When I want to finalize a project, do I have to use arduino, or do I have to buy separate PCB and the required components. I guess it comes down to that final question of, "How do I get the code into the new project" if I don't want to use my arduino. I feel kinda bad that I paid so much for my arduino, I would hate to purchase another arduino just to create a new project. Is there any way around this or am i stuck making final projects with my arduino?
Are adverse to handwiring a pcb with an ATmega328 ? I have one breadboarded and there’s not much I can do with an UNO that I can’t do with that. It doesn’t have the ICSP connector but I could add it with a ribbon cable if I wanted to. If you built a pcb you could add that as well as a 5v regulator. The FTDI chip is only available in surface mount so you could just add the 6-pin FTDI interface header as shown here (see attached schematic)
Then you can use an FTDI BASIC Breakout bd.
Probably the easiest option is to purchase a cheap Arduino clone from China from eBay (it may take several weeks to arrive). This can then become part of your final project and free up your original Arduino for the next project. But you will learn nothing new doing this.
So its up to you to decide which way to go. To you want to move on and start a new project you have in mind, or take the opportinity to learn about using stripboard, or pcb design, or icsp programming, or miniturising your project....
Tell us more about your project, with schematic diagram, sketch etc. and we can advise options and you can decide what to do.
Do you need an UNO or can you use a $3 chinese Pro-Mini clone ?