Simple mass storage for your microcontroller project using arduino

Do you want gigabytes of storage for your microcontroller? Would you like a simple way to tranfer files from your PC to your picaxe or arduino or other micro project?

This little projects demonstrates the uDrive that can be set up as an extra drive on a PC. Copy files to and from the SD card, then put it in the uDrive and talk to it with 5 simple commands:
Simple mass storage for your microcontroller project
Read – Read a file off the drive
Write – Write a file to the drive
Dir – get the directory listing of files on the drive
Erase – erase a file
Initialise – send 1 byte at your preferred baud rate

Step 1: Connecting to your microcontroller

Connection uses 5 wires: Gnd, Power, Tx, Rx and an optional reset line. The reset line can be left unconnected if no reset is needed.

The uDrive works from 3 to 5V so can interface to a wide range of controllers.

Step 2: Copying files across

Copying involves taking the micro SD card out of the uDrive and putting it into a micro-to-standard SD adaptor. This goes into a USB adaptor that plugs into the PC and then the SD card appears as another drive on the PC. The micro SD is the small purple part seen on the left of this picture. The USB to SD adaptor cost $5 including shipping on ebay. Most micro SD cards come with micro to standard adaptors and the total cost of the package is under $10 for gigabytes of storage.

Simple mass storage for your microcontroller project

Step 3: Accessing the files from a microcontroller

Microcontrollers all have different languages; assembly, C, Basic, Spin etc. You will have to write your own exact code, but below is an example using This is still a bit complicated, but it is a lot easier than trying to talk to a SD card using bit-bang SPI code.


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