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Arduino Serial - a real retro-arduino

26 April 2012 at 8:50 pm

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One of the worst (and best things) about learning about electronics and microprocessors is that you get obsessed with buying components. I maintain a full list of what I've ordered/received and it's quite a collection. These days I'll be up late at night scouring online electronic shops and ebay for things I need (or might need, are nice to have or even things that I really don't need at all...). It's turned out to be a fascinating hobby, but it's not really expensive either if you compare it to things like Golf, cycling, cars or other things the guys my age start buying 😊

Those that know me well, will know that I have a desire to know as much as possible about things and Arduino is no exception. One evening I was browsing around for things to buy, I stumbled onto this site called Emartee. It's a well updated site that also has some of those obscure things such as really well put together Arduino starter kits. These would be great for both a workshop as well as further explorations. These base components cover what most people need while exploring and just add a servo, a display or the sensors of your choice to get a full kit.

A retro Arduino

Some months ago, I found a Portugese shop that still offered the random colored PCB versions of the Duemilanove (2009). The Duemilanove is great to have around for burning bootloaders as this can be hard to do with the newer Uno boards. However - while browsing Emartee I found something that looked older - it said that it was a Arduino Diecimila Kit but it looked a little different. According to the Arduino overview of older boards - the Diecemilia (means 10k in Italian) was supposed to have a USB connector but this package had a good old Serial cable with it? I bought it on impulse - just to see what it was.

Today the gear I ordered arrived and boy was I surprised! In an antistatic bag there was a PCB that said "Arduino 1.0"? In the bag was no ATmega168 chip as it said on the Emartee site, but rather a Atmega8? This was fun! After some googling I now know that what I bought is a kit to build the first version of the Arduino Serial - designed in 2005. I had initially planned to relax and solder this up tonight, but I think I'll just keep it as a bit of Arduino history. I don't have a PC with the required Serial port around the house so I couldn't use it even if I wanted.

However - it's hard to find pictures of this and it's a little bit of computer history so I took some pictures of the kit and PCB and posted it on my Flickr account. Feel free to re-use! (CC)