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How can a project be made permanent? Instead of investing an entire Arduino into the project, are there any ways to separate and utilize the active components with functioning code?
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How can a project be made permanent? Instead of investing an entire Arduino into the project, are there any ways to separate and utilize the active components with functioning code?

It's pretty simple and straight forward. Do a search on "Arduino standalone" and you should get more then enough examples on how to proceed.

Lefty
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The big question is whether you need that USB interface to the PC.  If you do, you might as well shop for a cheap "Freeduino" board like the ones sold by NKC.

If not, all you really need is the CPU chip, a crystal or resonator, and a few caps and resistors.  Some people just solder a socket and a few parts to a stripboard or other prototyping board, and transfer the CPU chip from the Arduino board to the project.  A search for "stripboard arduino" should get you some links to those.

For permanent projects that don't need a shield, I like the RBBB: it's a cheap way to get the "core" functions in a compact, easy-to-build form, and the single-row headers make it easy to plug into a larger assembly.
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You can also get something like a solarbotics ardweeny and plug it into wirewrap sockets in your custom board.
I did that here but using a promini. I discovered the other small options after buying a bunch of them.

http://www.solarbotics.com/products/kardw


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If you need a shield then it is kinda tough.  If you don't there are several options.  The RBBB mentioned before.  Maker Shed has something similar.
http://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MKSB012

I use this for simple projects
http://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MKSKL4
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Quote
It's pretty simple and straight forward. Do a search on "Arduino standalone" and you should get more then enough examples on how to proceed.

Check this out: http://www.instructables.com/id/Stripboard-Arduino/
It is probably compatible with shields, although I have not tried it. It says on the last page about burning a boootloader. If I were you, I would program it with an ISP. This uses one arduino (or clone) to program another ATMEGA8, 168, 328... You can also program other ICs: check this out - http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-on-all-sorts-of-Atmels/

For the arduino -> arduino ISP programming, look here: http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoISP
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