Should we have a 'homemade' category for stuff about homemade Arduboys?

(Pharap) #1

The $12 Arduboy thread has become very popular.
As of now it has nearly 400 posts, and the limit is 500 so it’s going to run out of space in time.

But really the thread is a bit of a mish-mash.
Lots of different people discussing different setups, and chains of people asking for advice and things.

We don’t try to squash everyone’s games into a single thread, so it seems odd to try to squash everyone’s homemade Arduboys in a single thread.

Given that making your own Arduboy is such a popular idea, would it not make sense to have a category for it, so each person’s project can have its own thread?

What should such a category be called?

  • Homemade
  • Homebrew
  • DIY
  • Homemade Arduboys
  • Arduboy Homebrew
  • Arduboy DIY
  • Arduboy Clones
  • Other (Please Comment)

0 voters

(Scott) #2

I think so but lately I’ve felt “Homebrew” might be a better term.

It would be good if this new category contained a topic or topics that give specific instructions on how to wire the various Arduino boards commonly used, and also for wiring the various display modules available. These would be kept concise, with little extraneous content, and kept closed, with a link to a separate discussion thread, like we did for the Quick Start Guide, Game File Format Guide, etc. If something was posted to a discussion thread that made sense to be in the relevant instruction topic, a moderator could add it.

Of course, as proposed, the category would also contain topics to showcase and discuss individual projects.

(Scott R) #3

I thought about this awhile ago a sticky or locked topic containing pin outs would make it easier for users.

A homebrew or projects sub forum would be great and would give some room for members to post and discuss other stuff they are working on as I feel a general area is more for off topic chatter.

(Pharap) #4

I almost used the word “homebrew”, but the one thing that puts me off using the word “homebrew”’ is because it’s commonly used to mean using security exploits to hack into popular commercial consoles (like PS Vita, 3DS etc), so there’s room for confusion.

In fact the relevant Wikipedia article explicitly defines homebrew as:

Homebrew is a term frequently applied to video games or other software produced by consumers to target proprietary hardware platforms (usually with hardware restrictions) not typically user-programmable or that use proprietary storage methods.

Obviously, such homebrew isn’t entirely legal, so it might be best to avoid using the term ‘homebrew’ to avoid connotation with potentially illegal activity.

That’s why I think either “homemade” or perhaps “Arduboy DIY” might be better names. They might not be as snappy, but they carry no connotation of illegality.

Ultimately only @bateske can actually add categories so he’ll have the final say in what it’s called, but to make matters more organised I think I’ll edit a poll into the main post. That’ll help gather opinions without causing a flood of comments.

Precisely, hopefully including tables and diagrams for the various pinouts and notes on anything else that needs to be changed.

I’m sure we’ve got lots of capable people willing to donate some info.

I would also hope that there would also be some beginner friendly explanations for the less experienced as well as the typical technical stuff that experienced tinkerers can just glance at and understand.

(Scott) #5

It may help to also have an “index” topic, containing only descriptions and links to the instructional topics.

(Scott) #6

Well, I’m sure “hacking” an actual Arduboy would be an acceptable topic in this category.

(Scott R) #7

Maybe a gallery type thread could also work as some form of index for clones.

That homebrew wiki is just utter crap and jumbles warez with legit homebrew.

You could essentially say @Mr.Blinky hacked the arduboy by reversing the bootloader.

(Pharap) #8

“Legit homebrew” still can be illegal depending on how it’s done.

Legally you’re allowed to modify your console because you own it, but you don’t necessarily own the software (including the OS and the firmware).

According to both UK and US law it’s illegal to bypass copy prevention mechanisms, regardless of whether piracy is your intent or not.
(Found an interesting comment about it here.)

The legality of homebrew is very muggy/grey, it’s hard to say one way or the other. It seems that in some cases it’s legal and just voids the warranty, in others the homebrew itself isn’t illegal but the process required to get the homebrew running is.

I’m not saying that hombrew ouright is or isn’t illegal or whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, what I’m saying is that at best it’s a grey area so the word ‘homebrew’ carries those connotations with it.

Making Arduboy clones is most certainly not illegal so it’s preferable to not link making clones to a word that carries connotations of something that’s a legal grey area.

All that aside, the most common application of the term “homebrew” is used to mean putting homemade software on proprietary hardware rather than building clones of proprietary hardware, so calling Arduboy clones ‘homebrew’ would essentially be inventing a new meaning or at least extending the existing meaning.

True, though the Arduino github page has source code for Caterina, so I would assume it’s not some legally-protected proprietary secret unless the Arduboy’s version of Caterina is non-standard.

Yes it would be.

‘Hacking’ is a vague term. In that sense the ‘hacking’ wouldn’t be trying to bypass any copy-protection mechanism, it would just be reverse engineering an open source console.


@Pharap I think there’s nothing illigal about Atari 2600 Homebrew.

But it’s popularly assosiated with negative things.

Before I used Arduboy Clones to describe self made Arduboys. But Arduboy Homebrew sounds more friendly.
‘Home made’ sounds something more for cookie recipes or so :stuck_out_tongue:

(Pharap) #10

Probably not given that some games have been endorsed by activision, and it likely didn’t have any copy protection. Atari didn’t practise region locking either, so there’s little to circumvent in terms of software, most of the hard part is creating the hardware cartridges.

It depends on who you ask.

From the point of view of people who aren’t technologically inclined it means illegally hacking into other computer systems and nothing else, but from the point of view of someone who is technologically inclined it has a wide array of meanings depending on the context.

Originally, back in the 60s, ‘hacking’ meant something quite different.
Back then ‘cracking’ was used for what is referred to as ‘hacking’ now (i.e. the illegal kind).

RFC 1392 (1993) defines ‘hacker’ in the traditional sense as:

A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the
internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in
particular. The term is often misused in a pejorative context,
where “cracker” would be the correct term.

But even when considering hacking as ‘hacking into a system’, then there’s whitehat hacking vs blackhat hacking (and greyhat hacking).

Cookies aren’t “friendly”?

To me homebrew also sounds like alchol production at home, which is its original meaning.
(And what it still means to the non-technologically inclined - it’s quite popular in Britain because the laws are fairly lax and you can get kits for it.)

Homemade applies to everything from cakes to bikes to toys to hoverboards.

So basically it’s biscuits or moonshine.

(Scott R) #11

Just call it the nuts n bolts section and be done with it.

Wait now it sounds like a car or meccano forum :joy:.

We could always call them compatibles like good old honest Pete.

(Pharap) #12

Maybe we should just call them “Petes”.

His computers might be dodgy, but at least he admits he doesn’t know if it’s illegal, gotta admire that honesty.

Whoever wrote the code that calculates the percentages for the polls did a terrible job:


I’m not sure if our votes count for 1% less than everyone elses or if someone else’s counts 1% more.

(Felipe Manga) #13

I voted on homemade mostly because homebrew is for software. I’ve never seen it for hardware so a homebrew section would look like it was for games/apps, not hardware clones.


Voted for Homebrew, because:

(Celine) #15

i think @MLXXXp’s vote counts 1% more

(Pharap) #16


(In case the reference is to obscure, see here.)

(Scott R) #17

I finally voted although before it’s final I would like to clarify if this new section would be Arduboy specific or somewhere members can post their electronics projects, diy forges and other homemade stuff.

I should add that a general projects section would enrich the forum and allow members to further connect.

Maybe something like


  • Arduboy Projects

  • Members projects

(Pharap) #18

Originally I was only proposing a place to stick all the Arduboy clones, but it’s true that would be good.

Maybe we ought to have a DIY/Maker section and the Arduboy Clones/Homemade Arduboys (or whatever it ends up being called) could be a sub-section.

(Pharap) #19

I wonder if @bateske has seen this yet?

(Kevin) #21

Yep, it’s a pretty good suggestion. I’ll look at doing it soon. Probably could have been done a long time ago to give more individual attention to each creation. At the same time this does provide a sort of like “images” thread of stuff people have made.