Problem: I like the Arduino, I like all the arduino clones, I like the ATMEGA329P. But I hate how all PCB dev boards have these dinky female headers. Yes there are screw shields but that does not address the issue of a more, drop-in ready-to-go industiral-ish PCB the ATMEGA328 could benefit from. Furthuremore I am always bothered by the puny DC regular on most Arduino Unos; the DC input was 6-9v on average. Why not 12V? I have soooo many 12DC adapters. Adding a beefy 5V regualtor is also on the list to address.
Background: It's been a while since I used Eagle CAD...
I needed some basis to build a list of features, so I focused on something that surpirsed me with its popularity- my Venduino. This PCB is a good drop-in to get the Venduino wired , but it's also an excellent basis for any microcontroller project. Stuff I tried to make as a 'feature' for this arduino-compatible board:
If you can stand proud at version 1.0 at anything I commend you. This is not the case. I made one schematic error on this guy. Issue was FDTI VCC connection does not hold Resest IO to VCC. Jumper wire on the underside solves this issue, but at the cost of my pride. So that gets fixed in the next rev. I added more screw terminals; one for Reset and another GND for good luck. However, there remains on bigger issue... that 5110LCD.
The 5110 LCD pictured is from Adafruit and it has a special pinout. In fact all the 5110 breakout PCBs: Adafruit, Sparkfun, everything else on ebay, all have their own pinout. Adafruit's 5110 LCD is $10/ea, so that kinda kills it. Making your own PCB in small batches is not cheap, we must cut costs where ever possible. I bought 10 of some other 5110LCD from a seller in China, for a more palpable price of $1.90/each with free shipping. When thye arrive, I am going to change that pinout so these are a direct plug in to my board. From my skimming of ebay 5110LCD, this pinout is slightly more popular ( I assume they are MFG in bigger quantities). "But Ryan, you can change the pins in code for five of the data lines. Why would the physical location matter?" It wouldnt if VCC (3.3V) and GND werent moved all other the place with these 5110 LCDs. It's frustating to make a board without a standardized pinout for your accessories. Lesson here would be " then don't make a board". Yet here we are.
What can I use this PCB for? Lots of stuff, but in keeping the spirit of this site's videogame something realted, you can make a N64 controller testing station. Let me explain how this came about. I was very intruiged when this N64 controller tester video showed up in my Youtube feed. This is the same person who was able to reflash GB carts among other things (link goes to the github post). Thought it would be neat to have a PCB for this, but that wasnt enough reason to make a PCB. Fast foward a few months later and the Venduino gets all this attention. Why not make a PCB that shares both puposes.