The forbidden Arduino!

Hi guys!

Sebastien Lelong from Jallib team had and idea about how to parasite an Arduino board.

Look here (the idea presentation), here (Arduino pin mapping) and here (first trial).

What do you think (in a constructive way, of course)? :stuck_out_tongue:


Interesting hack, but I do have to wonder, why? If I wanted to use arduino shields with a PIC (not a bad idea BTW) why not simply build the PIC board from the ground up to use the pinout of the board rather than shoe-horn the processor onto a daughter board. You could shoot for commonality of parts to be sure but, if you have to design (a rather large) daugther board, why not forgo the mess of two boards and simply make one larger board. Now, if you used a very small footprint PIC so that it would essentially fit the DIP socket, you might be onto something.

I just had a quick read, and couldn't see why you'd want to do this (plug a PIC daughterboard into an Arduino in place of the ATmega). If you can make a PCB with a PIC on it, why not make a PIC-based PCB that's directly compatible with Arduino shields?


EDIT What he said :slight_smile:

We have such boards (Pinguino, FreeJALduino) but here can be many reasons of why to do this:

  • you have already an Arduino and fitting an 18F25k22 is more easy this way, because soldering a FTDI chip can be impossible for many.
  • you cross develop and want to quickly test between the two platforms.
  • you have a bricked ATmega and also have PIC background.
  • you are bored by your Arduino?
  • you are designing a "pure" Arduino board based on 18F25K22 and want to test the concept...
  • you don't want to make another complex board as is an Arduino clone...
  • you want to enter inside PIC world without giving up on your Arduino board (psychologically, can be helpful).
  • just for fun

Add your own reasons :smiley:


It's got a USB interface on the chip, and there are no availability problems?

"To prefer" is a way of discussion but ...
Personally, I like both processors. Right now I just learning PICs but not in an exclusive way (I have an ATmega32 which I bricked already - don't laugh - and I want to unbrick it using PIC18F2550 and JAL language).

"Benefit for PICs users"... well, as I said, we have our own Arduino boards and we can use Arduino shields and also our own.

Is a good way to combine both worlds of fans. AFAIK, Massimo Banzi is an "old" PIC and JAL programmer. In those early times, JAL was a good compiler but lacked many features of modern compilers. Not the case anymore.

There, at Jallib project, we have JAT (in develoment right now but already good results), some kind of JAL to C translator (in fact, is more than that) which permit to program in JAL and target many families of processors. AVR, ARM, etc...
As you can see, we (well, some of us) are multiplatform oriented.

And not the last, many beginners find PICs more accessible and start with PICs. Why not have this bridge between the worlds?


Regarding to PIC18F2550/4550 availability there are no problems. Is easy to find it on South America continent (I am from Europe) than any other ATmega. Though this is not an obstacle for fans if they find Arduino language to be easy and want to benefit from the huge community of Arduino programmers. How?

Using a Pinguino board (PIC18F2550/4550) with Pinguino IDE(Arduino language for PICs using the humble SDCC compiler). A Pinguino board is more easy and cheap to build by anyone. This is a great example of how to benefit from the both worlds. Right now, Pinguino board is successfully used in South America Universities as an Arduino teaching tool.


Hi Vasi,

Tried replying on your blog but had no luck.

Use "machined" headers, they have much smaller pins.

see Break Away Female Headers - Swiss Machine Pin - PRT-00743 - SparkFun Electronics


Thank you Rob. I don't know if Sebastien allowed comments yet...


Hi guys,

I'm the guilty parasitologist :slight_smile:

Thanks for your feedback here.

Rob, you should have been able to post a comment, that's weird. Thanks anyway for your suggestion, I have considered these but they may be too tall so Jaluino Cuckoo can fit between Arduino and shields. Mainly because plastic part can't be removed so I can adjust pin size. There are asymmetric ones: two male pins, one being shorter than the other, so I may be able to save some space plugging it in a way or another. (I'm not allowed to post links, it's hard to describe).


I'm not allowed to post links, it's hard to describe

You can now after first post.

Are there some headers that are long enough when soldered through from the top of your board rather than underneath in the normal manner? That way there's no overhead underneath the PCB and within reason it doesn't matter how high it is above.

BTW, love the cuckoo analogy, good to see some more creative prose in this technical field. :slight_smile:

You can now after first post.

OK, then here it is:

Are there some headers that are long enough when soldered through from the top of your board rather than underneath in the normal manner?

Pin headers I orginally used are like that. And you can move the black plastic part to adjust the size if needed. In the link above, one side is longer, but I guess not enough to be soldered from the top.

BTW, love the cuckoo analogy, good to see some more creative prose in this technical field.

Thanks, if you want more analogies, there's also Styx shield, a layer between Atmega and Microchip worlds. Just a concept...


Regarding the room needed for your parasite board.
Why not just extend the Arduino header plugs the shields plug into.
A second set of female sockets plugged into the ones on the board will raise the shields another 8mm.
They are readily available and cheap from the usual Arduino suppliers.


Gordon, at that point, you might as well build from scratch, because you've now basically recreated the whole Arduino board anyways, minus a few cheap components.

If the USB chip being SMT is scaring people, just spend $15 or whatever on a USB-BUB from Modern Device or an FTDI cable from anywhere. It's cheaper than hacking a $30 Duemilanove.

Hi guys,

Here are photos from an workshop in Venezuela (South America) with Pinguino and Arduino language (Pinguino IDE).

It can be a "hungry for tech" market for ATMEL if can provide an USB chip 28/40 pin DIP in enough quantities and cheap. Until then, there is PIC18F2550/4550 as the only solution to simulate an Arduino like chain development. And Jean-Pierre Mandon and his team are working hard to address all aspects of a complete Arduino language solution. And for people not accustomed with C/C++, here will always be JAL language.


This is easily forgotten: One of the three (or four, or five,...) concepts of the Ardunino design is HAL!!

We much to often break this - well, we have to due to resource needs.
But I myself do not like the Programming Model of the AVRs at all! It's all over history and too complex well meant (you know what I mean :wink: ) features.

What fun if Arduino could be used with more processors!!

Fresh news from the Pinguino world:

I have to agree with others who've replied.. Why make a daughter-board, when making a complete from the ground up main board would've been simpler? Besides the obvious of the now blocked reset switch, inability to see the status LED's, and the close fit from the shields. :-/

The C-Duino clone, and quite a few others, are similar in design, and use the same shields, but no major modification. (Okay, granted, Same MCU) It's kind of like the Adruino-Stamp knock-off of the Parallax Basic Stamp2. (Is it pin for pin compatible? Can someone clarify?)

Stephen (gelfling6)

Well, we have already one (FreeJALduino) based on PIC18F2550 with USB support, Arduino compatible pinout, but as Arduino MEGA, it offer SPI and I2C compatibility only at software level.

With PIC18F25K22 and better, 18F26K22 (announced but not yet in production), we can match Arduino performance and also offer hardware SPI and I2C (pinout) compatibility. So, I expect that Sebastien will make it possible.


P.S. But about FreeJALduino and Pinguino boards is already a topic on your forum at Portugheze section: "Arduino com Pic".
And, as you can see, we are on the PIC side but also on your great family. We are glad about this achievement.

I'm not certain I'm reading the right forum, but I purchased a project kit with a pic built in, what I'd like to do is instead use and arduino or clone to plug into the pic socket and emulate the pic, but actually be an arduino, I looked at the pinguino, but I'm not sure that's exactly what would do the job. I essentially want to adapt an atmega chip with the arduino bootloader to the pinout of the pic, is there such a product already out there? or is it too complex to actually implement. the kit uses a PIC18F4620, I have no clue about pic and would rather stick to aruino until I get a more firm understanding of programming micrcontrollers.


Carl R