[Matt] sent us this very cool looking project called Illuminato. After brainstorming on how to improve upon the Arduino, and receiving lots of input on his ideas, [Matt] has put together this board that has several nice improvements. It has more I/O, more code space, faster serial communication speeds, built in PWM, and works with existing Arduino shields. Not only does it make these improvements, but it does it with style. The finish is quite nice, the layout is pleasing and it even has two rows of SMD LEDs on the back for some added geek cred. You can see a couple videos of it in action after the break.



19 thoughts on “Illuminato

  1. Awesome! Wow, good job. And as for the looks of the board…well, I normally don’t care a bit about the looks; I’m a function over form guy. However, I’ve got to admit: I like the pcb color, and love the 45 degree chip offset.

    Now if some genius would write good webserver / email code for the Arduino, I will be all set…

    ps Caleb, I hope ‘coule’ was a miss-spelling and not a hipster attempt. :)

  2. @fractalrock: Just a guess, but I’d say that the 45-degree offset *is* a practical move. Think about how you’d break out that many pins to two card edges – it makes for a much more streamlined PCB.

  3. Nice layout. I love the symmetry and the 45° angle.

    Although I really hate these USB-B plugs/receptacles. Compared to the rest of the board it is so bulky. Why not Mini-USB-B? I have more of these cables nowadays anyways…

    I can understand Arduino-compatibility, but the same design choice is weird there as well…


  4. dam it, i just baught a regular arduino. ehh this can be the next one.

    as for the underglow leds thats realy cool !
    maybe if you could drill a hole in the pcb and mount them in the hole some how you could see the glow from all sides ?

  5. @ryan the underside LEDs are just to produce a “cool” ambient glow, they are not individually controlled. That is why he controls them with the bling function.

    I also agree that the ISP holes are not the greatest. I usually go with a 6-pin SMD standard 0.1″ layout (to save a little bit of space). Through-hole header pins can still easily be soldered on if necessary.

  6. Oh, that is funny. When I loaded this guys site and checked his store earlier today, his board was $29, same price as the Duemilanove. I added it to my cart figuring I’d come back and buy it tonight.. well, he just bumped his price by $6.

    Not cool dude.. not cool… That’s almost half one of your shield extenders.. which I will not be buying now because of it.

  7. Ya he did bump his price up.. that sux. will cost me nearly 50$ to get it here in canada.

    I already purchased several arduinos, arduino clones and the sanguino … i spent over 200$ on arduinos so i’ll keep cool for now until i find use for all 10. Perhaps by then he’ll bump the price cheaper.

    we’ll see.

  8. ok, i see what he did. he ran out of stock and asked the arduino guys if they wanted more. he has a few left now that i bought 1 of for 35, but if you can wait until he builds more its 29.99. he’s building them by hand!

  9. Honestly I like the isp setup. always when I work with wiring I like twisting as apposed to solder and plug in. It also it give it kinda an old school look to contrast with the nice PCB look the rest of the board has (save the huge usb connector, but I got tons of those that need something to do).

    I’m sold, but the guy might wanna update his price so it actually matches what its on sale for.

  10. I just ordered 6 of them for $35. When I went back to have another look, I noticed they are now $39. So, I don’t think the price is going to be bumped down anymore… and there is no reason why it should be. Open source hardware is nice, but that doesn’t mean the guys at Liquidware should be working for free. I’m glad I got there right on time though :-), but really considering the time they are putting in to solder it together, this is worth rather something like $50 or even $100


  11. My two Illuminatos arrived last week. All I can say is that they are mega-cool! Far more ram, and a much faster download speed. Plus they are pin-for-pin compatible with my existing Arduino shields, and the code for the Illuminato ported directly into my current Arduino installation. It’s a much better looking board, and the 42 (!) digital I/O lines will make it much easier to interface to future projects. Well done guys, well done.

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