The Arduino Nano is a small, popular, microcontroller development board. It is a breakout board for ATmega microcontrollers. The boards are readily available, cheap, breadboard-friendly and easy to work with.
Input and output power
Power can either be supplied with a Mini-B USB cable or via the power (Vin) and ground (GND) pins. The recommended power input range is 7 ~ 12V DC. Each I/O pin will supply 5V DC and 40 mA with a maximum total of 200 mA. This means that within projects, the Arduino Nano will consume very small amounts of current – 3.2 mA (rest) ~ 280 mA (loaded) (< 0.1 – < 2 Watts).
With its 14 digital I/O pins, of which 6 provide PWM output, and 8 analog input pins, the Arduino Nano can be used as a development board, but is also cheap and small enough (45 mm long, 18 mm wide and about 20 mm high) to use directly in projects.
Like other Arduinos, the Nano has a power on and programmable on-board LEDs. The on-board LED can be programmed through pin 13 (high = on, and vice versa). It also has a reset button and pin.
Arduino Nano specifications
There are currently two versions available. Version 2.x has a ATmega168 and version 3.x an ATmega328 micorcontroller. The main difference between the newer and older version is that version 3.x has double the memory (RAM and ROM) (2 Kb vs. 1 kb) and programming space (1 Kb vs. 512 bytes).
Chip: ATmega168 / ATmega328
Number of cores: 1
CPU clock speed: 16 MHz
Memory: ATmega168 / ATmega328 (built-in)
Flash memory: 16 KB / 32 KB (of which 2 KB is used by bootloader)
SRAM: 1 KB / 2 KB
EEPROM: 512 bytes / 1 KB
Operating voltage (logic level): 5V DC
Input voltage (recommended): 7 ~ 12V DC
Input voltage (limits): 6 ~ 20V DC
Power source: 5V via Mini-B or GPIO pins
Digital I/O (read/write) pins: 14 (of which 6 provide PWM output)
Interrupt pins: 2 external, 24 pin change
Analog input pins: 8
Operating current from Pwr pin: 500 mA if connected to USB port, up to 1000 mA if connected to higher powered power source.
Operating current per I/O pin: 40 mA (recommended maximum)
Total current from all I/O pins: 200 mA (max)
Size: 45 x 18 mm
Operating temperature: -40 ~ 85 °C
Interfaces: Serial/UART, SPI, I2C
Breadboard friendly: yes
Pin size: male, 5 x 2.54 mm
Programming & libraries
The Arduino Nano is programmed using the Arduino IDE (C++ based).
Arduino Nano pinout
To get started with the Arduino Nano you will need
These were the parts that were used. Most are available from BangGood, eBay and RS Components. Direct links to some of the parts are supplied lower down.
- Arduino Nano (buy 1 w/ cable from BangGood | buy 5 w/o cable from BangGood)
- Mini-B USB cable
- Breadboard and solderless breadboard jumper cable set
- 220 Ohm resistor
- 3 mm or 5mm LED
- Arduino IDE installed on a PC