Arduino Uno and Neeeew York City!

Arduino Uno in Stock at Solarbotics!We’re back from the Open Source Hardware Summit and the Maker Faire! Did lots; learned lots; got lots of touristy things done too.

One of the main highlights was meeting and listening to talks by three of the principle members of the Arduino team.  They took pity on English-speakers, and named the new revision the Arduino “UNO” which we now have in stock, along with the upgraded Arduino Mega 2560. Here (in short) are the principle differences between the Duemilanove and the new Uno:

  • It uses the same microcontroller as before, but is on a new re-branded board (“Uno”) with slicker packaging & graphics. Oh, and a logo too!
  • The pin lables are a bit tighter, and better show how they are used (hardware PWM is marked with a “~”)
  • Stickers! And neat paperwork explaining warrantee, how it was made and tested, and how each purchase helps protect a 1/2 square meter of Madagascar forest. Cool.
  • CE / FCC certification. This is an important one, which assures electronics performance & noise control. Not an inexpensive proposition – kudos on getting this certification!
  • Smaller bootloader – gives you more space for code for sketches!
  • Better 3.3V regulator on board (old 3.3V came from FTDI chip, which was a bit wimpy)
  • MOST IMPORTANT CHANGE: Replacement of the FTDI USB/TTL interface chip with an ATmega8U2 microcontroller. It’s apparently cheaper, faster and definitely a whole lot more flexible. There’s even a separate ICSP header on the UNO to let you reprogram this second microcontroller to make your Arduino UNO appear to be something vastly different USB device to your operating system.

The Open Source Hardware Summit was a busy day (went by very quick) and in general was quite well attended. Practically all the rock-stars of the genre were there, and all the talks were well worth the price of admission. We were happy to put our sponsorship behind an event of this quality, as it brought out very interesting discussions. I won’t delve too deep into it here – view the archived video of the event, and see for yourself!