Cart 0

How-to Breadboard Arduino Compatible


It's no secret that around oomlout HQ we're huge fans of the open source Arduino microcontroller. The pre-made Duemilanove board is an amazing prototyping platform, but sometimes its fun to make something for yourself. What follows is a guide on how to take a breadboard and pile of components and turn it into your very own Arduino compatible machine.

All the steps below are summarized in a fun printable guide down-loadable (here)

(shameless plug)
We also sell a kit with all the parts (a breadboard, printed layout sheet, and printed guide) so you can get making right away.
(in the UK Breadboard Arduino Compatible Kit (BBAC))

The Parts

An Arduino compatible is super easy to make just over a dozen different components

Required Parts
Part Qty. Part Qty.
0 ohm Resistor 12 50mm Jumper Wire 8
560 Ohm Resistor 2 6 Pin Header (Programming) 1
10 k ohm Resistor 2 7805 5Volt Regulator 1
100 micro Farad Capacitor 2 9 volt Battery clip 1
100 nano farad capacitor 2 Atmega 168 (with Arduino bootloader) 1
22 Pico Farad capacitor 2 BBAC Sheet / Guide 1
16 MHz Crystal 1 Breadboard 1
5mm Red LED 1 Pushbutton 1
5 mm Green LED 1

The Layout Sheet and Putting Together

To make component placement easy we've drawn up a breadboard layout sheet. Simply print it out, lay it over your breadboard, and start placing components. (or if you'd like a step by step guide download the "Assembly Guide" for Lego style instructions).

Breadboard Layout Sheet (pdf) - (here)

Assembly Guide (pdf) - (here)


This is a slightly complicated step. Because we do not have any USB-serial circutry on our breadboard additional hardware is required. But do not fret you have a choice of two options, either using a spare Arduino Duemilanove board, or an FTDI USB-Serial cable.

option 1 - Using an Arduino Duemilanove Board

For this option we will use the USB circutry (and reset capacitor) present on every Duemilanove board.

Step 1 - Remove the ATMega168 Chip

Delicately pop the large chip out of its socket.

Step 2 - Connect the appropriate wires

Using jumper wires, (there are notes on the layout sheet)

  • connect digital pin 0 to digital pin 0
  • connect digital pin 1 to digital pin 1
  • connect the reset pin to the reset pin
  • connect 5V to the red rail (5V)
  • connect gnd to the blue rail (gnd)

Step 3 - Program your BBAC

You're done open up the Arduino IDE and program your BBAC the same way you did your Duemilanove board

option 2 - Using an FTDI USB-Serial Cable

This option will use an FTDI USB-Serial cable (In the UK (here) (farnell). In the US they can be found here(adafruit))

Step 1 - Plug the cable in

Plug the 6 pin female header on the end of the FTDI cable onto the 6 pin header on your BBAC (match the colors of the wires to those of the markings on the sheet)

Step 2 - Program

Next open the Arduino IDE, and program your BBAC normally. Well almost normally, you'll need to press the reset button before uploading each sketch.

What's next...

Congrats if all has gone well you have yourself a fully functioning Arduino compatible on a breadboard. (if it hasn't worked don't fret send an e-mail to and we'll try our very best to help you get it working).

Open Source

We like to be as open as we can be at oomlout, in keeping with this attitude all the design files (sketchup models, corel draw layouts, pdfs etc.) can be found at (if you feel something is missing or would like a file in a different format drop as a message ( and we'll try and help you out.)

Older Post Newer Post