Arduino Pro Micro with Pins out for USB

Hi All,

I've made a game controller before using the arduino pro micro small form factor and native usb capabilities.
I soldered the pro micro pins directly to the pots buttons and switches, and embeded a usb micro cable in the case that then runs out to the computer.

I want to now make a version 2 of this controller and desgin my own pcb where the arduino and components will mount and be soldered to.

For this reason and robustness I'd like to be able to route the arduino's usb 5V ground D+ and D- to the pcb, and then to a robust usb b socket on the pcb like this.

That way the cable can be removed rather than permanently attached and the connector will be more robust.

Is there any way to do this with the pro micro? or are there any other boards (mini? nano?) that have the native usb capability whilst have the usb connection as pins on the board, rather than a usb connector?

Many thanks for the help

Do you mean modifying the existing USB micro port so that it can use USB-B format? You said you have a custom PCB, so you can easily implement a new port in your custom board. Just connect the Vin pin on the micro to the 5v on the B port, ground to ground, and the micro's TX and RX pins to the TX and RX pins on the USB port.

I don't know your arduino skill level, but if you're confused, the TX and RX pins are used by the arduino for transmitting and receiving data from your computer or another arduino. Those are the pins you need (along with ground) to send data to whatever PC/console you're currently trying to control. The pins are labelled on the micro and also function as digital pins 1 and 0.

Do you have an image of your PCB, or a schematic? Remember to post your resources so it's easier for people to understand what you're trying to do. Good luck with your project!

Hi, thanks for the tips.

I have noticed that nearly all arduino boards have Tx Rx pins. I thought that these could be used as the usb's D+ and D- but upon some investigating mainly on this forum seems like that's not the case, or at least not easy to do.

I don't have a schematic or pcb because I haven't designed it because I don't know the right board to select on this issue.

My question is, is there a small arduino board that has native usb and the usb pins (red) available as normal pins (green)?

If not I'll have to use a pro micro, cut a micro usb cable and solder the D+ and D- straight to the pcb.

Sorry to leave you alone for so long, but I've been reading through many schematics and posts trying to figure this out. I recently came back to an old project where this could be useful to me, so I have an interest in solving this myself. The D+ and D- pins are not (easily) accessible on the Pro Micro, or any arduino. The only places to tap into the pins are on the actual USB port itself or the resistors attached to it.

PinoutLabels.jpg

So I have 3 ideas for you:

  1. Just attach a short USB micro wire to your pcb that you can plug into the micro. It may not be the most glamorous solution, but it should work. You would essentially be building a USB-type converter into your controller.

  2. Attach wires to the pins themselves. The USB terminals are incredibly small, so the 22 ohm resistors are the best attachment points. I would suggest using enameled copper wire, which is thin and salvageable from any old motors you have lying around (although larger/AC motors have much thicker wire, which won't work). If that's too challenging, you can attach one wire to one end of the D+ resistor, and the other wire to the opposite side of the D- port, or vice-versa.

  3. Probably too hardcore, but you could build your own custom arduino board with an atmega 32u4 chip (like the Pro Micro) and have your own pinout, with all your joystick and button peripherals built-in with the arduino.

PinoutLabels.jpg

The connectors are rated for thousands of insertions. The cables wear out.
Why make the design less modular and harder to replace a broken cable?