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Pro-mini Carrier Board for Christmas Lights

Pro-Mini carrier board with ICSP

The Arduino Pro-Mini is a great little board but you need to figure out how best you can use the features on the pins and also how you are going to program it. The Pro-Mini has neither a USB interface nor an ICSP connector.

It is possible to program the board with the bootloader using a USB to serial FTDI interface. If you do this make sure that you get the correct voltage for the version of Pro-Mini that you are using. You will be using a 3.3v Pro-Mini for the Icicle project because it uses the least amount of power.

One thing that you can't do with the bootloader and a serial interface is program the bootloader or the fuses. This must be done with the ICSP interface so I decided to put an ICSP connector on the Pro-Mini carrier board to make things easier. You can program the Arduino while it is on the carrier using an Arduino Uno configured as a programmer. See this project: Arduino Pro-Mini ISP Programmer UNO

Layout for the Pro-Mini carrier board

Stripboard layout for the Pro-Mini carrier

The carrier board is built from copper stripboard with the layout as shown above. Remember to cut the tracks where shown as white circles and the strip seperating the two rows of pins on the ICSP connector to the right. This is the one with MISO, MOSI and SCK signals on it.

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