$12 Arduboy compatible system

Well, my dev box is running memory tests :frowning:, so I decided to take a crack at putting one of these together. The parts box provided everything but sufficient switches, so tried one of these instead. It worked well enough to verify functionality, but the buttons were problematical at best, the LEDs had the wrong common pin, and the entire thing was a bit flakey. Since I Need more switches anyway, I’ve placed an order for those. Thanks to those who contribute the writeup.

I’d really rather use a Uno than a Leonardo, but the code doesn’t compile and I think it’ sufficiently unlikely that the leonardo version will work to bother trying it. Please let me know if that’s wrong. The Arduboy2 library doesn’t seem to be any better off. At one point Scott had a branch of the Arduboy library for the atmega328p, but the examples in that don’t build for me.

So, is the idea of moving from the Leonardo to a Uno dead? My next choice would be a pro mini (I buy those in six-packs), but that’s still got a 328 and not a 32u4, so probably no better.

I haven’t done any work whatsoever to make Arduboy2 328p compatible. Even the work I did on the original Arduboy library was incomplete.

An Arduboy equivalent based on a 328 instead of a 32u4 is always going to be problematic. There are too many hardware differences between the chips.

You can get close with the 32u4 based SparkFun Pro Micro but either a Leonardo or an Arduino Micro are the best for 100% compatibility with all sketches.

Yeah and I think overall the library (and others also) is moving the opposite direction of that also. We’re moving to smaller code size and very optimized for real Arduboy hardware (timers, ports, etc). Someone who wants the best experience really needs to use the same components - which as mlxxxp said is the 32u4 when it comes to CPU.

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For me, this isn’t about “best experience”, but about “easier development”. I’ve got one 32u4 based Arduino, and something like a dozen 328p based ones in my parts box.

What I’m thinking about now is turning a proto shield into an “Arduboy shield”. Just solder the LCD, buttons and speaker on the thing, and then plug it into whatever fits my project best. The Leonardo for current Arduboy code, but it could go on a Mega or a Zero for a SAMBoy, or a Nuecleo board or even the STM32F469 Discovery if there’s ever an STMBoy. Anyone else interested in such a project?

Do you mean a project to create a standard “Arduboy” shield? It might be difficult because it’s best to assign pins based on the capabilities of the particular processor. E.g. PWM pins for the RGB LED or a DAC output for the speaker.

Clearly, it wouldn’t be “standard”, since there’s not really a standard. The devkit used different pins, and a number of systems similar to the one proposed here used different pins as well. Making it use the same pins as the current production Arduboy is more a matter of “why not” than “why”.

This would be in the same space as all those other DIY systems. The only real difference is being on a shield would make it easier to experiment with other processors than being on a breadboard or a custom PCB.

Sure. If you just brought out all the peripheral signals to pads, that could then be jumpered to pads on all the pins (either by soldering or by some kind of plug/socket system), and made it both 5V and 3.3V compatible, it could be useful.

Do the pads really have an advantage over just plugging stuff into a proto shield or a bread board stuck to one (what I’m doing now)? I’ve found such things to be a bit fragile, which is why I’m looking at hardwiring things to a proto board. Sure, using header pins or some such would make it easy to use binaries from some hypothetical 2nd gen system, but what are the chances that it’s going to use the same peripheral set with a different CPU?

The only advantage I see to a shield with pads is that you could hardwire all the power and ground connections, but all the signals will still have to be manually connected, so not a big advantage over a solderless breadboard, like I use.

Not much. That’s why porting the libraries to another processor architecture can take some effort. But the goal is that the library’s API abstracts the hardware well enough that sketches will recompile with little or no change, as long as the sketches use just the API and don’t directly access the hardware or contain assembler code.

I have a Pro Micro sitting around and one of these SH1106 oleds incoming, would like to build one of my own Arduboy compatible

@MLXXXp or any other kind soul, could you please guide me on how to make the SH1106 modifications to the library?

I haven’t looked closely into how to do this, since I don’t have a SH1106 based display to test with. This topic has some discussion about it:

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This tutorial worked for me


What would happen if a non-5V tolerant OLED display is used with the 5V Micro or Pro-Micro? Graphical glitches? Or something worse?

I love this thread so much, it’s one of my favorite to tell people about at maker faire events.

What are thoughts if we sold a kit version?


I’d love it! As you already know, I have already developed a kit version. :wink:

Here are the files. Would you be interested to produce it or do you have something similar in mind?

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I think it would be sold with the breadboard as to use entirely off-the-shelf parts. That way should be cheapest possible and theoretically not require any soldering still.

I put mine in it’s own thread, but since we’re now posting them here, I figured I’d back fill it.

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This is my favorite thread in the community, I love seeing all these different ways the hardware is remixed. When people are learning new fabrication techniques and learning about putting these things together for the first time it’s even cooler.

You people are the best! Keep up the good work! Keep hacking and making!


The only reason I was able to create the original Arduboy prototype, or even learn about electronics or hardware was because all of the materials were open source from Adafruit and Sparkfun so I feel it’s the right thing to do to continue sharing and keeping it open. It’s not a traditional business model but I think it creates amazing communities!


Lol what if we just scaled the entire Arduboy size up to match the larger OLED’s Arduboy+? Game system the size of a notepad! haha.