In this and the next two posts, I will outline what I understand by the design goals of the Eightuino. The first goal is that it should be "DIY friendly".
Although the Eightuino in this iteration will be almost exclusively through-hole, this is NOT what is meant by DIY-friendly. The hole thing stems from the fact that the otherwise immensively talented people at Arduino made ONE irritating mistake when designing the layout of the Arduino:
On the one side of the board, the gap between the two rows of headers is a non-standard 0.16". This makes it necessary to use special "proto-shields" instead of regular 0.1" perfboard when hacking something on top of it. And protoshields are more expensive than perfboards.
So the Eightuino will definitely have to use a 0.1" pin-spacing. No discussion!
So that is the spacing between the individual pins. But what about the space between rows? Well, seeing as I personally have about 50-60 pieces 5x7cm perfboards lying around, how about I make the Eightuino fit these? They have 18 holes across, making the distance from one side to the other 1.7". So that is now the official row spacing on the Eightuino.
All this do, however, break compatibility with existing Arduino Shields, and an Eightuino User (that is, I) will not be able to share my shield-designs directly with non-eightuino users. Well, the Eightuino main purpose is home DIY use and for hacking together something on a perfboard, not for mass-producing pcb-based shields.
Does this make sense? I think so :-)