Moving from Arduino to smaller board?

Hey all!

I have a project that I currently use with an Arduino board that I'd like to move to something smaller that I can permanently solder my parts to. It has 3 buttons (one clasping) & two servos; one button to move each servo, and the clasping button to invert both servos' positions & function. They also are powered by a 9v (for Arduino) and a pack of AAs (for servos)
I'm wondering what sort of smaller board I can move them to, to be more permanent & take up less space overall, and wondering if they can possibly all be powered from one source? I'd also like to keep my programming the same & just copy it over to the new board, if at all possible? I'm fairly new to this as well, so any other guidance is much appreciated!

SBishop:
powered by a 9v (for Arduino) and a pack of AAs (for servos)

That sounds ominous, probably full of grief, and powering the whole lot off something sensible would be a really good idea. I don't know how suitable a pack of AAs would be in your case, but the 9v is probably most unsuitable.

The ProMini and the like are essentially Unos in a different package, and the programmes are interchangeable. The processor in a standard Uno can be removed and transferred to your own PCB. I understand it needs about one dollar's worth of peripherals to make it a functioning MCU.

Have you looked at the ESP boards, like the NodeMCU?

If you want something very small then just use an Atmega 328 chip on a PCB or piece of stripboard.

...R

Hi,
Welcome to the forum.

Please read the post at the start of any forum , entitled "How to use this Forum".
OR
http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php/topic,148850.0.html.

What model Arduino are you using now?
A ProMini would be as @Nick_Pyner has suggested what may be what you need.
Or a Nano, if you need the onboard USB socket.

Can you tell us your electronics, programming, arduino, hardware experience?

Tom... :slight_smile:

I think the Nano is what I need, I believe I can figure the rest out on my own/ I may possibly some guidance on powering it? I'd need to attach at least one servo externally/not through the board since it gives out 5v, right? Would it be better to do one on the board or both externally? Could I use just the 4 AAs (I believe I said 3 before, but it's 4 & serial so 6v) or would that not be enough? The servos mostly move one at a time but they would need to move together also, if that affects the voltage needed. I'm not sure if the total voltage is all of them added together, or if it's more complicated? If added it would be 5v (nano) + 2x 4.8v (servos) for a total of 14.6v? Or if I powered one servo on the board it's just be 9.8v?

I'm 100% self/internet taught so I apologize for the probably basic questions, I make costumes but I'm trying to get more into animatronics (this is for a fursuit with animatronic eyebrows).

Thanks for your suggestions!

For clarification, I'm using an Arduino Uno & the servos are TowerPro SG92R

I'm thinking an 8xAA battery may work, I'd ideally like something easy to swap out/recharge since it'll be sold off & I'd want it to be user-friendly!

SBishop:
If added it would be 5v (nano) + 2x 4.8v (servos) for a total of 14.6v?

This is utter nonsense. You need to do some more "internet learning" and get lucky with volts and amps. An adequate 5v supply is all you need. This may be easily accomplished with a decent 5v regulator and 6xAA or 2x 18650 batteries.

Nick_Pyner:
This is utter nonsense. You need to do some more “internet learning” and get lucky with volts and amps. An adequate 5v supply is all you need. This may be easily accomplished with a decent 5v regulator and 6xAA or 2x 18650 batteries.

Ok so the highest voltage is the most I’d need, is that right?

Yes. The devices work in parallel. The highest voltage required is the voltage required by the regulator to do its job properly. This is why your 5v Arduino Uno requires a minimum of 7v.

This game can get quite sophisticated, and you can get converters that actually step up the voltage. What I am talking about here is just a plain-vanilla $2 regulator.

If your power demand is minimal and fleeting, you may find that one of those battery phone chargers is quite adequate. They use a single 3.7v 18650 to deliver 5v.

Nick_Pyner:
Yes. The devices work in parallel. The highest voltage required is the voltage required by the regulator to do its job properly. This is why your 5v Arduino Uno requires a minimum of 7v.

This game can get quite sophisticated, and you can get converters that actually step up the voltage. What I am talking about is just a plain-vanilla $2 regulator.

Wait, so do I need a 5v or 7v power source? I've been hooking everything up directly so far, is a regulator something I need inbetween the power source & arduino, or if I get the exact voltage will it be ok attached directly (with an on/off switch, not actually directly to the board)?

I use the $3 Ebay Pro Minis for just about everything and have never had a failure.

It is always best to power servos separately from the Arduino, because they inject noise into the power supply and can cause malfunctions. 4xAA usually works well.

In a pinch, you could try using a step up/step down converter to make 5V from the AA battery pack (which will remove most of the noise), and feed that 5V directly to the Arduino 5V pin. You need 7V for the RAW pin, which wastes energy.

There is no such thing as a 5v battery. While 5v is described as God's own power, I have never understood why she would choose 5v. Arduino and the servos require an adequate 5v supply. As far as Arduino is concerned, its on-board regulators will suffice, if it has them, but off-board is always preferable - hence my comment about Pro Mini. "Adequate" can only be determined by you. "Hooking up directly" is unintelligible but, if you mean 4xAA, it may work, you probably haven't done any damage if it does, but don't be surprised if it doesn't work for long. I don't know anything about your servos, but powering them off Arduino's 5v pin is probably not a good idea.

In short

battery ---> 5v regulator ----> Arduino
---------> servos

Note also the last bit added to my previous!

powering them off Arduino's 5v pin is probably not a good idea.

In fact, it is quite a bad idea.

Nick_Pyner:
There is no such thing as a 5v battery

I have a battery/power bank that is exactly 5v...? It attaches via usb so I can just use the usb port to power it & I think that'd be best for the board? I'm thinking it may be best to just keep the two power sources separate to make sure I don't do anything to damage anything.

Nick_Pyner:
I don't know anything about your servos, but powering them off Arduino's 5v pin is probably not a good idea.

My servos are 2 TowerPro SG92R as I stated in my previous replies.

So basically the only thing I'm swapping out at this point is the board & giving it a different power supply, which should be easy enough. I think that answers all my questions, thanks to all who helped!

SBishop:
I have a battery/power bank that is exactly 5v...? I

That is what it is, and doesn't it mean that it is a 5v battery. If the power provided is adequate, it could be just what you need. If you feel better with two power sources, go for it, but the only real justification for that is where one is indeed inadequate.

The names of the servos is meaningless, and a vital consideration with battery power is how long you want to run it for, about which you say nothing.

One thing is certain: if you have 5v power bank, you should try it first. It may reveal a lot of useful information. What you describe sounds like those used for a phone, which is what I was alluding to above.