The Sparkfun ProtoSnap is a single snappable board, smaller than a credit card, with an Arduino Pro Mini, FTDI breakout board, prototype area, buzzer, RGB LED, light sensor, and pushbutton switch, all wired together. You can hookit up and run through some exercises without plugging in a single jumper wire. We came up with several uses within a few minutes of plugging it in.
It comes from Sparkfun with a program already loaded. When you cast a shadow on it, the RGB LED goes through the colors. If you push the button, the buzzer beeps. One thing that bears mentioning. The power LED doesn't blind you. It just glows. It seems while there is an ongoing contest to see who can make the brightest blue LED, Sparkfun has made an indicator that merely indicates. And it's red. Refreshing.
When you've learned all you are going to learn from the LED, switch, buzzer, and light sensor, you can snap the board apart and have a (nearly) normal Arduino Pro Mini, and an FTDI USB to serial converter for programming it. The Pro Mini has two missing analog inputs, leaving it with the same six as the basic Arduino Uno, but the Arduino Pro Mini, also by Sparkfun, has 8 analog inputs. There are two capacitors in the spot where the other two analog inputs were. Small price to pay for the convenience of a one piece, no hassle learning tool. See other Arduino boards often called Arduino Pro Minis and the inconsistencies they exhibit.
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