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Yes, you can buy a Chinese Leonardo clone on Banggood for $8, complete with a USB cable and free shipping. This is not one of those. This is a kit you have to assemble yourself so you can have a on…Read More…
Yes, you can buy a Chinese Leonardo clone on Banggood for $8, complete with a USB cable and free shipping. This is not one of those. This is a kit you have to assemble yourself so you can have a one-of-a-kind development board that you can say "I MADE THIS"!
In the early days of Arduino (circa 2005), you could make an Arduino from through-hole components. Then came USB and surface mount chips, and doing yourself got significantly harder. The FTDI communication chip cost more than the main Atmega328 microprocessor!
With the use of the Atmel 32U4 in the Leonardo, the separate USB chip has been eliminated, but you are still left with only surface mount packages available. Hand soldering a 44TQFP package is not for the faint of heart, but it is definitely doable by mere mortals, as I have proven myself. The remainder of the board has been laid out with most friendly SMD parts possible, mainly the 0805 size.
This is not an easy kit, but it has been designed with hand assembly in mind. If the thought of the 44TQFP or flashing the bootloader is too daunting, the "Partial Assembly" option will remove the hardest barriers for you:
If you are interested in seeing how easy SMD soldering is, start with my I Can Surface Mount Kit.
Why would you pay $25 for something you have to assemble yourself instead of the $8 Banggood option?
**Note: Maker's Box is not connected to Arduino. This product is a derivative. Any tech support request for this product should come through the "contact seller" button on this webpage or the Instructable comments.
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James | March 15, 2019
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