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Jolly Module----Arduino UNO compatible electronic module with Wi-Fi

by: Mar 04,2022 732 Views 0 Comments Posted in Technology

Arduino co-founder Gianluca Martino is back with something exciting for Arduino Uno fans: a drop-in upgrade, dubbed the Jolly, offering all the same capabilities plus integrated Wi-Fi connectivity.

"The extreme ease of use and low cost have made the Arduino Uno, and all compatible boards, the most widely used platforms for the creation of hundreds of thousands of projects and objects, involving an ever-growing community of hobbyists, students, enthusiasts, artists, programmers and professionals," Martino says of the development board he helped popularize.

"But nowadays, the necessary step forward for all owners of this type of platforms is to be able to use them via Wi-Fi. Wireless communication infinitely extends their potential and propels them into the new world of IoT [Internet of Things]."

That's where Jolly comes in. The Jolly module is designed as a drop-in replacement for the DIP-packaged Microchip ATmega328P found at the heart of an Arduino Uno: Simply prise out the original chip and slot the Jolly in its place to give the Uno Wi-Fi connectivity. Alternatively, the module can be used as a stand-alone device — when paired with a carrier board to break out its functionality, of course.

This project is crowdfunding, welcome to support it at kickstarter

What is "Jolly"?

Jolly is a new electronic module for makers and Arduino UNO lovers. This Arduino Uno-compatible module has integrated Wi-Fi, to infinitely extend the potential of your projects into the new world of IoT.

What it allow you to do?

the functionality of the Arduino UNO can finally be extended, turning it into an IoT device. To date, all the projects made for the Arduino UNO are mutually compatible with this module.

The board design

The board, as mentioned, has been designed primarily to expand the functionality offered by the Arduino UNO, to transform it into a modern IoT device without altering its features or the user experience. 

Since the board takes the place of the ATMega328P of the Arduino UNO, it was first necessary to replace the latter with its newer SMD version called ATMega328PB. This microcontroller allows us to preserve the full compatibility of the pinout, firmware and hardware architecture of its predecessor, but in a much smaller space. Therefore, an additional microcontroller was inserted to allow the addition of Wi-Fi functionality. The most obvious choice was to use an ESP8285, equivalent to the ESP8266 but with integrated 2MB flash, an essential feature to keep the board size small.

Finally, since the two microcontrollers do not operate with the same power supply domain (5V for ATMega328PB and 3.3V for ESP8285) we have also included a voltage regulation and interfacing circuit between the two chips.

In this way, the board can be easily substituted to the ATMega328P without any kind of circuit modification to the Arduino UNO, ensuring an automatic compatibility with all projects made so far for the Arduino UNO.

The board is finally equipped with a BUILTIN LED and an integrated Antenna.

The two microcontrollers are connected to each other through two digital interfaces: one SPI and one UART. In particular, the SPI interface - which is the same exposed on the pinout of the module - is used for data exchange, while the UART, is the exclusive prerogative of programming, both for the ATMega328PB and the ESP8285.

The serial interface of the latter is active only during the programming phase so as not to interfere with the normal operation of the serial ATMega328PB. The programming of the Wi-Fi chip is possible thanks to the presence of a boot key for the latter and a special firmware in the ATMega328PB. 

The single-sided assembly of the components, together with the presence of castellated holes, make this board perfect both for use on Arduino UNO to replace the ATmega328P, and to be soldered on other boards as a stand-alone module. An Arduino platform was developeddedicated to the programming of the board that allows the firmware of both micocontrollers to be updated, by using the IDE.

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