Minimal AVR kit


Many moons ago, before I knew anything about Arduino, I bought a “minimum ATmega kit” from eBay, pretty much like this, DIY ATMEGA8 Minimum System Board ATmega48 ATMEGA88 Minimum System Board AVR Kit. It arrived, I built it, I put in in a box and forgot all about it until today, when I came across it.

But once you’ve made it how can you use it and what are the buttons for?

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Metal Core Printed Circuit Boards (MCPCB) are used to keep high powered LED circuits cool, as the metal substrate helps dissipate heat generated by the LEDs.

However, they can also be used, as an alternative to FR4 PCBs, to create heavy, sturdy and funky PCBs for audio applications, especially if a thick 5-10 mm substrate is used (although 3.2 mm is the common maximum thickness – see below).

I got the idea after seeing this question on StackExchange: Custom/DIY Metal-Core PCB? However, MCPCB is really only useful for SMD components. Standard discrete components would need to be routed via the underside, and there would be a potential for short circuits caused by component legs coming in contact with the metal substrate.

Feature image taken from Metal Core PCB vs standard circuit boards.

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