I recently picked up a DFRobot Beetle. My first impression is this is really small. It is basically a scalled down Leonardo. It’s very well made and reasonably cheap. I believe it costs just under 8 us dollars which is about half the price of the sparkfun pro mini.
The specs are as follows
Clock Speed: 16 MHz
Operating Voltage: 5V DC
Digital I/O Pins: 10
PWM Channels: 4
Analog Input Channels: 5
Micro USB: 1
Power Ports: 2
Flash Memory: 32 KB of which 4KB used by bootloader
SRAM: 2.5 KB
EEPROM: 1 KB
Yeah it’s that small…
How does it compare to the Arduino pro mini? Well its significantly smaller and it runs at 16 Mhz instead of 8 Mhz but it also needs 5 volts instead of 3.3v. The beetle also manages cram in a Micro USB so you don’t need the FTDI basic to program it like you do for the pro mini.
In order to program the beetle you need to select Arduino Leonardo as your board type in the arduino ide.
In summary the beetle is a great little board that really performs well. It’s smaller and faster than the arduino pro mini and easier to use with out additional equipment i.e. the ftdi usb breakout board. The beetle is also about half the cost. It’s even more cost effective if you consider the cost of an ftdi breakout board. But the downside is you have to work at it if you want to interface with 3.3v sensors.
You can get more information over at the DFRobot site.
And here is my disclaimer. Although I have written some very favorable reviews of DFRobot products as of late and there will certainly be a few more shortly as I have time to work with the OBD-II uart adapter, and some of their gas sensors, I have not been compensated in any way nor have I received anything from them directly or indirectly. These are strictly my opinions. If you find value in them great and if not that’s fine too. If you are like me you tend to read up on a product as much as possible before making that final decision to purchase a product. I have not been disappointed in any way by their products and thus feel great about recommending their products as not only well built but also cost effective and typically well documented and supported. I also have always found DFRobot products to be extremely well designed which I appreciate a lot as an engineer!
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