SparkFun BlackBoard C

SparkfunSKU: SPX-16282
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Experimental Product: SparkX products are rapidly produced to bring you the most cutting edge technology as it becomes available. These products are tested but come with no guarantees. Head on over to the SparkFun forum for support or to ask a question.


The BlackBoard from SparkFun is everything you need in an Arduino Uno with many extra perks. BlackBoard has all of the hardware peripherals you know and love: 14 Digital I/O pins with 6 PWM pins, 4 Analog Inputs, UART, and SPI with a handful of external interrupt pins. BlackBoard even has an SMD ISP header to connect SPI pins to shields.

We've applied every lesson we've learned about making a better Uno and created the BlackBoard. The USB to serial is now done with a reversible USB C connector with through-hole anchoring and the ubiquitous CH340C requiring fewer driver installs.

The power portion of the BlackBoard has been reworked: we upgraded the 3.3V regulator to provide up to 600mA, with full thermal and reverse circuit protection and added extra decoupling capacitance to increase the sensitivity of the ADC readings.

We've decreased the brightness of the power LED, pin 13 LED, and the TX/RX LEDs from blinding to just perfect. We've added 3.3V voltage translation and a Qwiic connector to the edge of the board to allow for quick and seamless connection to our ever-growing line of I2C based Qwiic products.

We've added solder pads to the bottom of the board for D+/D- so you can embed your BlackBoard into a project and run an external USB connection. We've increased the height of the reset button. This doesn't sound like much, but everyone who's touched it loves the improvement. And finally, we've increased the PTC from 500mA to 2A so that you can capture the full power of USB C. Shoot! An eagle-eyed customer pointed out we have a 1.2A MOSFET on USBVDD. We'll get this fixed on the next build.

For more advanced users we've added an I/O voltage switch also known as the "Red Squirrel switch". Now you can select the GPIO voltage between 3.3V or 5V with just your finger. This is extremely handy if you have a shield or 3.3V sensitive devices, such as an SPI interface, that needs protecting. Worried about accidentally flipping the switch? A piece of tape will lock it in place.

On this latest version, we added clearly labelled PTH holes alongside the standard female headers. This makes it very easy to solder wires in place to make your project 'backpack safe' once you get it working. We even went with the fancy gold ENIG finish on the PCB because, well, we know you're fancy.

The SparkFun BlackBoard comes fully tested with the Optiboot bootloader and can be easily programmed with the 'Arduino/Genuino Uno' option from within Arduino. You can power the BlackBoard over USB or through the barrel jack. The onboard power regulator can handle anything from 7 to 15VDC. The barrel jack and USB connection can support up to 2A. Check out the related items below for a compatible wall-wart power supply.

A4/A5 Pins: We recommend you don't use A4/A5 for analogue to digital conversion. These pins have external 2.2k pull-up resistors and will affect readings if you use them as analogue to digital conversion pins. A0 through A3 still work fine as ADC pins. However, there are two jumpers on the rear of the board that can be cut to disconnect the 2.2k pull-ups if you need the extra A4/A5 ADC pins.

Features

  • ATmega328P microcontroller with Optiboot (UNO) Bootloader
  • CH340C USB to Serial IC
  • Reinforced and reversible USB C connector
  • Built-in Qwiic connection
  • Input voltage: 7-15V
  • 0-5V outputs with 3.3V compatible inputs
  • 14 Digital I/O Pins (6 PWM outputs)
  • 6 Analog Inputs
  • ISP Header
  • 32k Flash Memory
  • 16MHz Clock Speed
  • Flat bottom, all SMD construction

Documents

  • Schematic
  • Eagle Files
  • Drivers: The CH340C uses CDC drivers built in to most modern OS including Windows 7, 8, 10, Linux Mint, OSX Yosemite, El Capitan, and Sierra which means you shouldn't need to install any extra software. However, there are a wide range of operating systems out there, so, if you run into driver problems, you can get drivers here.
    • Windows - Driver version 3.4 (2016-09-28)
    • Linux - Driver version 1.5 (2018-03-18)
    • Mac - Driver version 1.4 (2017-01-11) for 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, and 10.12
  • Arduino IDE Download
  • Please visit the BlackBoard repo for the latest design files

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