Arduino Forum

Forum 2005-2010 (read only) => Hardware => Bugs & Suggestions => Topic started by: ZNahum on Oct 05, 2010, 09:53 pm

Title: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: ZNahum on Oct 05, 2010, 09:53 pm
Though the Arduino is a great device, I would like to see these improvements in the next generation of Arduinos:

Mini-USB port: Though the classic Type A USB is used for printers so people generally have them, they are bulky and generally do not have wall socks to power them unless a wall powered USB adapter is used. The Mini-USB is much more common being used with mobile phones and small devices. With this port we can use our mobile phone chargers to power our Arduinos and have a smaller less bulky port.

20 MHz Clock: Fast clock means faster calculations. Though it may use more power, it would be nice to still have an option to have then to be stuck with just a 16 MHz clock.

Crystal instead of Ceramic: Crystals are more expensive and require external capacitors, some of us like to have precision with our designs. >:(

Please post any recommendations you have as well :D
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: kg4wsv on Oct 07, 2010, 03:34 pm
Quote
Mini-USB port:

I've gotta disagree with this one.  Yeah, it's smaller, but in my experience much much less reliable, especially in situations where I'm hacking with lots of wires and board and parts jumbled together, i.e. a typical arduino session.

I will admit a prejudice for crystals vs. ceramic resonators and a desire for 20MHz operation.

-j
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: pluggy on Oct 07, 2010, 03:50 pm
I assume you're talking about the Uno in relation to crystals, every version of the Arduino up to the Uno had crystal oscillators.  I've no problem with ceramics on small/cheap clones but the real thing should have a crystal. Changing the clock speed is going to kill a good proportion of third party libraries and cause general mayhem with compatibility with all earlier models, I doubt the average arduino user whose sketches are full of delay() is likely to notice the improvement. So leave it where it is. Another vote for the standard A-B USB lead here.....
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: keeper63@cox.net on Oct 07, 2010, 08:39 pm
Quote
Another vote for the standard A-B USB lead here.....


There are only a couple of reasons that I can see the justification for the mini-USB connector:

1) Availability of power adaptors/wall warts with a mini-USB plug output.
2) No worries about a shield "shorting out" with the mini-USB jack.

Now, number 2 can be eliminated fairly easily with good board design and/or a piece of electrical tape; kinda hackish, but it works.

Number 1 does have a bit of merit, though. Maybe instead of changing out the connector, a source of wall warts could be found that have a Type-A jack? I know they exist (or existed in the past), because my USB Cybiko had such a setup (although I think its total current output was only 200mA?). So - maybe if we can find a source of such jack (with a larger current output - say 500mA), then we can have the best of both worlds, so to speak.

Maybe tonight I'll try out that Cybiko wall wart and see how well it can power my Arduino (It'll probably work OK, as long as the current needs are low)...

:)
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: macegr on Oct 08, 2010, 01:29 am
Mini-USB is the main reason I buy Seeeduinos (other than a low profile, cleaner layout, side-accessible reset button, reliable manual power source switch, standard header spacing option). I have maybe three USB-B cables, but countless Mini-USB-B cables and power adapters.
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: retrolefty on Oct 08, 2010, 02:53 am
I too like the smaller USB connectors and was also one of the reasons I purchased the Seeeduino Mega over the Arduino Mega board.

Lefty

Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: westfw on Oct 08, 2010, 04:01 am
I haven't noticed that mini-usb is any less "reliable" than regular USB...

Perhaps jump all the way to micro-usb?  From assorted sources, it's supposed to "improve" on mini-usb in most aspects (but hasn't caught on as much.)
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: kg4wsv on Oct 08, 2010, 02:03 pm
Quote
Maybe instead of changing out the connector, a source of wall warts could be found that have a Type-A jack?

Like those that come with the iPhone and iPod Touch?  I here there are a few of those around...

dealextreme has them, rated at 1000mA even, for around US$3.

Type B seems to me to have a "more positive" (less negative?) attachment than the mini connectors.

I've had enough problems with friction-fit cables that I want a positive latch on every connection - screws (ala DB9) or some other latch (like the RJ series tabs).

-j
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: UltraMagnus on Oct 09, 2010, 08:42 pm
Quote
Maybe tonight I'll try out that Cybiko wall wart and see how well it can power my Arduino (It'll probably work OK, as long as the current needs are low)...


Mine charges my bluetooth mouse just fine, It should have an output current at least as good as a PC usb port (500mA officially).
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: sleahey on Oct 10, 2010, 01:32 pm
Micro OTG B would be best if looking to converge onto a connector type. This connector is the becoming standard for mobiles.  The main difference between the micro and mini is for lowest profile, i.e. as needed in mobiles.

Regarding the comment about reliability, its my experience that the SMT connectors are unreliable where they solder to the PCB.
This is especially the case with USB seeing as they are unplugged and plugged in again, and again, and again!

So, my top pick would be a Through hole Micro (less preferably Mini) OTG B connector.
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: kg4wsv on Oct 10, 2010, 03:44 pm
Quote
its my experience that the SMT connectors are unreliable where they solder to the PCB.


It's my experience that they are unreliable where the plug meets the socket long before any solder joints fail.  Very small dimensions coupled with mass-production tolerances and low cost manufacturing do not combine to give a reliable connection.

-j
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: sleahey on Oct 11, 2010, 03:24 am
could always put on one of each... or possibly put down the second SMT footprint but don't populate in production - only there for those who really want it

truth be told, where I work we are sticking with the standard B connector because it truly is a robust connector in all aspects...
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: udoklein on Oct 12, 2010, 11:40 pm
@ZNahum: "precision" is not an absolute term but a relative thing. How much precision do you really need? A resonator, a crystal, an OXCO, a frequency normal, a GPS locked frequency normal? More precision usually means higher price and often higher power consumption.

Most "precision" requirements for the Arduino can probably be handled most appropriate with an external high precision RTC.

Udo
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: apollo21 on Oct 13, 2010, 03:39 am
I also like MiniUSB-B.
I have another board, Arduino USB and not MiniUSB-B was replaced with the basics.
Universal Japan board has a 1.27mm pitch
Able mounting the connectors are relatively easy to use staggered diagonally.
I can see a picture of shaking.
(http://den-nekonoko.blog.so-net.ne.jp/_images/blog/_615/den-nekonoko/P1010471.JPG)
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: Cooluser23 on Nov 11, 2010, 01:10 am
+1 Please add a Mini USB plug

I have several Mini USB cables laying around, but I have to unplug my Printer whenever I use the Arduino with the Large USB - B cable.
(I refuse to buy one as THE ONLY DEVICE I use besides my laser printer that needs the cable is my ARDUINO)

Not to mention i have countless wall warts (Cell phone chargers) that use that plug, not to mention car chargers, that make in vehicle operation very easy.

Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: Cooluser23 on Nov 11, 2010, 02:09 am
The micro plug would be nice as well, but I'm not sure it has enough market share (beyond cell phones) to warrant it. (Despite being higher quality, smaller, and more durable)


If that helps a bit with the debate between Mini vs. Micro USB, here's a quick tally I did by thinking of devices I own.

Inventory of Large USB type B devices:

1 laser printer

If I'd do a random inventory of items that use Mini USB I'd come up with:
4 Cameras
1 Radar detector
3 portable navigation devices (Garmin Nuvi, TomTom, Mio)
2 external hard drives
2 Blackberries
2 Ipod chargers
1 mini speaker system
__
15 devices that I can think of of the top of my head.

Micro USB
1 Droid cell phone
1 external hard drive
_
2 devices that I can think of.


In the end, maybe an online vote might help sway the designers of Arduinos. Please understand that having a large plug is not a dealbreaker, but it is an inconvenience.
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: frank26080115 on Nov 15, 2010, 07:36 am
I wonder if the Arduino team has taken any hints from any derivative designs

http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/seeeduino-v22-atmega-328p-p-669.html?cPath=79_80

mini-USB connector since USB-B is too tall for bigger shields

reset button moved to the side so shields don't cover the button

extra row of headers with standard spacing instead of weird spacing so people can make their own shields out of perf board

Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: jim_h on Nov 18, 2010, 09:26 am
I'd prefer micro USB, but I'm willing to settle for mini USB.  It's the one detail on the Arduino that bothers me enough to consider clones.  (I like the Freetronics clone design.)

I'm a complete hardware newbie, so I can't even imagine constructing my own cable to interface with the USB port.

I'd be interested in having RTC onboard, along with networking.
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: yair on Dec 16, 2010, 10:41 pm
please consider fixing the digital pin spacing
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v315/pixelpusher/arduinoFai.jpg)
probably will never happen as it will break shield compatibility
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: robtillaart on Dec 17, 2010, 01:02 pm
Quote
I'd be interested in having RTC onboard

I double that!,
A battery holder and the holes for an I2C RTC eg ds1307 wouldn't raise the price and if one needs it it can be included.


Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: AltairLabs on Jan 05, 2011, 03:26 pm
FWIW from Wikipedia
Quote
# The newer Micro-USB receptacles are designed for up to 10,000 cycles of insertion and removal between the receptacle and plug, compared to 1500 for the standard USB and 5000 for the Mini-USB receptacle. This is accomplished by adding a locking device and by moving the leaf-spring connector from the jack to the plug, so that the most-stressed part is on the cable side of the connection. This change was made so that the connector on the less expensive cable would bear the most wear instead of the more expensive micro-USB device.


Also the big USB has same problem as ethernet, without spacer posts between boards the connector shell can short out the board above.
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: WizenedEE on Jan 10, 2011, 12:47 am
Quote

There are only a couple of reasons that I can see the justification for the mini-USB connector:

1) Availability of power adaptors/wall warts with a mini-USB plug output.
2) No worries about a shield "shorting out" with the mini-USB jack.


The one I'm thinking of is that it's so hard to plug in the cable. This combined with lack of good ways to mount the arduino mean that if I don't hold the arduino while plugging in the cable, it is likely to break the double sided tape I use to hold it down.

Also, my connector extends 2.2 inches from the end of the USB connector, and 2.2 inches from the end of the arduino board itself. That means I can't have anything for 2 inches after the end of the arduino, which is quite hard in my one foot square projects.
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: bubulindo on Jan 11, 2011, 07:16 am
Adding a jumper to enable Auto reset instead of cutting a track.
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: AltairLabs on Jan 13, 2011, 04:48 pm
How about just preventing "short circuit" to board above.

If they dont go with smaller USB, then just a sticky to put on top of the connector.  I insulated the tops of my USB and ethernet shield connectors with heavy tape, but one of the thin rubber bump feet included would work as well.

I vote against fixing the non standard header spacing, unless someone has a time machine that one falls under "great idea, but too late now"
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: MarkT on Jan 15, 2011, 11:45 pm
Changing to 20MHz is a nice idea but not practical, too disruptive a change, too many people's stuff would break (remember bootloaded 328's have the 16MHz assumption programmed in)  Having the option to buy a board with no regulator and crystal would allow people to configure their own clock and voltage - or these could be jumper options.  More and more stuff is 3V3 only these days...

In longer term there will be a next generation with more processing power and memory, almost certainly an ARM core I reckon, but that's not the next iteration.

It would be fun to have an LED on every digital pin for debugging/visualization - low current, possibly jumper enabled.  There's acres of space on the board next to the digital pins crying out for a good use!  
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: CrossRoads on Jan 18, 2011, 08:12 am
The gang at freetronics provided the option to do somethin with that space

(http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0045/8932/products/tt_top_01_480w_large.jpg?1292717337)
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: CrossRoads on Jan 18, 2011, 12:35 pm
Heck, maybe I'll try my own. I prefer 5V wallwarts, skip the meager power of onboard regulator

(http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/328_standalone_expansion_schematic.jpg)

fit 2 on a 3.8" x 2.5" pcb, just need to finish up powere/ground on top & bottom layer

(http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/328_with_expansion.jpg)

Get 6 PCBs made up for $60 from epxresspcb, research prices for parts, all thru-hole components.  
Then bag it all and get $10 ardweeny's from solarbotics and a piece of perfboard to put it on :-)
Title: Re: Recommendations for next iteration of Arduino
Post by: smeezekitty on Jan 19, 2011, 06:30 am
FWIW, Ceramic resonators are alot more stable and accurate then there made out to be.
I wish they would add a 5-6v zener diode across the 5v line with a fuse/circuit breaker/resistor so if the 5v line goes over a certain voltage it will either clamp or blow the fuse and protect the hard to fix surface mount chips.