Another Arduino clone is the last thing the world needs

duino

One might think the last thing the world needs is for The Great Old Ones to rise from their near-death sleep deep in the Pacific ocean, and begin again their reign over Earth. ¬†Actually, the last thing the world needs is another Arduino clone. Here’s this one. Fittingly, it’s called the Ktuluino.

Actually, this isn’t yet another attempt to build an Arduino clone that adds nothing to existing designs; it’s just [Jeff]‘s attempt at PCB design. He needed something to practice on, so why not something that ends in -uino?

The board is just about as simple as Arduinos come – an ATMega328P is the brains of the outfit and also the most expensive component, closely followed by either the power jack or the header pins. As an exercise in PCB design, we’ll give this a thumbs up, but this could also be used for an ‘introduction to soldering’ workshop at a hackerspace, or alternatively a coaster.

76 thoughts on “Another Arduino clone is the last thing the world needs

    1. I bought a clone from Hong Kong once. It was a good bit cheaper (I think about $16), and the quality was actually better. Of course the profit doesn’t go to fund development, so there’s the tradeoff. I think now you can get clones of ebay for under $10 shipped.

      1. I have a similar experience with a official Mega 2560 versus a clone ordered from aliexpress.
        And for once, they even had the decency to remove all the logo’s and text that would otherwise make it look like a original.
        Only niggle with the cheaper board were that the solders on some of the header pins could be better, but even a beginner with a soldering iron and some solder tin could improve those, so no biggie.

    2. Mega2560 are getting really cheap when sourced from Asia. If you don’t need the ‘big’ Arduino pinout, the Pro Mini clones cost as low as $18 per five pieces, and as a bonus, they’re breadboard friendly.

    3. Yup. Lots of them. if you look online you can find clones for $8.00 shipped from china all over ebay and other sites.

      I prefer the micro ones with surface mounted everything and USB built on to the oversized DIP stuff.

    4. I bought a adruino mega clone for $20 on amazon compared to the $60 they want for the real deal. So yes, people do buy clones. Those of us that are on a very tight budget and rarely get the spare money to do projects.

    1. OSHPark purple pcb and bad lighting.

      Decoupling caps far away from where they are needed, no bulk capacitance, no voltage regulator, or at least footprints for one, 1/10 for the effort of importing the squid image into the silk..

        1. Have you ever seen any ATmega mcu or at least a datasheet? Crystal is on the right side, as close to XTAL pins as possible.

          Decoupling caps are not really that far away, but there should be another one on the other side for second Vcc/GND pair.

          1. Really?
            According to the ATMEL Datasheet for the 28 pin dip 328 chips, the XTAL is on the left near the middle.
            Are you reading the right data sheet?

  1. Wow, just about all “Arduino hater” talking points neatly wrapped up in a politely written article. Well, maybe Brian missed “coulda bought it cheaper at XYZ site” or something?

    Personally, I think it’s pretty smart to practice on something simple and useful and easy to test as a first PCB experience. Sure, you could try to make something ultra-small and uber-complex, but if you’re just learning how to use the software, something simple is a much better way to learn without burdening the whole process with a lot of other stuff. And when the board is made, it’s easy to find out if it works… just try using it on an already know-good Arduino project.

  2. Actually, an Arduino coaster sounds like a great idea. They’re common and cheap enough, why not? The question is… what could you make it do?

    I’m thinking change the color of a ring of LEDs dependent on the temperature of whatever is on it. The big question is could it feasibly be powered off a thermoelectric cell?

    1. The big number 16 next to the crystal should have been the giveaway. ATMEGA328s cap out at about 20 but the arduino libraries assume 16.

  3. Why are you so cruel? If you do not like the board, do not post it on your blog, but nobody wins with his irony and lack of respect for the work of other colleagues. I was disappointed. The maker community can do it better than this.

    1. good point, although you can use the Arduino environment to program most of the ATMega chips, so it’s really only a distinction of having the FTDI off-board. You can actually use the Arduino for the same purpose to program another ATMega chip (the 6/8 pin Tiny series for example).

  4. I’m just glad it wasn’t another coffee machine related article.. What were there, 6 articles practically back to back about coffee??

  5. This board is mentioned in Appendix C of the Necronomicon.

    I’ve not seen our Magnificent Overlord’s name spelled “Ktulu” before. Which H.P.L. story is that from?

    1. Yeah, the Great Old One does not like misspellings. I missed one of the “l” and got instantly transported to an alternate dimension to answer for the charge of inciting hearesy. Luckily, I was able to prove it was a funny-looking drawf’s fault. I’ve been playing our Lord’s advocate even since. In fact, I’m designing a gavimetric wrapping field to assist in the next rising. Screw you physics, the “colors” will be back. :P

  6. I’ll be honest, I’m just getting fed up of the increasingly demoralising tone of HackaDay posts. First paragraph is rude, second paragraph tends briefly towards acceptance, then there’s the last paragraph and that coaster comment.

    Sorry, couldn’t find the post from a few weeks ago where almost every comment was ‘too far, guys’ but with luck another commenter can?

    Please can you guys give it a rest with being horrible? We read enough of it in the comments.

    1. Seconded. This is pretty bad. I read the post in disbelief. Its one thing to give constructive criticism but this is really just too far. This guy went out and designed something he’s proud of and you just stomped all over it and basically called it a useless redundant piece of shit. Personally I think they did a good job on the project. As other comenters have mentioned its not perfect but its a good try and they are doing it to learn not to come up with something new and perfect.

    2. I didn’t read it that way at all. I read it as partially tongue-in-cheek and partially realistic of the limited scope of the project, but not at all disparaging. Sure, it wasn’t all puppy farts and unicorn rainbow glitter, but I don’t thing Benchoff was being critical or demeaning… some of the commenters, sure, but not as many as I expected.

      You can read anything through any filter, but ascribing malice doesn’t always mean it exists.

        1. I really think YOU’RE demeaning the hours of labor and fine craftsmanship that goes into quality coaster manufacturing by saying the comparison is disparaging

        2. I believe the coaster line was tying this write-up in with the stream of coffee-related posts that had been going on prior to this one. he could have said “… a coaster for your coffee” but then that would have been too obvious. comdeic subtlety gets lost if you’re not following along. And let’s face it, there are easily 10x more arduino clones in existence than actually in use as microcontrollers… so the odds are quite good that some are doing time as coasters of some sort or another…

      1. Critical is good. From a management training document I read recently, criticism is best in a ratio of three good things to each negative.

        In this post, the author isn’t being critical in either a positive or negative sense. He’s just being mean. Intention can be somewhat beside the point in a public space.

        1. Not Really, The opening paragraph is a paraphrasing the source article which appears to have been written by the creator of the board so perhaps he should stop being mean to himself. The rest reads like standard hack-a-day fair.

    3. I felt it wasn’t mocking the project so much as making fun of all of the douchebags that are always all like “Oh. Another Arduino thing” despite having nothing to show for themselves.

  7. Idiots, all bi*ching about what benchoff wrote… go READ TFA!

    If anything, he’s committed plagiarism rather than any sort of malicious act. :P

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