designs and distributes Arduino compatible boards with softwares, that is featuring a microcontroller and the connectors and peripherals needed to connect the board to a computer and easily make leisure or professional projects. Our goal is to provide you with electronic circuits to build the best open source Arduino based projects possible. One key concept of Arduino is the possibility to associate many boards together thanks to a couple of interfaces available. You can now benefit both from the versatility of microcontroller based circuits and from the very high performance of specialized boards.
Pandauino? is launching an Arduino compatible clock generator board on Kiskstarter.
This board can provide 3 clocks with frequencies from 2.5 KHz up to 225 MHz. Signal strength and phase are adjustable. It is possible to sweep frequencies. It is programmable from the Arduino IDE!
Arduino compatible boards
Pandauino? chose to design products that support Arduino technology considering these should be opened and easily customizable by the user. The large Arduino community of users – experimenters – developpers allows to make personnal projects thanks to large web, hardware and software resources.
New technologies for electronic hobbyists and companies
Digital circuits are now paramount in electronics. The association of electronics and computing has greatly enhanced the possibilities and reduced the costs of electronic equipment. The component that fills the gap between analog electronics and computing is the microcontroller.
Since the beginning of the millennium the microcontroller offer has exploded and we benefit now from either very specialized microcontrollers or general-purpose devices depending mostly on their inboard peripherals and communication interfaces. Arduino has been a pioneer in offering a relatively easy to use and universal platform to use microcontrollers. Originally based on Atmega 8 bits microcontroller their offer has spanned to 32 bits Cortex SAMD microcontrollers and third-party developers have provided support for boards that are not original Arduino boards and even for other lines of microcontrollers, like the STM32 and ESP32 series (see the List of Arduino boards and compatible systems)
The manufacturers of electronic parts have followed by providing low-cost modules and software to make creative projects. Adafruit and Sparkfun have paved the way for the makers. But this fantastic, huge and low-cost offer does not solve all the problems for the makers. Projects are complex. They require to:
- Acquire some knowledge in general electronics, microcontrollers, C/C++ development, a development environment. To use a casual expression, “the cost of the entry ticket” is not low!
- Breadboard, assemble, test different modules with different boards and possibly make PCBs. All this is very interesting but time consuming if your goal is not to learn these things but create a specific project.
For these reasons many makers have been quartered to realize some usual projects like “the line following robot”, the “weather station” etc… It is one thing to copy a project that has been perfectly tweaked by a couple of developers or possibly a whole community of makers and another to create a project from scratch. And the final cost is far from low after you bought quantities of parts to test and realize that you don’t reach your goals. The usual “error” of beginners is to try to make a very complex project. It is not rare to read “I would like to develop a new kind of CNC” or something like that. The other error is wanting extreme precision or performance. This results in accumulating useless parts, spending time and money on never finished projects.
This is why the offer of Arduino compatible boards, and shields or daughter board and other modules has also exploded. But developing project by associating basic modules still is:
- Possibly very complicated
- Ill integrated: you might need a board + a shield and other external modules and power sources. What if you need to use the board for another project? The shield becomes useless. Since you always need the board plus the shield, why not integrate all together?
- Unreliable, big assemblies with wires everywhere. We see a lot of this assemblies. They are interesting to develop and test but on the long term it is going to be a pain to keep these parts floating around.
- It is costly. Each module might be cheap, when you add a board, a shield, another module, a screen, some buttons or encoders etc… and pay for shipping, the low cost rises and rises. Not speaking about spending hundreds of hours in design and development.
Pandauino.com tries to fill the gap between assembling raw components and modules and using finished proprietary devices, to allow the user to develop more complex projects. It proposes integrated devices that can be configured in the Arduino IDE easily. All the basic aspects of powering, arranging modules, connecting and programing them have been already studied. The products are mostly tools (frequency counter, power monitor, clock generator) and also some Arduino compatible barebones that have been somewhat abandoned in the rush for the latest technologies while they offer very interesting characteristics (644/1284 Narrow) or that are not mainstream Arduino boards because they have third-party support while they offer high capabilities (STM32).
Most of these boards are using some standard or third-party libraries, plus another layer of code provided by Pandauino? to offer devices that benefit from:
- Arduino compatibility
- Easiness of use
- Providing more advanced functions than barebones. Typically what you would find on a shield.
- Already fully integrated in small, power saving boards. No problem of bad power, bunches of cables, unreliable connections and space consuming association of modules. For example adding an LCD screen onboard allows to get rid of 16 floating wires (!), and secures the connection.
My offer of Arduino compatible boards is relatively new and hopefully will be enriched soon but I hope you will already find some devices that will get your attention. The blog section also provides some explanations of key concepts that are used in my projects or very often used in Arduino projects.