I read too much of the Internet every day, but it’s finally paid off. I happened to catch a post on Hack-a-Day about an awesome giveaway right as it was posted for a microcontroller development board. An interesting one, too – the Basic Micro ATOM Nano.
The dev boards come complete with an LCD header, a small solderless breadboard, USB connectivity, a pair of servo connectors, and more! The Nano 28 is based on the PIC16F886 microcontroller, and features an 8MHz clock, 24 I/O pins, 14K of flash memory, 368 bytes of memory, and 256 bytes of EEPROM storage.
The total value of the package is just around $50, so this is an incredible deal! Basic Micro will even ship your kit to you for free via USPS.
Not too bad. There were 55 available and I snagged one, and they’re now out of stock and won’t be replenished so I’m assuming they were clearing out these discontinued models to the community. I’ve been wanting a microcontroller board for a while, too – but the investment in an Arduino was more than I wanted to go for at once.
This changes that, and with USB connectivity and a nice looking IDE it should be pretty easy to write for. Microcontroller programming is a new thing for me and I’ll have to learn what’s possible with it. With a lot of IO pins but very little memory, this looks like it might be good for some kind of display or visualization or to send and receive data from sensors but not much more – that’s a tiny amount of memory by any standard, the equivalent of just a few sentences of text. We’ll see what’s possible. I like the integrated solderless breadboard area – this will make it easy to try out a few ideas immediately.
This might make a fun servo clock platform. I’ve had it on hand for a little while now but only just dug it out of the box I stored it in to start messing with, hopefully I’ll be able to start developing with it sooner than later.