thoughts on ““Wee” Arduino”
I’m a huge fan of Arduino, but this sort of thing I just don’t get. Once you take out the USB chip as this does, what do you really have left?
It seems to just tack on the crystal and remap the pins. Wouldn’t one be better off with a DIP ATMEGA168 chip, the 16MHz crystal/caps, and a breadboard them something like this?
And for the record, I have 2 Dieci’s and an iDuino, and I’m probably going to buy a BT as well. I spend a lot of hours a week playing with Arduino, and really do love the concept.
To me the key component that makes something Arduino is the bootloader. And the form factor of this makes it much more appealing than a handful of components dangling off a breadboard (for some applications; possibly not yours).
I would say the bootloader is not that imporant. It’s the language and, to a lesser degree, the programming environment that’s critical. I’ve used ICSP to program my Dieci’s without the bootloader many times. On a 16k chip, that extra 2k can be a lifesaver sometimes.
I would hardly call a crystal and 2 caps mounted neatly next to the chip “a handful of components dangling off a breadboard” any more than this module would.
And since this is in a 0.6″ format while the DIP ATMEGA168 is a 0.3″, I’d say the bare chip is neater and cleaner than this on a breadboard.
Really what does this give you? It’s very nearly nothing more than a breakout board to convert the SMT version of the chip to an oversized DIP version, when a dip version is available.
Sparkfun does offer quite a few simple breakout boards simply for modular convenience.
The Wee with SMT support components/reset switch, arduino-relative pad labels – makes sense along those lines.
And their simple breakout boards are a fantastic resource to let the hobbiest have access to devices like accelerometers, DOS on a chip, and many other things that would be beyond the average person’s ability otherwise. Overall I am a fan of sparkfun.
For something like this available in DIP, it’s a big downside (wide form factor), and a lot to pay for a reset switch, crystal, and labelling the pads.
I suppose some simply lack the patience and resources – to each his/her own.
That reminds me – been meaning to order one of the LM4970 breakouts.
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