After rethinking what it meant to combine the Arduino and a breadboard, we needed to test out our concept. Just like many electronic products, the new design started out on - you guessed it - a breadboard.
One critical tool we used was a small PCB called a breakout board. Generally, there are two types of breakout boards: Application breakouts and chip breakouts. Application breakouts combine many components onto a small PCB that can be used on a breadboard; chip breakouts allow each pin of a specific chip to be accessed. This way, we can test small chips that would otherwise not be compatible with a breadboard.
We based our Mk.II Circuit design on the Arduino Uno, the Arduino Duemilanove, and the Sparkfun Redboard. Essentially, the PCB On the underside of the BreadBro Mk.II is a slightly modified version of an Arduino Duemilanove.
The Mk.II units functioned with a bit of tweaking, but they proved that our schematic was allowing the Arduino software to upload firmware - which was huge. That meant we could start redesigning the circuit for our application.
After that it was back to the breadboard to start adding many of the features present on the BreadBro Mk.III.
In our next few posts, we'll be taking taking a look at each of the major features of BreadBro in our "Feature Focus" series!