TinyDuino Setup Tutorial

by TinyCircuits Staff February 25, 2016

TinyDuino Setup Tutorial

The TinyDuino is a title product for TinyCircuits, providing the processing power of an Arduino Uno in a board smaller than a quarter! The applications are endless.

 An introduction video to TinyDuino

Don't worry about trying to follow along with this video, all the steps will be broken down in the following tutorial.

Materials / Background:



Breaking this all down into some easy to follow steps:

  • Step 1: Configuring the Arduino IDE, so you have somewhere to write software that understands how to interface with your hardware
  • Step 2 (Dependent on Operating System): You'll need to do some extra steps if you are running a version of Windows less than 7, Ubuntu, or some other uncommon operating system in order to recognize an Arduino connected via USB.
  • Step 3: Connecting the hardware (it's like circuit legos)
  • Step 4: Connecting to the TinyDuino board. This should just be a simple connection with a USB cable, and a few selections made in the Arduino IDE to ensure you are programming the correct board-type through the correct port of your computer.
  • Step 5: Programming the TinyDuino with a simple 'Blink' example
  • Troubleshooting: Reference this at any point throughout the tutorial if you are having issues. If this doesn't resolve your problems, email us for help at info@tinycircuits.com 

Step 1: The Arduino IDE

Download the free Arduino Environment and extract the files.

Step 2: Drivers for Ubuntu/Other

Many operating systems such as Windows(7 and newer), Mac OS, and most Linux distributions do not need a driver for the FTDI USB to Serial converter on the USB TinyShield. These operating systems may or may not show a message that new hardware has been installed upon USB connection.

If you are using another operating system, however, you may need to do some extra steps:

Step 3: Hardware Assembly

All you have to do for this step is connect the TinyDuino to the USB TinyShield via the light-tan connectors. 

No really, it's that easy

Step 4: USB Connection and IDE Selections

Connect the TinyDuino to your computer via a micro-USB cable.

Note: Some USB cables are used only for transferring power and not data signals. If your computer is not recognizing that a device is plugged in, you may need to try a different USB cable. If you've purchased a Micro USB Cable from our online store, you won't have to worry about this issue.  

Launch the Arduino IDE and navigate to Tools > Board and select the Arduino Pro or Pro Mini (3.3V, 8MHz).

Remember, the TinyDuino is 8MHz, not 16MHz!

Select your serial port by navigating to ToolsPort (on Windows, your port will most likely be labeled COM3 or higher – on MAC, something like tty.usbserial-XXX…)

If you have any issues finding the correct port, check out this Port Trouble Page for Windows and Mac.

Step 5: Uploading a Program

Run a test program to make sure everything is connected and downloaded correctly by navigating to File > Examples > 01. Basics > Blink

Selecting this example program will open a new IDE window, so you may have to check the Board and Port selections under Tools are correct. Check back to Step 4 if you're unsure. 

Click the right-facing arrow at the top of the window to upload the Blink program to the TinyDuino and you will see the RX and TX labeled lights flash as it programs. You should then see a green blinking LED on the board after the program is done uploading. 


  • If you have issues connecting to the TinyDuino board, make sure the USB cable is plugged all the way into the USB TinyShield
  • Checkout the Forum page specific to TinyDuino for other issues you may have, or make a new forum post for a new problem!


Contact Us

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, feel free to email us at info@tinycircuits.com.

Show us what you make by tagging @TinyCircuits on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook so we can feature it!

Thanks for making with us!


TinyCircuits Staff
TinyCircuits Staff


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