Winkel Board : One Stop Arduino Compatible Board with ATmega128 at its core

Hello Everyone,
Finally posting my first forum topic :slight_smile: I have always wanted to contribute to DIY community especially the maker and OSHW DIY community because it has given me so much, but i wanted my contribution to be special and unique.

The way i chose to contribute to this huge wonderful community was by teaming up with a buddy of mine and building a unique Open Source Hardware development platform for makers and hardware hackers who can build stuffs quickly without worrying about the complexities that comes around with starting one. We named it the Winkel Board

As you read on, you will see what i actually mean, and how this new developing & prototyping board solves all those genuine problems.

It is suitable for makers who work on electronic projects which involve a lot of I/O operations and involves using different communication protocols to fulfill different tasks. Winkel Board is also for engineers and hardware hackers who are looking to build and prototype products of tomorrow, but have to spend time looking for the right components to use and then spend more time figuring out how they can be interfaced together as it requires basic knowledge of various chips and their libraries to get started.

Winkel Board helps you achieve all of the above, so that you don't have to spend time on looking for components and studying their libraries and you can quickly accelerate building and prototyping.

The Problems we are trying to solve and the story behind developing Winkel Board :

Exhaustive //TODO for a maker while building something awesome

  • Prepare a list of right electronics components
  • Prepare BOM
  • Search them locally or online to fit the BOM
  • Wait for the components to arrive if sourced online
  • Getting started with prototyping
  • Go online again studying libraries and figuring out how they can be interfaced on breadboard or etch a PCB
  • Finally start building and actually working on your project and then try not to rage quit

The Story behind developing Winkel Board

We were building an IoT product and wanted to experiment with different communication protocols, like radio, wifi, bluetooth and found ourselves in a mess while doing so.Well ofcourse we had an Arduino Board to get started with but had to buy and experiment with different shields everytime and that costed us a lot of time and money. Being from India, such sheilds were really costly to source from outside + it really affected the speed of prototyping.We talked to a lot of makers and electronic hobbyists and found that this was a common problem within the maker community and not just in India but all over the world. Some suggested RPi 3 can be an answer for many projetcs but not every project needs an O.S. And not every project can be housed with an Arduino with all its sheilds, and some projects just require to use many communication protocols at once and need to perform a lot of calculations and I/O operations. To do all these powerful things with just one small board and to keep it simple and arduino IDE compatible was the idea behind Winkel Board.

There are several other open hardware platforms but most of them fail to provide a single stop solution.

  • For example there are times when you would require your Arduino to connect to the internet, but you have to buy an extra ethernet sheild or interface a WiFi chip to it in order to do so.
  • You may sometimes want to have accurate times on your controller to fulfil certain tasks at particular intervals, but have to interface an RTC with your controller or read time from the internet for which you will have go to the first point.
  • Or maybe you want to create a mesh network using radio nodes but have a hard time figuring out how to get started with NRF24l01 or buy a radio shield for that reason.
  • You may also find a need to use Bluetooth in your projects, or you want to build a drone but you do not have a starting point on how to interface and use MPU6065 with a micro controller.

The Winkel boards have everything onboard for a maker to get started with building different prototypes and products of tomorrow.

  • A powerful core in the form of ATmega128
  • On-board Bluetooth Module in the form of HC-05
  • On-board WiFi module in the form of ESP8266 ESP12E
  • On-board Real Time Clock in the form of DS3231
  • On-board Radio Transceiver in the form of NRF24l01
  • OTA programming of Atmega128 and ESP12E (This one is a biggie :slight_smile: )
  • Smart-Opt feature enabling you to use only specific on-board components when needed.
  • And all this in a form factor of 5cm x 5cm

Technical Specs

Bottom Side Image

Powered On image

Winkel Board provides all you makers with a one stop platform to do everything at once or choose specific on-board components to work with. You can basically use everything at once or specifically choose which on-board components you want to use in your project.

With all said, if you would like to test one of these, head over to this link where we will soon be launching a crowdfunding campaign. You can sign up immediately and wait until final launch to actually get your early access.

If you do not wish to support our crowdfunding campaign, you will still get access to the board designs and BOM that we have used and build your own Winkel Board, because as the crowdfunding campaign progresses we will be uploading them on Github for public access. :slight_smile:

Which Arduino pin mapping are you using?

How does the "Smart-Opt" feature work?

You can read everything about pin mapping and basic setup for ATmega128 and Atmega64 here GitHub - MCUdude/MegaCore: Arduino hardware package for ATmega64, ATmega128, ATmega165, ATmega169, ATmega325, ATmega329, ATmega640, ATmega645, ATmega649, ATmega1280, ATmega1281, ATmega2560, ATmega2561, ATmega3250, ATmega3290, ATmega6450, ATmega6490, AT90CAN32, AT90CAN64 and AT90CAN128. I think in one of the forum posts this was discussed - On how to use ATmega128 (which according to many makers want support for Arduino IDE) and MCUdude wrote a fantastic bootloader for 128 and 64. One can even build their own basic ATmega128 board using the above bootloader.

Winkel board is just an expanded and a well thought version in terms of getting several components together.

Smart Opt is a feature through which you can enable or disable the power going to the specific component by use of conducting jumpers. Basically you can control the power to be passed only to specific component and not all.

I'll put together a schematic and upload soon. Me and my buddy are also looking to do a small production run for some makers and college students here. Let me know if you need early access :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Thanks for the information and quick response.

I'm very glad to hear you used a pre-existing pin mapping. I'm well acquainted with MegaCore(actually I did the Boards Manager support for it and a couple other minor contributions), MCUdude does excellent work!

Woah !!!! That is amazing

Boards manager installation support made our project even more interesting because we can modify json and have "Winkel Board" listed under Boards :slight_smile:

Thank you so much for reading through the post. Means a lot :slight_smile:

Here is a small demonstration of OTA programming of the Atmega128 on the winkel board using avrdude. Also possible with the arduino IDE. I have powered it ON using a power bank. Uploading a simple blink example. No wires!!!

OTA Programming of ATmega128 on the Winkel Board

Over The Air Wireless programming using avrdude tool that comes bundled with Winkel Board. The video is a short demonstration of wireless programming of atmega128 on the winkel board using avrdude command line. HC-05 on the winkel board is paired to my laptop over COM10 (in linux it will usually be /dev/rfcomm0)

A good discussion is also going on here at Reddit