Single sided Arduino is a great introduction to PCB etching

After you’ve taken the plunge and decided to learn how to etch your own circuit boards, you’ll quickly find even the simplest boards are still out of your grasp. This is due mostly to the two-layer nature of most PCBs, and turn making a homemade Arduino board an exercise in frustration and improving your vocabulary of four-letter words.

After looking around for an easy-to-manufacture single-sided Arduino board, [Johan] realized there weren’t many options for someone new to board etching. He created the Nanino, quite possibly the simplist Arduino compatible board that can be made in a kitchen sink.

Billing it as something between the Veroduino and the Diavolino, [Johan]‘s board does away with all the complexities of true Arduinos by throwing out the USB interface and FTDI chip. A very small parts count makes the Nanino much less expensive to produce in quantity than even the official Arduino single sided board.

For an introduction to etching your own PCBs at home, we couldn’t think of a better first board. As an Arduino, you’re guaranteed to find some use for it and the ease of manufacture and low parts count makes it the perfect subject for your hackerspace’s next tutorial series.


  1. cjwoodall says:

    Very nice!

    Have you thought about using the usbASP bootloader and a USB B port? (

    The usbASP loader works pretty well in my experience! It could be worth a shot if you have a way of flashing chips, so you can flash the bootloader onto it. I believe it is Arduino compatible already with a little bit of hassle (have to edit boards.txt I believe).

  2. @cjwoodall: you mean like the MHVBoard and Metaboard?

  3. Elias says:

    One pad seems to be overlapping with a mounting hole a bit. No automatic rules checking done?

  4. Tim says:

    Yeah, and there seams to be a bit of track spilling over the edge near that hole as well..

  5. Tim says:


    • vonkonow says:

      Yeah, I know. Usually that extra ground pin for the FTDI cable is not necessary. This allows you to choose if you want the extra pin or the hole (actually you can have both, but part of the pad will be cropped…)

      The track being on the edge is in order to maintain the original form factor and maximize the distance from the pads (makes it easier to etch). If you don’t mind a slightly bigger board – cut 1mm outside ;)

  6. ferm says:
  7. ferm says:


  8. pulkomandy says:

    Here’s mine, with USB support and a few extras :

  9. Sven says:

    How is this an arduino? Isn’t it just an AVR breakout board with a crystal?

  10. @Sven: So the Arduino Pro is not an Arduino?

  11. 4ndreas says:

    Here is mine, with voltage regulator and 6-pin ISP header

    I think there are thousands of Arduino clones around here…

  12. Dan Overholt says:

    This seems more useful to me – a single sided Leonardo clone, complete with what looks like shield compatibility:

  13. Arthur says:

    If your etching this, then NOT in the kitchen sink. Most etchants will eat through the stainless coating on SS sinks, then your in a lot of trouble.

  14. RK Murthy Challa says:

    Very nice and interesting to do

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