4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 16, 2010 2:23 AM by WestfW

    Popular ARDUINO Boards

      MC-Nove (Arduino-Compatible-Duemilanove 18134121813412), MC-Mega (Arduino-Compatible-Mega, 18134131813413), MC-Nano (Arduino-Compatible-Nano, 18134141813414)MultiComp and CadSodt are members of the Premier-Farnell Group of Companies

      Arduino boards have proved to be very popular with hobbysts, students and engineers alike. This is so primarily due to their simplicity, functionality but more to the point, due to the open-source prototyping platform.


      The boards are available as pre-built units or can be self made to suit from the readily available information from the forum, as well as with the use of the EAGLE CadSoft files. Components required for self-built boards are readily available from any one of the Premier-Farnell's divisions for electronic components distribution.


      Arduino boards are available from a number of outlets including group of Premier-Farnell Companies, namely, Farnell, Newark, Premier-Electronics for the MultiComp versions.  Premier-Farnell took a conscious decision to offer their own version of the boards, proving that exact form-fit-function alternatives are possible to make and distribute, hence the Arduino-compatible boards from 'MultiComp' , including the Duemilanove (MC-Nove), Mega (MC-Mega) and Nano (MC-Nano). The popularity of the 3 boards mentioned above is easy to understand when one sees the number of projects being based upon them


      There are multiple versions of the Arduino boards, including the popular basic USB board, the Duemilanove, based on the Atmel ATmega328. The Duemilanove connects to the computer with a standard USB cable, containing the necessary parts to program and is extendable with a variety of 'shield' boards.  Shields are boards that mount onto the Arduino board and extend the functionality of Arduino. Today, there are a number of -duino shields available in various forms and guise.  The interesting question is .... which ones would prove to be useful to the wider audience so that Premier-Farnell can provide MultiComp versions of the same.


      A number of shields often seen posted on the various supporting sites include Arduino protoshield, WiFi, Motor-Drive, ethernet, midi, xBee, lilypad, to mention some.  Equally, it would prove useful to receive suggestions for lower-cost alternatives to the other Arduino Original Boards.

        • Re: Popular ARDUINO Boards

          >> Premier-Farnell took a conscious decision to offer their own version of  the boards


          To what extent is MultiComp and/or Premier-Farnell returning value to the the Arduino community?

          (Some arduino-clone vendors pay voluntary royalties.  Some offer particular features or are sold

          in new markets.  Since the whole "open source hardware" world is sort of feeling its way toward

          acceptable use scenarios and such, I think that it is especially important that major players in the

          game are particularly explicit with respect to what they are doing...)


          (this sort of "validation" from the professional community is nice, whatever the details...)

            • Re: Popular ARDUINO Boards

              <To what extent is MultiComp and/or Premier-Farnell returning value to the the Arduino community?>


              While I cannot speak for either company, I can speak for using one which I ordered from a hobbyist site with some concern as to the after-sales support, etc.


              More established industrial electronics marketing companies does make it more reassuring, and having their own version could be regarded as wanting to control the quality as well as the supply chain.


              I think the give-back is the opening up of a much wider potential customer base to the arduino advantages, thus helping to popularize the open-source project.


              Also, if/when the production or volume demands heat up, the company would most likely have a better chance to manage the supply chain and meet the demands.


              Just a thought, hope it helps.

              • Re: Popular ARDUINO Boards

                Very valid points made.

                MultiComp's contribution towards the community is to attract even more users and to take Arduino to a wider audience, world-wide, making the boards readily available.

                More to the point, a number of workshops were recently run to introduce EAGLE, the CadSoft circuit design package, using Arduino as the preferred training subject. This can only be good for the community, especially when CadSoft offers the free license edition, 'FREEMIUM', allowing users to learn and take advantage of the CAD package, developing their own Arduino-compatibles/clones or even new-duinos.


                It would be good to know what boards would be of interest other than those made available thus far, similar to the existing in the market and/or, for that matter, ones based on new ideas.

                Multicomp is open to ideas.

                  • Re: Popular ARDUINO Boards

                    It would be interesting to see OTHER vendors offer demo boards in Arduino "Shield" format.

                    There are plenty of demo boards for all sorts of chips (sensors, output devices, voltage regulators,

                    and memories come to mind) that are in essentially "random" layouts, and it would be "neat" to be

                    able to plug them into an Arduino and poke at them with a familar software environment.


                    I realize that this is a bit of a problem given that Arduio is currently an Atmel platform, but I

                    don't understand why at least Atmel themselves doesn't have an Arduino-compatible shield

                    showcasing their touch (capacative sensor) products (as an obvious example.)


                    For that matter, while I dearly love the current trend to USB-stick eval platforms for CPUs

                    (cheap and quick to try out, etc), any cpu eval board that fits on a USB stick ought to fit on

                    an Arduino format board, and would immediately have access to those shields and things

                    (even if there was no Arduino software compatibility at all.) (I'm not sure how the Official

                    Arduino Team would feel about these, though.)