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Turning an Arduino Nano into an Arduino Uno, with Julian Ilett

Gareth Halfacree

Julian Illet's Nano-to-Uno Ardutorial Video

An undeniable strength of the Arduino ecosystem is that it's far from one-size-fits-all. Even if you're concentrating solely on official boards, there are form factors and features aplenty to choose from - and when you expand your search to Arduino compatible designs, you'll find everything from our own Breadboard Arduino Compatible (BBAC) kit to specialist tools like the Arachnid Labs Tsunami signal generator and analyser.

Typically, though, picking and choosing between non-specialist Arduinos means making some sacrifices and tough choices. The popular Arduino Nano is a great example of this: based on the Arduino Pro Mini layout but with integrated USB connectivity, it's a small form factor alternative to the full-size Arduino Uno - but picking it means losing almost 2KB of available program storage, which can be the difference between success and failure for more complex Sketches.

Maker Julian Ilett has a solution, though: programming the Arduino Nano with an Uno bootloader, in order to unlock the extra memory of its larger stablemate. Although doing so requires access to another Arduino - or a dedicated programmer - to use as an in-system programmer (ISP), it's a relatively quick and easy method of gaining just that little bit extra capacity for your programs - and, as an added bonus, runs the USB to serial circuitry at a higher baud rate, allowing you to program the Nano at the same speed as the Uno to save time.

You can see Julian's technique, plus the results, in his latest video, part of his ongoing Ardutorials series.

The Uno has more memory and faster upload baud rate, but the Nano has a smaller form factor. Now create the ultimate Frankenduino with the best attributes of both.

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