To buy or not to buy?

Well, I'm in a soldering mood, and I really want to assemble a kit. I was looking for what would be cheap, but still fun, and I saw the RBBB from Modern Device. It's only about $16 shipped, so I thought it'd be a great candidate.

To my further excitement, I then saw this guide on making an extremely cheap USB-Serial cable, which would make programming the RBBB easy as well!

My question is, even though I own a Duemilanove, would it be fun to get and assemble a RBBB? I like the fact that it's breadboard-able, and I think it'd be a blast to make. I'm not exactly rolling in the money over here, but I've got enough to spare for my hobbies. Should I go ahead and embark on this adventure?

Go for it.

Keep in mind that you should be able to use your existing Duemilanove as a USB-Serial converter for your new RBBB. Just pull the processor chip from it's socket on the Duemilanove and then run jumpers from pins 0,1, reset, and ground pins to the same pins on your RBBB. The on board FTDI chip will then be communicating with the RBBB and the auto-reset should control the RBBB. I have not tried this yet, but it should work OK.

However if you can afford it a standalone USB-serial convertor would be useful to have anyway.



I knew about that programming method, but I'm just scared of irreversibly mangling the pins in the process ;). I think $3 is pretty good for a USB-Serial converter anyways, so I may as well?

Do you have a RBBB or similar? Are they fun to build? :stuck_out_tongue:

Iv ordered one of the DKU-5 cable to do just that today!

having a diy FTDI cable opens up so many option for self build/stand alone projects

I built the Bare Bones Board as my first ever kit, loved it (so much so i went out and got a second so I could have one with male, and one with female headers for the analogue pins!

Not done the RBBB, from moderndevice, but built a few of the single sided ones, buy resident and very helpful westfw

Cool I think I'd seen Westfw's SS RBBB before, but I forgot about that. If I could etch my own boards, I'd do that one, but maybe later :P.

I think I'll go ahead and buy the RBBB and the cable tomorrow. No rush for shipping as it's a weekend (and Monday is a holiday ;D).

So you went with the DKU-5 then? I'm gonna get the CA-42. That guide said they'd both work so I just searched this one ;D..

Do you have a RBBB or similar? Are they fun to build?

I bought and built this one:

I think it was fun to built, however it only took about 30 mins so I forget ;D

It's very handy for programming bootloaders into blank processor chips using my USBtiny programmer. I also us it on a solderless breadboard for testing out new interface components from time to time.

My very first Arduino was a clone kit that uses RS-232 comm as my PC has a couple of comm ports.


I have a bare bones arduino, takes 15-20 min and move on shrug

I bought the 5-pack of RBBB PCBs, because I already had most of the sall parts (like caps, headers, and LEDs) needed to build them.

I've got one already built into a "permanent" project, one built with "screw machine pin" headers because they're kinder to the contacts on solderless breadboards, and a couple that I'm planning to make into I2C peripherals (LCD and/or LED drivers) to free up pins on other Arduino projects.

There's nothing that makes them especially fun to build, but they're nice to have: you don't need to tear apart an existing project every time you want to build something new, and you have a "head start" on building anything that needs a CPU core. And you can plug them into a stripboard or protoboard without wasting a lot of board space or dealing with the dreaded connector offset.

I strongly recommend them to anyone who wants to do a lot of different things with Arduinos on a limited budget.


Well, I went ahead and bought it, along with some female headers (I'm out), and that cable off of eBay!

I can't wait :).