A Brand New Way to Build Your Next ATmega328 ProjectDesigned by Crash-Bang Prototyping in South Africa
What the Heck is a Toadstool? The Toadstool Mega328 is a quick and simple way to get going with prototyping your next Atmel ATmega328P project. Simply plug this self-sufficient, standalone microcont…Read More…
The Toadstool Mega328 is a quick and simple way to get going with prototyping your next Atmel ATmega328P project. Simply plug this self-sufficient, standalone microcontroller board directly onto your breadboard and start building. The Toadstool contains Atmel's ATmega328P microcontroller, breaking the pins out so that they are easily accessible right from your breadboard. It can be powered from a 6-9V power source, so you aren't tied to your computer, and contains an ICSP header for programming.
The Toadstool was not designed to look sexy on your fingertip - it was designed to be fully featured and flexible platform:
Choose your IDE: Compatible with the Arduino IDE, but perfect for more serious coding in Atmel Studio
Quick & Clean: Plugs directly onto your breadboard (no more nasty rats-nests of wires)
Program & Debug: Includes an ICSP header for programming/debugging
Access all Pins: All I/O pins, VCC and GND broken out and labelled
Choose your power source: Can be powered by external source (take it on the road!) or your programmer
Choose your voltage: select 5V or 3.3V regulated supply for the MCU (get that power down)
Choose your microcontroller: Has a PDIP socket so the ATmega328P can be switched out for the pin-compatible ATmega8/48/88/168
Choose your Crystal: An external crystal can be connected as needed (speed-it-up or s l o w d o w n)
Expand it: A standard header allows for connection of SPI/I2C/TWI/UART Caps
Light & Switch: Reset switch and power LED
Protect your MCU: Reverse polarity and over-current protection
All Toadstool boards share a standard header to allow you to attach breakout modules called Caps.
This header contains SPI, I2C and UART signals, so you can easily add SPI, I2C/TWI or UART modules to your project without having to wire them up on the breadboard (you'll never forget a pullup resistor on your I2C module again!). We've already designed a number, but the list is almost endless.
Laziness! I got tired of wiring up microcontrollers on breadboards. I couldn't handle the mess of trying to attach an Arduino UNO or a LaunchPad to my breadboard. I tore my hair out every time a wire came loose or my power supply disconnected itself!
I started on various iterations of the design in early 2014, including the T-Board that hit production with some great support from Elektor Magazine. After working on a few MSP430 projects I re-looked at the design and expanded to support multiple MCUs as well as include the standard header for the Caps.
The Toadstool is one of the first standard prototyping boards to be completely manufacturer-agnostic! A range of boards have been created with a similar footprint and functionality, to support MCUs from multiple manufacturer - initially Atmel's ATmega/ATtiny and TI's MSP430.
We're big believers in open source hardware, and so have released the Toadstool ecosystem as an open source one. Hopefully you will support that, and send us feedback to improve the product for everyone.
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Don | April 13, 2016
Hedley | April 13, 2016
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