I started working on an arc clone. I list my progress here.



Design goals

These are my design goals in order of their priority:

  1. Approach the design of the real arc as close as possible.
  2. Keep it as cheap as possible without sacrificing quality.
  3. Make assembly easy and robust.
  4. Use common parts whenever possible (which means also: use AVR 8-bit micro controllers)
  5. Allow for different leds and different cases.
  6. Allow for external power supplies.
  7. Keep PCBs simple so they can be etched at home using simple tools.

As it tourned out, its not possible to achieve all those goals with one design. Read on to find out why.

The projects history


The software is working now. only a few features missing. In the next days I will upload all my sources here.


The frontplate and laser-cut acrylic parts finally arrived. Take a look at the eye-candy section! Software has some flaws but is working well overall.


Finally the communication between the USB board and two wheels is up and running. A little animation prooves a stable connection and is fun to play with :)


Assembly of the first boards is finished. A small test firmware proves that the concept is working.


Finally the parts and pcbs have arrived! The boards look great! Unfortunately I ordered some of the resistors in the wrong format, they are so tiny, I really had trouble picking them with a pair of tweezers.

Of course i started to assemble them right away. I just couldn't resist.


All boards have been designed in their SMD versions. Today I ordered the first set of prototype PCBs.

I also started putting together a list of all parts and their prices. So far it looks like an arc4 could be built with 150€ for electrical parts. (Don't forget: The case is expensive!)


Finally I really found some time to work on this thing. A test board brought new results as well as the need for a new approach. Some PCBs for this new design are almost ready to be ordered. I decided to start with an SMD version, but most likely through hole versions will follow.

March 2012

Some first CAD models and circuit ideas have been made.

May 2011

I got interested in this project and started collecting ideas