Arduino ‘Shrimping.It’ – Thursday 29th May 2014 – Create your own bare bones Arduino from scratch on a breadboard for £10

Update: 30/05/2014 Last nights event was a success with every one getting their Shrimp working and at the very least being able to upload and modify the basic led blink program. Others were able to get the RGB led displaying colours, from cycling through red, green  and blue, to cycling colours with PWM (pulse width modulation) and we even had a Shrimp playing music!We welcome feed back about the event. Head on over to the forum and tell us what we got right, what we got wrong, what we missed out and what we didn’t need to include. Would you be interested in further workshops based on the Shrimp? (Maybe turning your Shrimp into a light sensitive Theramin or getting the temperature sensor working with the OneWire library). Again, let us know in the forum.

Finally, a big thanks to the helpers on the night!

Update: 08/05/2014 Venue (Makers Inc in Westborne) and date (29/05/14) all sorted and tickets available on Eventbrite – tickets are free and entitle you to purchase a kit of parts (for £10) on the night.

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Update: 20/04/2014 The last components arrived and I have split everything out into kits.What do you get for your £10? A lot more than the usual basic shrimp kit!1 x CP2102 (USB to serial adapter)
1 x Atmega 328p Microcontroller
1 x Mini Breadboard
1 x Buzzer
1 x DS18B20 Temperature sensor
1 x 16MHz Crystal
1 x RGB LED
2 x Red LED
1 x 10k Resistor
1 x 100 Ohm Resistor
1 x 10uF Capacitor
3 x 0.1uf Capacitor
2 x 22pF Capacitor
2 x Push button switches
5 x Connector pins
6 x Short lengths of hookup wire

I need to collect some docs together and set a date for the workshop which is going to be towards the end of May 2014.

So what can I do this with this bumper shrimp kit? With the RGB LED you can explore the PWM outputs of the Atmega 328 to create any colour you like. Make noise with the buzzer, blink LEDs, respond to input from the switches and learn about the Dallas Onewire bus to measure temperatures with the DS18B20. And of course talk to your shrimp and have it talk back to your computer via the CP2102.

I will include links to data sheets and other useful info at the bottom of this page.

I should also have said that you don’t have to buy a kit for each person, you can work in groups if you like.

Note: I was planning on getting people to burn the bootloader onto the Atmega 328 on the night at the workshop, but my programmer is a bit flaky so I’m going to preprogram them. The upshot of this is that the Atmega will have the blink program preloaded and will flash an LED if connected to digital output pin 13. This will help diagnosing problems when we come to build the kits.


Update: 04/04/2014 I have most of the components needed to make the kits and a bootloader programmer for the blank Atmega328 chips. I’m tempted to leave the chips blank and let people burn the boot loader on the night, then again it isn’t as exciting as it sounds but sometimes it is useful to see how these things are done so you get a feel for it. Anyway, I am just waiting on the USB to serial devices. I found a supplier, but they are in China so I ordered a couple of samples to make sure they work as expected. In the mean time I need to cut and strip the wires and sort the components into kits and see how much room is left in the £10 budget to add extra bits and bobs.

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So what exactly is shrimping.it anyway?Shrimping.it is about making your own bare bones micro-controlller based on an Atmel Atmega328 with the bare minimum of components needed to get things working. This is the guts of an Arduino Uno.Have a look on the shrimping.it website for more details.

So how does Make Bournemouth figure in this picture?

We plan to run a shrimping.it workshop in the not to distant future.  We are currently sourcing the parts and ironing out the bugs to make the kits for you to build your very own shrimp.

How much will it cost?

Kits cost £10 each. We are still working on the details but the aim is to include everything you will need to make and program a shrimp (with the exception of a laptop and the Arduino software! You supply the laptop and download the software from arduino.cc).

What will it do?

The basic ‘hello world’ program of the micro-controller world is ‘blink’. As the name suggests, it will make something blink. In this case an LED. Once that is up and running, you can program the shrimp in the same way you would an Arduino and anything you can make an Arduino Uno do the shrimp should be able to do too!

Wait, whats an Arduino?

These (picutred below) are Arduinos, The one on the left is an Arduino Uno (Revision 2) and the one on the right (strictly speaking isn’t an Arduino) is a clone of an Arduino Leonardo. It does everything the original board would but as it isn’t manufactured by Arduino it can’t be called an Arduino, but saying Arduino is a bit like saying hoover, it’s more or less the same thing just not made by Hoover. Have a look on arduino.cc for a mind boggling list of the various different Arduinos available. Don’t get too bogged down with which Arduino can do what – start with the Uno – thats where it all started and that is what the shrimp will ape! But an Arduino is more than just the physical device, what makes Arduino so popular is that it has an easy to use programming environment (called an IDE or Integrated Development Environment) that uses a subset of the C++ programming language and provides lots of libraries that take care of the painful task of connecting to other hardware. Need to control a servo? Then use the servo library. Need to talk to a device that uses the SPI bus? Use the SPI library. Need to display something on an LCD screen? Then use one of many LCD libraries. All together the Arduino platform is a very powerful and versatile set of tools.


Are we running an official shirmping.it workshop?No, this isn’t an official sanctioned shrimping.it workshop or anything fancy like that. But to quote the shrimping.it site “You can follow our guides without buying anything from us”. We will be using their build instructions, so all credit for the shrimp idea and tutorial materials goes to shrimping.it!How complicated is it to build a shrimp?

Providing everything goes according to plan, it is reasonably easy to assemble, wire up and program. Why not have a butchers at theshrimping.it instructions.

Will I have to solder anything?

No. No soldering needed, the shrimp will be put together on a mini breadboard so you can reuse the components.

When is it?

Thursday 29th May 2014 – 18:00 to 21:00 @ Makers Inc (42 Poole Rd, Westbourne, Bournemouth, BH4 9DW)

Get an Eventbrite ticket here there are 10 kits so 10 tickets available, a ticket entitles you to purchase a kit of parts on the night.

What do I need to bring?

At the bare minimum you will need a laptop. General hand tools might be useful (pliers, cutters etc) but we will have some tools available on the night. To save time you can download the Arduino software and the CP2102 drivers for your laptop from the links below.