I have just about completed my first Arduino project using an Arduino Uno board, but is that what I use inside the finished device? I figured I’d keep the Uno for future projects and have something else controlling the finished product. Are you supposed to just keep purchasing the Uno board every project?

I just got it a couple of days ago so I’m not very familiar with any of it. If that is the case do you use the batter for power since I can’t have it connected to my laptop once it’s done.


There are many options, so it all ends up depending on your personal preferences:

  • You could indeed dedicate this Arduino to this project, and buy a new one for the next project. This may be the simplest solution, if not the cheapest. Just make sure you are not using a breadboard for the other parts. A “proto-shield” may be a good option for soldering the rest of your circuit in a permanent form.

  • You may replace the Uno with a smaller Arduino, like the Micro (but beware it uses a different MCU) or a Pro Mini clone (same MCU). These smaller boards can then be soldered onto a PCB using standard 0.1” pin headers.

  • You could buy a cheap clone, test it to make sure it works as intended on this particular project, and dedicate the real one for further prototyping.

  • You could get a bare ATmega328P plus crystal and caps and put them, together with the rest of your circuit, onto a perf-board or a strip-board. C.f. Michel Keijzers’ answer. Note that if your program can run happily off a somewhat inaccurate 8 MHz clock, you can use the MCU's internal oscillator instead of a crystal.

  • If your program is far from using all the resources of the Uno, you may consider a smaller MCU. The ATtiny85 is a popular “minimalistic” choice. Make sure an Arduino core is available for it, unless you want to program all low-level.

  • For the most professional result, you could design and order a real PCB for your whole circuit, including the MCU.

| improve this answer | |
  • Regarding your fifth point: There are many people who have made available Arduino "cores" for the ATtiny85: ATtinyCore by Spence Konde seems to be well-regarded. It does introduce a lot of extra options in the tools dialog. . ATtiny by David A Mellis is simpler. – RedGrittyBrick Jun 30 at 17:00
  • Thanks a lot. I’m brand new to this so have no knowledge but I knew I could count on SE. – Timinycricket Jun 30 at 20:52

What you can do is:

  • Buy the main IC (Atmel 328P)
  • Use some external components to get it working (like a crystal). Check this on a breadboard to see if it works (and check.
  • Buy a case to put it in
  • Buy some protoboard or PCB to solder it on (or use a footprint)
  • For power, use some components (voltage regulator) or an adapter, or battery, whatever you need. Make sure you check this on a breadboard before you solder it.

If you want to read more about the subject, search for 'prototyping'.

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  • 2
    I particularly like Adafruit's high quality proto-boards for my one-off builds. There are several sizes but the 1/2-breadboard size I linked to is the size I use most. – JRobert Jun 30 at 12:19
  • They seem very easy to convert from breadboard to proto board. If you have no space constraints, those are probably the easiest. – Michel Keijzers Jun 30 at 12:24

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