If you've used the Arduino enough to understand its shortcomings, or perhaps even dared to mention them alloud, be cheered, the gods have heard your prayers - and yes Omilex has been making devboards and breakouts long enough to be a god. This new Arduino Clone from Omilex addresses (almost) all of the complaints raised here and at Hackaday etc.. of the Arduino: with a host of pretty clever, if not always novel solutions. I'll count down the top 10 complaints again with fixes provided by the engineers at Omilex. 

 

#10. Accidental resets - Re-introduce the Atmel recommended noise suppression - check.

#9. Analog sucks - Separate regulator for Analog, optional Vref for even more precision - check.

#8. Shields cover reset switch - move switch - check.

#7. Shields short out on USB connector - use mini usb check.

#6. Pin layout is Random - new set of .1 centered pins - check.

#5. Frequency dependencies - provide replaceable crystal - check

#5. Linear regulators suck - use proper regulator - check.

#4. Pin assignment is Random - group power and signal together in Uext connector for GPS, ZIGBEE, I2C, etc...

#3. Power wire in a portable world - add lithium charger and auto switching - check.

#2. 5v in a 3v volt world - provide 5v/3.3v switch.

#1. Battery life sucks - lose the firestarter and add real ULP Voltage regulators - check.

 

And this is the short list, add real time clock support, 4 mounting holes, and Industrial temperature components and the Olimexino is far and away the highest quality Arduino Board ever produced for $29 on Mouser.

 

 

 

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Comment by Matt on November 14, 2011 at 6:55pm

You only had to list the first four and I was sold. Looks like this is going to be my new favorite clone!

Comment by I.S. on November 15, 2011 at 12:40am

I really do like this board. Looks very well designed.
Apart from the point #6 (.1 centered pins), I think Arduino could adopt all this improvements.

 

Comment by Dimitri on November 15, 2011 at 2:43am

Wooo, really cheap !

Comment by Dan Overholt on November 15, 2011 at 3:52am

Not as cheap as a Seeeduio - doesn't have all the features you listed on the Olimexino but quite a few of them are there, and this has been available for quite a while now: $22.50 shipped: http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/seeeduino-v221-atmega-328p-p-669.html

But why not a more modern microcontroller (even if sticking with 8-bit micros), that at least has proper USB support built-in ... Teensy for example, which is even less expensive starting at $16: http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/

I know the Arduino "Leonardo" will have an Atmega32U4 as well (and Adafruit already sells a board with the Leonardo bootloader - http://www.adafruit.com/products/296 ), it seems the Leonardo USB code Arduino wrote is based on the Teensy's code, in fact (see the comments here): http://dangerousprototypes.com/2011/09/17/atmel-and-arduino-collabo...

All this said, though, why not move up to a 32-bit microcontroller to stay with today's modern world? For example, Olimex also sells a ARM core (STM32-based) version of their Olimexino type of boards for $34.51 on Mouser: http://www2.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Olimex-Ltd/OLIMEXINO-STM32/?qs...  -- programmable with the Maple (Arduino-based) IDE.

PIC32s are another nice option (again Olimex has one if you search, among many other PIC32-based options)...

Comment by Jesse on November 15, 2011 at 6:08am

Even better.... the 32-bit ChipKit Uno by Digilent using a Microchip PIC32 for $26.

Comment by Alfred Riopel on November 15, 2011 at 10:46am

My thoughts on this..assuming that the DIYD ArduMega code is not directtly useable.

While this great for DIYD <10% membership  which are developers. (my personal estimation) The rest of the DIYdrones comunity >90% will likely stay with the current DIY offering in as much as a wide range a mostly complete and functioning code is already available. I know this board would collect dust if I where to purchase. I can build solder and fly with the best of us. And as much as I would love to be able to program, I resign myself to rely on other talent to provide the codes.

Comment by bGatti on November 15, 2011 at 11:11am

Alfred,

by definition, ArduPilot will run on this, while ArduMegaPilot would not. The good news is that Arduino is incorporating improvements into the main trunk as they emerge. As this board illustrates a great number of improvements, one can think of it as a "proposed patch"; as much for DIYD boards as for Arduino itself.

 

The subtext - whether Arduino is an enabling platform or a permanently disfiguring crutch, and whether this board illustrates how the pros solve problems remains an open and lively debate for others.

 

Comment by Cliff-E on November 15, 2011 at 1:17pm

In this game, it's about price + value + quality. Arduino is still a bit cheaper, but it is starting to turn this business into a get-what-you-pay-for environment. That's good cause the choices a dev makes becomes more representative of their goals vs. paying a high price for trade-sercrets.

Comment by AVS on November 15, 2011 at 3:09pm

problem with .1 pins is that EVERY existing shield for arduino will not fit. problem with 328 is that it has only one hardware serial and little memory.

I think a good combination for a new project might be freeIMU + mega2560 or mapleARM (navigation) + mega2560 or mapleARM (controller) + 32 channel i2c/serial servo/esc controller. That way we can make a transformer that is both humanoid and copter :)

Comment by I.S. on November 15, 2011 at 3:46pm

@Fab: I misunderstood the .1 pins as well. So I said:

"Apart from the point #6 (.1 centered pins), I think Arduino could adopt all this improvements."

BUT, the thing is that pin sockets (or whatever) DEcentered as arduino so it CAN support "official" shields,

but it has centered pin holes to solder pins to plug it in a breadboard.

An image worth million words: Olimexino-328 

 

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