Uno vs Nano vs Micro, User-Friendly

I am in an engineering design class, and the professor wants to incorporate arduinos into the projects. He wants one that can plug into a breadboard, so I mentioned to him that he can use either the Arduino Nano or the Arduino Micro. I've never used them before, so I don't know which one is better than the other in regards to educating students on how to use these. Which do you guys think is easier to use?

Also, I was trying to get him just to use the UNO, since there seems to be much more support out there for them as far as walk-throughs and add-ons (shields) are concerned. Can anyone confirm this?

Maybe consider a Arduino Pro Mini 328P 16mhz.

Solder on two headers and it plugs into a breadboard. Also the Bobweeny is a great board too. Atmega1284P |500x290

You will need a USB to TTL download sketches or use ICSP to program. https://www.adafruit.com/products/284

I use the Bobweeny as it is hardware superior. .

The nano and micro would work too, they don't need the FTDI PCB. .

Yea I was hoping to get something that already has headers on it, and that can be programmed via usb.

There is also the Ardweeny: |500x375

Yea I was hoping to get something that already has headers on it, and that can be programmed via usb.

Sounds like you will need the Nano or Micro then. Not sure you can get the headers already soldered. .

nolls: Also, I was trying to get him just to use the UNO, since there seems to be much more support out there for them as far as walk-throughs and add-ons (shields) are concerned. Can anyone confirm this?

It is commonly advised to "start with a UNO" for the above arguments. In practice, "shields" are of quite limited use and often impose troublesome limitations, such as using more pins than necessary and preventing other uses of pins. Or the faulty LCD shields!

So the Nano has more functionality than the UNO (two extra analog pins) and unlike it, mates directly with a breadboard. There are also some useful shields for the Nano, notably a "screw shield".

OK, since I actually listened to your first post, no, really, speakers and all....

you CANNOT put an UNO on a breadboard, the pins are not on the correct centers to allow it to fit.

second, you can purchase a read to use NANO or Micro, with headers, costs about 4 times more and much harder to find.

third, as long as you do not need to use things like I2C, the Micro will work. however, pins for the I2C bus are not on 100 centers, but between pins or at the end of the board.

so, the bottom line and only choice you have is the NANO. google promini i2c

also, look at the pins on the end of the mini, they are not breadboard compatable.

if you want to use shields with it, you can get a shield that it plugs into and then brings out the pins and use any UNO shield.

Also, the Nano can fit a "development expansion board" which is basically a plug in board for the Nano and turns it into a UNO sized board again but more friendly for developers because you have 3 pins available per real Nano pin (that is, +ve, -ve and the pin itself) and some are repeated at the top of the board.

So you sort of get best of both worlds - plug the Nano into a breadboard or plug it into a Development Expansion Board.

I use these all the time and are really an aid when developing - Nanos by themselves are pretty crammed and awkward to plug cables into, I find.

I have a Sparkfun pro-micro which was cheap and has a USB connector.

However the boards that use the 32U4 processor can be a bit of a PITA because of the way the USB Serial Port is implemented. On the other hand, they have a spare HardwareSerial - which Is why I bought it.

...R

dave-in-nj: you CANNOT put an UNO on a breadboard, the pins are not on the correct centers to allow it to fit.

I had a mind to mention that. :grinning:

dave-in-nj: however, pins for the I2C bus are not on 100 centres, but between pins or at the end of the board.

But you mount them pointing upward.

dave-in-nj: ... third, as long as you do not need to use things like I2C, the Micro will work. however, pins for the I2C bus are not on 100 centers, but between pins or at the end of the board. ...

My "official" micro uses pins 2 (sda) and 3 (scl) for I2C, and they work just fine on a breadboard, without modification.

I vote Nano. It's more plug and play and has greater software compatibility with the Uno than does the Pro Micro. I've used it for breadboard and perfboard projects and it rocks.

I also like Uno, for the proto shields more than the other shields. But for lab work, I would still go Nano.

I'm playing with the Pro Micro right now. To answer your original question, I think the Nano is easier to use.

ChrisTenone:
My “official” micro uses pins 2 (sda) and 3 (scl) for I2C, and they work just fine on a breadboard, without modification.

jeepers, you are correct, I was thinking Mini… not sure how the 34 pin micro is the smallest board when the 30 pin NANO is 2 pins shorter and the pro-mini is shorter yet.
the MINI is the one with the odd pins for I2c

Odd? Uses A4/A5 for I2C just like any other 328P.

CrossRoads: Odd? Uses A4/A5 for I2C just like any other 328P.

of course it does. but the pins don't line up to any protoboards that I am aware of. there are between centers and set back from the main row. also the end of the pro-mini has pins that also are unuseable for plugging into the board

|500x146

dave-in-nj: also the end of the pro-mini has pins that also are unusable for plugging into the board

As I said - you mount the pins facing upward and use Dupont jumpers. Think 3D.

Paul__B: As I said - you mount the pins facing upward and use Dupont jumpers. Think 3D.

this is like saying all cars drive north to south, except for the ones that don't. either the board is pluggable in a protoboard or it is not. the UNO is physically not the pro-mini requires additional physical adjustments the nano and micro plug in with all pins available. I would offer that you can use any shield with a pro-mini, just use Dupont jumpers, seems to eliminate the whole concept of having a shield with the pins located in any particular arrangement. also eliminates one of the most common points for buying an UNO. the second criteria from the OP was being programmable via usb. well, if we accept that by adding additional hardware driver boards and external interpreters and of course wires, software and power supplies, then any micro can be programmed via usb. the Nano has the ability to be plugged in directly and has an on-board circuit to accept direct USB connections and programming from the IDE, in other words, it plugs directly into any board with 0.1 inch centers and takes a direct usb connection. the micro does the same and adds a lot of ADC pins.

I vote for Nano. Asking engineering students to solder on the headers shouldn’t be an impossible task, I hope. It’s a <1min per board job.

lg, couka

I'd go the more modular approach. Promini and FTDI Basic. That way you only lose 1/2 the project when they blow up the Promini. I can dash out a Promini-like design for the group to purchase with all the IO on breadboard friendly headers. Make it SMD, or make it DIP for easy chip replacement, like a small version of my 1284P pictured earlier. Is 3.3V needed? Or just 5V?

There are also some interesting Nano clones for the price of a small beer. The Robotdyn has USB micro connection and an onboard 800mA volt and 800mA 3.3 volt regulator. It is fully breadboard compatible once you solder on the headers (or pay an extra few cents for the ready soldered version). I'll be getting a few of these for the projects I power from mobile phone travel chargers.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Nano-V3-ATmega328-CH340G-Micro-USB-Pin-headers-NOT-soldered-Compatible-for-Arduino-Nano-V3-0/32664577152.html?scm=1007.13339.33317.0&pvid=60a5752c-a3bb-4259-97f1-d25e0f419b3e&tpp=1