Nanino – the DIY friendly Arduino

Nanino v08 with prototype area (seen from component side)


A minimalistic single sided Arduino compatible development board.


  • Single sided PCB (easy to manufacture)
  • Arduino compatible form factor
  • LED’s for power and pin 13
  • Easy to access reset switch
  • Prototype area
  • FTDI Connector for serial communication
  • On board crystal with decoupling caps
  • Minimal cost (due to PCB and component count)


I got a request from a college student in Brazil for a minimalistic Arduino PCB, very similar to a project I worked on a while ago. The requirements were to have a low cost single sided board that was easy to manufacture. It uses wide traces and a minimum of components. Instead of having a USB connection, a 5V FTDI cable is used. The board can be powered by either the FTDI cable or an external power supply (like a 5V USB charger or batteries). See it as what comes between a Veroduino and a Diavolino.
Milled PCB


In order to simplify the layout, the ICSP connector was removed. The bootloader can instead be programmed through the Arduino pin headers, or by removing the IC. An  AVR-ISP  (in-system programmer), USBtinyISP, a ParallelProgrammer, a Boot-Cloner or an Arduino can be used as a programmer.

Upload program to the Nanino

The Nanino has a serial interface (ttl level) that is compatible with a standard 5V FTDI cable. You can also build your own serial adapter or for example use a Sony Ericsson dock as adapter. Note that the FTDI auto reset is not implemented. You can either press reset after a program update, or add a 0,1uF capacitor between pin6 of the FTDI cable and the reset pin.

Bill of Materials (BOM)

component position (seen from component side)

  • 1x single sided PCB board (etch, mill or order)
  • 1x ATmega328P (28 pin DIL)
  • 1x IC socket 28 pin DIL (optional)
  • 2x 6×1 0.1” female pin header
  • 2x 8×1 0.1” female pin header
  • 1x 6×1 0.1” pin header (FTDI connector)
  • 1x 10k resistor (reset pull up – 1/4W)
  • 2x 1k resistor (power and pin 13 LED – 1/4W)
  • 1x Green 3mm LED (pin 13)
  • 1x Red 3mm LED (power)
  • 1x 16 MHz crystal (0.2” pitch)
  • 2x 18pF decoupling caps
  • 1x 6mm miniature switch (reset)
  • 2x 0.1uF decoupling cap 0.1/0.2”(aref and power)
  • 1x 1uF cap 0.1/0.2” (optional if power is good)

Removed features

To make a minimalistic single sided board the following things were discarded:

  • On board USB to serial converter
  • DC jack and power regulator (7-12V input)
  • Power regulator (3.3V output)
  • ICSP connector
  • Serial communication LEDs


  • 68.5×53.3 [mm] (standard version)
  • 4.5-5V DC

Assembled Nanino with ATmega328 

Version tracker

0.5                    Optimized routing
0.6                    Fine tuned PCB
0.7                    Added prototype area and component names
0.8                    Added toner transfer, compact and prototype version  – Current version
Future…           Maybe a Leonardo version (SMD ATmega32u4) with built in USB…


Project files:

Files for toner transfer (6 prototype and 6 compact, all mirrored):

See also

Licensing Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

109 Replies to “Nanino – the DIY friendly Arduino”

  1. simply awesome…

    but I require ISP, can I copy your design and modify it a bit to add the ISP…

    I plan to make it, sell a few kits of it and will be putting the design files (bottom artwork and silkscreen) on my site for download.


    1. Sure it is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. So you can modify it as much as you like!

      Let me know if you can fit the ICSP without using 0.05″ spacing of the traces. I couldn’t get it to work :(

      1. I will need to convert this into Eagle or something first… so I can put in the ICSP connector – I do like your CAD approach though.

        I never thought of placing components diagonally on a PCB and your design of this arduino is quite interesting.

        1. like you, I also never thought of twisting the microcontroller diagonally. I have a clone that I built which comes close to this size, but took weeks in Cadsoft planning the shrink. Great Job, Johan!!

          1. Thnx, rotating the CPU 45 deg, looks a bit weird and makes the routing somewhat tricky. But it saves a lot of space…

            If you have a working eagle file with ICSP, please share it. I’m sure other will appreciate it!

  2. You should label your components, R1, R2, etc.

    Also it is not clear what parts are through hole, and what parts are surface mount.

    1. sry. I will try to add that later…
      Here is a short description until then:

      *They are all thru hole mounted.
      *The resistor in the middle is the 10k (reset pull-up).
      *The others are 1k.
      *The caps close to the crystal are the 18-22pF caps
      *The optional 1uF cap is the one at the bottom
      *The other caps are 0,1uF

      Don’t forget to place the LEDs cathode towards ground.

  3. I have got some comments regarding one ftdi pad overlapping the hole and the traces close to the edge; here is the background:

    Usually that extra ground pin for the FTDI cable is not necessary. This allows you to choose if you want the extra pin or the hole (actually you can have both, but part of the pad will be cropped…)

    The track being on the edge is in order to maintain the original form factor and maximize the distance from the pads (makes it easier to etch). If you don’t mind a slightly bigger board – cut 1mm outside ;)


  4. Hello,

    Great design! Do you have a suggestion how to mill this board om my Modela MDX-15?
    The supplied Rhino file does not open in SRP Player 1.21 due to unsupported data present”
    I don’t have a clue what input I can use for your ” html cam (MDX version)” as I don’t have Rhino3D available.
    I wopuld very much like to reproduce this board !

    Best regards,

    1. Sure, im on two weeks trip right now. I can export various formats when i return home, if you can wait…
      It might be possible to use the .svg file (vector) with a different program. I think that inkscape can export to a file that roland suite can use (dxf). But you will have to add the trace thickness somehow…

      1. Hello,

        It would me great to mill out the board myself. I used your HTML CAM for the Modela last weekend. It worked like a charm. I calculated the coördinates using Excel (including the right offset) I would be nice if the HTML CAD accepted an XY offset for the correct placement.

        I would prefrer to have a file containing the input for HTML CAD for the modela (output from your Rhino script) to be able to produce the board.


        1. Hi
          I have now added neutral coordinate files for the html cam for this project. The package includes files for:
          • Engraving paths (use a PCB/ engraving bit)
          • Drilling holes (use a 0.8mm drill)
          • Release cut (use a flat 3mm diameter router)

          That should be everything you need to produce the board. The offset is ~2mm – allowing the 3mm router (1,5mm radius) to release the PCB without cutting any alignment edge.

          Good luck and let me know how it works!

          P.S. Let’s see if I can add global offset to the next version of html cam… ;)

          1. Thanks for posting these files!

            I will try to mill out the board on my Modela soon. I’ll keep you posted.

            Can you please advise a drill diameter for engraving the paths (first file?).
            Best regards,

          2. I prepared the modela files using the Vector Mill files and the JvK CAM MDXv19 tool. I have to find a engraving bit small enough (+/- 0.1 mm) to do the job if I can depend on the Virtual Modela output.

  5. When you have time could you please link a pdf that i could print out for a toner transfer.

  6. Would it be possible for you to add an image that contains clear labels for parts, I am having a hard time working out which parts have to go where!

    Also, Which way round does the FTDI go on the header?

    I managed to get the board etched by my school, I did make some minor modifications to save on board space and added some copper fill.


    Inverse with info:

    I may of added a logo and a small little ‘B’ to the version number, Hope you don’t mind… :P

    Now to drill all those holes, one at a time, this should be fun…

  7. Very ,very good job… I just print the pdf for a toner tranfer pcb.
    Do you think is possible, in future, to put a kind of prefboard in the space used now for the name and details…. I mean lot of holes to make minimal experiment .
    Thank’s for sharing
    bye alberto

    1. That’s a great idea!
      It would also be possible to route power and ground to the lab area. I’ll see if I can find some time to update it in the next version…

      1. As I told I print the pdf, but (shame on me) not mirrored……so folks remember to mirror the pdf before print!!
        But it’s no bad ….only not very useful,a good test of my mental condition at the moment.
        Happy you like!

        1. Check out the latest version. I have added a prototype area in the unused space. Hope you like it!
          Please remember that it is still not mirrored ;)

  8. I just etched the design but I don’t know what part goes where! Can you make a quick picture because your answer from 10/9 still left me baffled. Thank you!

  9. Hi I would also appreciate a little more clarification on component placement if you get time to make a schematic or a picture of a finished board, Thanks..

    1. *update… sorry I think I need to explain my confusion a little bit more,
      I understand the 2 Caps by the crystal, its the reference to the other two caps and the optional cap im having trouble with,

      your explanation is “*The optional 1uF cap is the one at the bottom
      *The other caps are 0,1uF”

      … when you say at the bottom are you talking about the diagram at the top of this page and the way it is orientated
      ie ..the two close together just above the long jumper wire the lower one would be the optional cap is that correct?
      Thanks for any advice you can offer
      and thanks for posting the board its just what Ive been looking for and have etched 3 of these for a project im doing

      1. I have added a new version and updated the images. The latest version has a small prototype area and you can see the exact position of the components (same as before)!

        1. Just one further question please…should there be a link between the DTR pin and Pin one of the Chip to allow for Auto reset capability?


          1. Hi Doug
            As mentioned in the text – add a 0.1uF cap if you want auto reset (no direct connection). If you are good at soldering a smd cap is easy to add on the backside.

            Good luck!

          2. DOH!!…sorry Johan I engaged keyboard before brain there, I had read that before I etched the boards and promptly forgot!!… Thanks again for all your help

  10. I checked the last version ,and yes,it is exactly how I would like to see it!
    Thank you for the job, I’ve not experience with graphic to do this improvment.
    And thank’s for the reminder about mirroring, I need.

  11. Amazing project, man. I certainly will try to make it. Please, do you have a photo of a real nanino to face it?
    Thanx for the knowledge sharing.

  12. Hello,

    your board is really nice. I would like to use it in my project but I need make few changes to your board. Could you provide me with schematic and board files for Eagle if you have some? I will be very gradefull as I will not have to make it from scratch (I´m beginner in Eagle).

    Thank you very much for your help.

      1. Hello Johan,

        thanks for those files but they can´t be used in Eagle. I will try make your boards from scratch.

        In the meantime, I decede to make your board from PDF file. I made the board, solder everything as I should but the board is not working.

        When I try to power it with MCU, nothing happens. When I apply just power (no MCU), power led starts to shine. If I push MCU in a bit (power still on), led on pin 13 start to shine as well, but if I push MCU completely in, board goes dark.

        What is wrong? I checked board for shorts, but I did not find any :-(.

        I hope you can help me.

        Many thanks.

        (Sorry for my bad english, it is not my main language)

        1. Does the power led also go dark when the MCU is inserted?
          If the power LED goes dark, then something is shortening the power supply. If the PSU don’t have a current limit circuit, something could be broken… :(

          Double check if the following is correct:
          1. Is the PCB mirrored?
          2. Is the MCU inserted correct (reset switch to pin1)?
          3. Is the led’s mounted correct (cathode to gnd)?
          4. Measure the voltage before and after the MCU (is it stable 5V)?
          5. Have the MCU got the right fuse settings?
          6. Have the MCU an Arduino boot loader and a test program (like blink) installed?

          Hope that this helps!

  13. Hi,
    I really love your design, and I updated it a bit to save space on my copper plates (removing the “playground’), I also enlarge some spacings, my UV machine had some parallax troubles.
    I give workshops in my area (France), and like to use your card for it. The only problem, is that your license is NC, which avoid me to sell or make money on it. Do you think I can sell boards nanino boards, making a little profit on it (to burn other naninos !) ?


  14. Hi Johan, first of all thank you for this simple and effective design. It’s just what I was looking for.
    I downloaded the png version but I had to do some rework: grayscales are evil when you do toner transfer. I prepared an optimized version of your file, with 2-color pcb and 6 layouts on A4 page to optimize transfer paper sheets.
    If you want I can send you the file.

  15. Hi Johan,
    Can you please verify which bootlader firmware should be installed in the ATMega328p? Will the Optiboot for ATMega328 be OK?
    Is the bootloader for the UNO different for thr older FTDI and the newer ATMega8 USB converters?


    1. If I remember it correct, I used the boot loader for the Duemilanove. I have not tried the Optiboot and I don’t think that the uno boot loader would work, (since they use a different usb chip with higher performance then the ftdi, but I have not tried so I could be wrong : )

  16. Awesome job man. Exactly what I have been looking for and great support files hosted. :D

    [Thumbs up]

    I am expecting a modified version using an extra ATmega8 for USB capabilities.

    1. Im glad you liked it!
      But I think you have to wait some time for a 2 chip version…
      The Atmega16U2 (8U2 used in previous Arduino Uno version) only comes in TQFP/VQFN packages, so the requirements for the board and soldering is quite a bit higher than the dil package…
      I think it makes more sense to make a single sided Leonardo board as nanino 2.0. Then you only need one chip, but it would still be smd so it is not as easy to build as the current version :(

  17. Hello,
    Thank you to share this lovely board. We have LPKF, how can we import the file to fabricate the PCB? or may you provide me the DXF file? can you upload the mirror image of PCB so that I can make it via toner transfer method.


  18. Pingback: Arduino | iw0hjz
  19. Hi Johan, I just finished with etching the board, this time in the right way, and put some photos and a pdf file with the mirrired pcb tracks, it is ready to print without any adapt for the page, must print “original size” or like….it work for me…
    so,please, take a look here:
    the board near and connected with is a DD signal generator and I put a voltage regolator on the proto part of the board.
    thank”s again for your job

      1. well, beautiful it is too much,it work, no doubt about the board,
        thanks a lot for this new version,really useful one print several prototype….now need time and other micro!!!

    1. Hi
      Nice PCB, it looks professional with the silkscreen print. Did you print on plastic or paper?
      I added toner transfer files for a compact version like your model (without prototype area)

  20. Bravo! Stumbled onto this via Reddit and have to say most useful DIY Arduino I have seen. Thanks for this!

  21. Excelente trabajo amigo! gran colaboracion al mundo arduino! De las versiones reducidas es la mejor que eh visto!


  22. I have made a few tweeks to your nanino board and would like to share with you.
    Added isp header and moved a few parts around, also provisioned the crystal for either resonator or crystal. I have the file is photoshop format with parts placement in green color. Message me for the files and I will send to you.

    1. Nice!
      I avoided to route traces between 0.1” pads in order to make it easier to etch and drill (larger traces and pads). But I think your version should be almost as easy to make and with added functionality!

  23. Hi Johan, because nanino is my favorite arduino compatible board I use in my telnet server driving 8 relay channel+read the 5 analog (Arduino Telnet Server Basic Arduino I/O a command line interface by Steve Lentz ) plus the classic w5100 ethernet shield.
    The problem is the nanino have not the icsp connector onboard so we need to connect the 13-12-11 pin with iscp connector on the w5100 board.
    Some photos here: explain better the little job I have done.
    Hope this help other in the use of this amazing board (nanino).
    best Alberto

    1. Yeah the icsp connector is sometimes lacking but I could not route it without having the traces closer together (making it more difficult to etch for beginners)…
      Your solution looks great!

      P.S. check out how dexterboot routed the ICSP in the comment above D.S.

  24. Well done!
    I have just started playing with Arduino, and thank you for your help.

  25. Thanks for your design.It’s beauty is in simplicity :D. and 45 degree idead is very cool.I have etched 4 boards and using one board as ISP schield just tinned SCK,MISO,MOSI Vcc GND Pins and added as wire for RST pin.It works fine.I am sharing this as it may help others save few dollars :D —

  26. Great work! It’s so easy and cheap to produce one of these :)
    I would suggest to implement a 0.1uF cap between the DTR header and reset. This makes it possible to use auto-reset.

  27. With the board nanino I need a plate with for FT232 or can I only connect the USB cable on it and your computer?

  28. Is it possible for you to share you eagle .brd file?


  29. Dear Sir,
    I successfully etched my pcb, but I can’t able to mount atmega 328 IC base on board. After drilled the pcb inthe mid point of a gap you have made in the IC base design, but last two pins 14 and 28 can not match with the pins.

    1. Hi
      I’m not sure I understand where you drilled. You are supposed to drill in the hole in the centre of the pad, where a circle of copper is missing. If you do that you will have 14 holes on each side, 28 in total.
      Solder an IC socket to the board will allow you to easily change the CPU if needed.
      If I misunderstood your problem, please explain again.

      Good luck!

  30. Can I use CH340 USB to TTL conveter for uploading sketches into this gadget arduino of yours? Please do reply.

  31. Is nanino compatible with arduino uno shields like i.e. cnc shield?

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