I wish I had this a few weeks ago... This is well thought out & great for prototyping with thru hole or surface mount parts. Power options are there for you to use, or not. Really; it's got a lot of useful options, on both sides of the board. Get 2, one for whatever you're thinking about working on and an extra one -- don't get stuck w/o one handy.
Great little board, as with all his boards, they are well thought out. Th e only nick is on Documentation -- I would have liked to see a 'recommended' parts list; but if you have been doing "bare arduino's" this should be no problem for you.
I was excited when I got DrAzzy's 1634 (bare) board -- I set out to build one to hone some surface-mounting skills The result was a working unit! I used the (on advice) cheapest parts I could find. (I built 4, with 1 failure).
I was ready for some more 1634's but I still wasn't feeling good abut the failed one - Then I saw DrAzzy had populated boards; the cost just wasn't that hard to take considering how long it took me to solder it up.. (I know practice practice and more practice)
My advice: If you want to learn to surface mount solder -- get the bare board -- spacing is nice and forgiving -- if you want to "get on with it" and program and use the board, get his optiboot versions. Either way, you won't be sorry you did.
Support/questions/answers are very easy and quick...
I wanted to add some touch sensors to a motorcycle project I was working -- figuring my skills at designing something sometimes results in hair pulling, I opted for the easy route & get a couple of these little guys. DrAzzy's stuff is awesome...These little boards are very cool -- much smaller than anything else I've seen & work great. I used a battery & a few alegator clips and a bit of foil -- tested out perfect.. so cool. For me, the price more than offset frustrations with me designing something similar.
I needed something with two hardware uarts and this fit the bill. I had originally picked up the 1634 and got that going -- but just for comparison (power usage/speed/etc) I wanted to try the 841 -- Awesome communications with advice & support... Very nicely done, all together, just add power & go! Will be buying more!
The board is well done with good silk screening. However, some of the letters are right where there are thru hole or solder points are, so it's hard to read; but there's good documentation... A photo of the completed unit along with a parts list is really all you need. I was able to get all parts thru mouser.com -- the only other way it could have been easier is if there was a "mouser project" (or other site... I'm not affiliated with mouser) so you could just say "Buy 2 kits".
There is good space available, which is important if you're just starting out in the surface-mount world. Plan out everything and you should be good.
the 1634 (or 834 for that matter) are great little boards, and often overlooked by builders looking for just the right amount of horsepower for the job.
Shipping was very prompt, arrived in only a few days. (Not sure how to rate communication, it was ok... If there was a "not applicable" option, I think that would have been a better choice.
All in all -- very happy / satisfied. I like supporting small business, so that was a bonus too.