While there are many Arduino boards to choose from Nano is a versatile board suitable for almost all electronic DIY projects. These tiny microcontrollers make compact DIY hardware development accessible to more people than ever before.
We have given reasons in the past why you might not want to choose a genuine Arduino. about your projects, but today let’s take a look at the positives and negatives Arduino Nano .
Here’s a quick overview of the details before we get into the specifics:
- Great platform for beginners.
- The tiny size makes it ideal for compact projects.
- Functionally the same as their larger counterparts.
- Installed on the layout, which facilitates the creation of prototypes.
- The lack of built-in connectivity limits the possible use of the Internet of Things (IoT).
- Limited built-in memory can complicate complex programs.
Big things in small packages
Arduino Nano is the little brother Arduino Uno and shares most of its features. The main difference, aside from its smaller size, is the USB port where the Nano connects to your computer via a micro USB cable. It’s the perfect microcontroller for teaching hobby electronics and programming, and its size makes it ideal for building into projects that require a small form factor.
A real Arduino Nano costs $22 at the Arduino Store, making it cheaper than the Uno. As you can see from the official comparison chart on the Arduino website, the Nano has exactly the same capabilities as its bigger brother.
It’s worth noting that all Arduino Nano boards now ship with the chip ATmega328p meaning that the Nano’s maximum input voltage is slightly lower than previous models.
One of the benefits of Arduino in general is the huge community behind it. Whatever you want to do, chances are someone else tried it first. There are countless blogs and forum posts covering everything an aspiring tinker can imagine. Whether you need help with code or pointers to create the correct electronic circuit for your build, Arduino users around the world are here to help.
The official Arduino website has a quick start guide for the Nano, and the board can be programmed directly from your browser using the Arduino Web Editor.
A more detailed guide to , all of which apply to the Arduino Nano, can be found in our Arduino beginner’s guide.
Bread on the board
The Arduino Nano has a small but significant advantage over other, larger Arduino boards. Since it doesn’t suffer from the same irregular pin spacing of the original Arduino design (which was allegedly a bug in the original design file), it will fit on a breadboard.
This has clear benefits. Whether you are starting DIY Hobbyist electronics, or experienced veteran, being able to work this way allows you to quickly prototype ideas without any soldering or fixing projects.
We’ve created some good stuff that the Arduino Nano can bring to the table, but the price tag can still be an issue for some. Those on a tight budget may want to consider cloning the board. Official Nano stands 22 dollars while its clone counterpart is more than 10 times cheaper at just $1.80 on AliExpress.
YouTuber Julian Ilet has a comprehensive guide to cloning Arduino boards.
These cloned boards are functionally identical to the official Arduino boards. If you are interested in supporting the official Arduino brand, then it makes sense to buy directly from them. If that doesn’t bother you, then clone seems like a no-brainer.
Since they are based on the publicly available Arduino reference designs, they are usually the same (there are exceptions, which we will cover later). When the board looks almost identical and the workflow is the same, why not get a clone?
Nano is a great choice for most projects, but what does it lack?
One of the omissions with the Nano, and indeed with most Arduino boards, is connectivity. Nano comes without built-in Wi-Fi functions or Bluetooth . With a growing market smart home and Internet of Things (IoT) and its huge popularity in the DIY scene, this can be a limiting factor.
Nano excels in situations where it is programmed to perform a simple task that does not change or requires no outside influence. While this functionality can be added as a shield, it adds additional components and cost to any project requiring cloud or Bluetooth connectivity.
Focusing more on connectivity, the NodeMCU board (ESP8266) functions exactly like the Arduino, but with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. This board only costs $3 from AliExpress, and for good reason.
However, it should be noted that these boards are designed for voltage 3.3 V and some components may require additional steps to power them.
memory and power
Another possible issue for the Nano is available memory. Nano is capable of supporting thousands of lines of code, but complex projects such as robotics or builds with complex user interfaces can suffer from memory limits in 32 KB . In addition, advanced processes that require high speeds may suffer from clock frequency Nano 16 MHz .
If any of these might cause problems for you, the Teensy board might be your best bet. The Teensy 3.5 costs just $2 more than the official Nano and outperforms it in almost every way.