The Arduboy Mini, Coming Soon!

Alasdair Allan
2 min readJul 5, 2019

The Arduboy is a fantastic 8-bit game handheld video game platform built around a Microchip ATmega32U4 micro-controller. It’s open source, and there is a bunch of documentation that will help you build your own games. Since it crowdfunded itself into the retro-gaming scene back in 2015, it has become a staple of the community — and we’ve seen some impressive hacks including a flexible one called the Arduflexboy.

However this might be the smallest one yet, say “Hello” to the Arduboy Mini.

The Arduboy (left) and the new Arduboy Mini (right). (📷: Arduboy)

Designed and built by Kevin Bates, the Arduboy Mini is about half the size of the Arduboy, and makes use of the external memory flash mod designed by community member “Mr. Blinky.”

“Arduboy was reconstructed to smallest possible dimensions using the 0.96 OLED. I used TQFP packaging for this one because I thought it would be easier to solder. That chip was but I made a lot of other design choices that made bringing this board up a major pain in the behind. The tight placement of the passive components meant that if there was any problems during reflow it was very difficult to get a soldering iron in…”

The Arduboy Mini. (📹: Arduboy)

“…I omitted ISCP programming pads because I figured it would be fine to program the chip using magnet wire to the pins. This was a terrible and error prone idea. Put programming pads on your board, you are only making your own life more difficult! I also neglected to connect the signal network for the chip select for the external EEPROM memory chip, so I had a little magnet wire bodge on that.”

The new Arduboy Mini front (left) and back (right). (📷: Arduboy)

While it’s not available yet, there are plans for a limited edition batch in 4 different colours of PCB. For more information, and to keep up with the discussion around the new Arduboy, go over and check out the Arduboy Mini thread on the Arduboy Community forums.