Build Your Own Atom Nano Board
by William Smith
The Basic programming language is the perfect software structure for the beginner.
We’ve seen the popularity of other open source platforms such as Arduino which is
based on the C language gain popularity, but C can be a bit intimidating. So, to do
our part to help beginners, we have made our popular Ultimate OEM board that
works with the Atom Nano open source.
Imicrocontrollers from Basicmicro.com. In this month’s
article, we’ll use the Atom Nano 28-pin chip and build
n my last column, I introduced the various Atom Nano
our own Ultimate OEM Atom Nano development board.
Many hobbyists prefer to build their own project boards
and this is a great way for a beginner to get started. By
building your own board, you learn about all of the parts.
So, if something fails later on, you’ll have a good idea
where to look to fix it. If you don’t want to make your own
board however, you can buy the fully assembled version or
you can purchase the kit version from www.Beginner
Electronics.com. We’ll be offering just the circuit board in
the near future.
If you decide to build your own board, we have the
ExpressPCB files for the board available at a special link.
Look for the SERVO Magazine icon. You will need to
Figure 1. Ultimate OEM Module circuit board.
72 SERVO 06.2009
download the ExpressPCB software — which is available for
free from www.expresspcb.com — in order to produce
the boards. The Ultimate OEM circuit board outline is
shown in Figure 1.
The schematic for the board is shown in Figure 2.
It consists of the Atom chip at the center and then the
surrounding support circuitry. The programming
communication is handled through the RS-232 circuit. The
board has a 5V regulator and on/off switch. The power can
come from a 2.1 mm power port for plugging in a power
adapter or it can be powered from the header Vin and Vss
pins. All the I/O is brought out to a single in-line header
that is soldered at a 90 degree angle to the board. This
allows the board to be plugged into a breadboard easily.
There is a provision for a resonator, but the Atom Nano
runs on an internal oscillator so this really isn’t needed. A
reset switch is wired to the MCLR pin. Jumpers are also
included for connecting the hardware serial port pins to the
RS-232 circuitry instead of the programming pins. Finally, a
couple pre-wired LEDs and a switch are connected to the
B0, B1, and B2 pins, and a three-pin header is connected to
the RB7 pin for a serial LCD. The original design was done
by elproducts.com which we reprint with permission here.
The Parts List is included here in case you want to
build this on a breadboard or your own circuit board.
Let’s go through a quick run-down of the assembly
instructions to demonstrate how easy this board is to build
for most electronic hobbyists.
•Insert 16-pin and 28-pin sockets in place and solder.
•Insert R1 through R7 in place and solder. They can be
inserted in either direction.
•Insert C5 in place and solder. It is not polarized so it can
go in either direction.
•Insert LEDs in LD1, LD2, and LD3 and solder. Make sure