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MD/BBB

BBB - Bare Bones Board

History / Design

The BBB was the first Freeduino (Arduino not designed by "the Arduino Team"), around 2007. At the time it was called the "Bare Bones Arduino" because the Arduino Team hadn't started asking people not to use not to use the term "Arduino" in their designs (hence all the "duino" suffixes later). And way before the Arduino team applied for a trademark and got rejected, and hired more lawyers and finally got their trademark; but I digress.

In any case I wanted an Arduino that would sit on a breadboard and didn't have the now somewhat infamous .060 gap between the front pins that hackers hate. Also I didn't want the FTDI chip on the board as it tends to make the Arduino boards larger, more expensive and use more power. I also wanted a board students could build themselves and hackers could easily mod or build into their own designs. So I designed a board to work with the FTDI cables that had just appeared on the market, and we used them in classes for a couple of semesters before I ever spun a board for general sale.\\
The analog-block headers had auxiliary power and ground pins to make interfacing analog sensors easy. The original analog-block had a .100" gap to polarize the header so people wouldn't get plugs in backwards. Later Brian Riley, of Wulfden.org, convinced me that the gap should be eliminated, so that a standard servo cable to could be used to interface sensors (and also servo motors - although this has some significant power limitations, so is not ideal for servos).

Over the years various tweaks have been added on such as holes that will accommodate either a TO-92 or TO-220 regulator and changing the routing of the USB power through the regulator. There was a point to that, since the current regulator tended to limit the amount of power the board asked from a USB port - with a short circuit, but the regulator would skim off a few millivolts and the board would always ending up running at 4.85 volts instead of 5 volts.

Story and documentation to be continued ...

Here are some current design files. We'll get the historical ones up here soon.


BBB Rev E files

The BBB board was designed in Osmond PCB. It's a Mac only program. There is a free version.
I have since moved on to Eagle, but I miss Osmond dearly, for the interface, which appears to have been designed by, and for, humans. :)

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Page last modified on January 12, 2012, at 10:48 AM