Standalone proects

Okay so I have been messing with my Arduino for about a month now and I must say I really love it. I've done the standard LED blinking and cubes and matrixes, and even ventured into charlieplexing. My question is, can I say write a sketch for a simple 3 LED mood lamp and then transfer that sketch or put it on to a small chip of some sort to make it run the same without the Arduino. I had this idea to use lightbulbs as a diffuser. Gutted out ones of course. Because I am building all of these awesome projects with my breadboards and PC boards but I always have to rely on the arduino to do something so simple as a 555 IC chip would do for example. Is there something out there that can make this happen for me? Or am I far fetched? Of course ultimately I am wanting to do the 3 LED mood light in a lightbulb with a nice base to hide the electronics.

Certainly you can run the chip outside the "Arduino board". You just need a suitable power supply (eg. a couple of batteries) and minimal other components, other than what you require for the project.

Sure, there are lots of standalone board options out there, from little surface mount cards (see the mini-uino's at my signature link) ,
to Ardweeny (little board you mount to the back of a chip),
to different versions of this

I just posted some similar cards in different form factor on another thread.
Can also use smaller versions of the '328, like the ATTiny chips if you don't need as much capability.

Thanks for the reply. So yea I just want the cheapest solution as to where I can upload simple sketches from my Arduino for small LED projects on to something really small. What would work the best and cheapest?

What I/O are you using? without some basic specs it would be hard to say. Are you using analog inputs? PWM outputs? Serial? How many digital inputs? How many Digital outputs? Are you planning on making them permanent or will you reuse the parts?

Get a few blank 328P chips and learn how to load a bootloader or using your Arduino as an ISP learn how to program using the ISP option (no bootloader).

Look at the specs for the ATMega8 or ATtiny2313 and see how they might work for your application.


Regarding standalone Arduinos, once you start, you can't stop. Its no longer a choice of "I would build that, but I don't want to leave my Arduino in it", now you can build hundreds of the things for less than 10 dollars a time.

As for diffusing LEDs, I tried a few things that didn't work before finding a site where a guy had tried almost every suggestion, his final solution was to use a saw to cut the rounded 'lens' part off the LED leaving a rough flat top on the LED. Try this on a few and see how you get on.

Duane B

I am just using a few digital outputs for simple projects such as fading 3 LEDs or blinking. I want to make them permanent.

I'd go with the NKC board and some parts from then.

Bob: Have you ever found a schematic for the NKC board?

I have not seen one.
You can tell its basically this.
C3/C4 might be swapped.
C1/C2 might be swapped.
R2/LED might be swapped, probably go to +5.
R3 - one end probably to +5, other end to ??
Power Connector - 2 middles are Gnd? VIN comes from Anode or cathode of diode?
dual row connectors - one side goes to the chip, other side may also, or may go to ground.

Would only take a minute or so to answer these.

Thanks, I appreciate it.

I will dig into and find out....

And perhaps a comparable layout might be something like this Joe.

NKC board? I'm not sure what that is. I went to that site dipmicro but I don't see anything NKC board.

C'mon dude, try and keep up - see reply #2

Why wouldn't you just build something on stripboard and save some USD ?

Example on the left -

Duane B

Okay so with the Freeduino Arduino-compatible Runtime board Rev B all I would need then would be the Atmega328 chip right? Of course the parts to build my project also. Although it may be a bit big for some of the smaller things I would like to do. What about an Attiny85 or something? Is that programmable with the arduino?

Yes, Attiny is shorter length-wise.
You can also get something that is more or less chip-size too:

Use the board on the right for programming the board on the left.

Then just buy the board on the left for future projects

Very nice.

Duane B

Okay thank you. I take it that the Attiny85 standalone chip wouldn't be prgrammable without additional hardware? Hence the link you sent me? I ask because I can get an attiny85 chip for like $3.00.

The ATtiny doesn't support a bootloader, but there are a number of ways of programming it. I describe one here:

That uses a Uno or similar as a programmer.

The code itself (to be put on the ATtiny) can be generated from within the IDE.