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The Illuminato::Genesis is revised and back in stock! Complete with software library updates in the latest Antipasto Arduino IDE

The year: 2030. Skynet has ruled Earth for decades. Terminators roam the surface, seeking and destroying rebel humans as 1980’s hair-band rock tunes and synthesized keyboards blast away in the background. Mankind’s last savior rests in a single mission to send a re-programmed Terminator to the past. Luckily, there’s an Arduino lying around the corner, to hack into the Terminator’s central command and control. But wait! There aren’t enough I/O pins to hack his legs too… meaning he’ll have to travel back in time without legs…. NOOOOOOooooooo….

/end dream/

Back to reality, this board has 42 I/O pins and 64K code space for bigger DIY projects, and works with every Arduino shield out there. This Open Source hardware board may not save humanity, but it will save you (and me) from using a ton of 74595 I/O expanders when you don’t have to.

This started out as a project for a close mentor and friend of mine, who kept getting tired trying to teach others how to program LED matrices using 74595 I/O expanders with the Arduino. It also happens to be the first time I tried to make a circuit board actually look like something artistic and designed from the Terminator movies that meant so much to me in middle school :)

The Illuminato is an AVR based chip, much like the Arduino, and is 100% Open Source – GNU GPL, that is. It has 42 I/O pins, more than any other Arduino clone out there right now, and even works with all the shields built for the Arduino. It has a 16 MHz oscillating crystal (the same as the Arduino), but 64K code space (twice the space) since I tend to run out room when building larger projects.

In keeping with the Italian heritage of the Arduino community, this board is called the “Illuminato.” This also doubles for the fact that there’s a hidden (so to speak) function in the core called bling(), which turns on the backlight array of 10 white, high brightness LED’s.

Chris was kind enough to make a drop-in core so the Illuminato can be programmed directly from the Arduino IDE


  • 42 digital I/O pins
  • 6 analog I/O pins (doubling as 6 of the digital I/O pins)
  • 64k of code space
  • 16 MHz processor *



Get in touch if you have any questions, or ideas for something you want me to build.