Today i assembled my first hand-made Arduino on a Breadboard – it’s really amazingly simple and done within 10 minutes.
The reason why i am doing this is power – i want to create an autonomous tracker that can work as long as possible on battery + solar charger. If you read articles on power-consumption of the Arduino it becomes clear very quick, that you have to get rid of the standard-boards – mainly because of the power-regulators they usually have on board to be able to handle 5v, but also some other components are sucking the electrons out of the wire. But the ATMEL doesn’t need 5v – it can run perfectly with 3v. Which is important as LiPos never provide more than 3.7v and therefore have to be stepped up to supply a standard 5v Arduino – which then regulates the power down for the processor…
I followed this article which promises some amazing reductions in power-consumption by using a specific library for sleep-mode on top. Have not verified this by measuring (but library and code do work), but sounds promising…
At least i can add one chapter to “Mind the basics“: handling a processor with care is always a good idea – even if it’s a low-tech like the Atmel. If you insert the processor in the wrong direction it will die – really.
——————- Update ————————-
Did some first measurements (not with the above mentioned library but with standard Arduino/Atmel power-saving functions) – attached to a 3v power-supply the Bareduino consumes 10mA in operation (compared to 50ma with a standard board) and it goes down to 4myA (!) in sleep-mode. Quite awesome, see video below:
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