Teensy Development Boards

I have written about Arduino boards a lot, but there are also other small interesting quite similar development board recommended for me to check out. The Teensy is a complete USB-based microcontroller development system, in a very small footprint, capable of implementing many types of projects. All programming is done via the USB port and Teensy 2.0 boards are based on Atmel AVR micro-controllers, so they are quite similar to Arduino with USB with different form factor.

The main software development tools for writing software for Teensy is WinAVR C compiler. Most programs written for Arduino work on Teensy using Teensyduino add-on for Arduino IDE. All of the standard Arduino functions (digitalWrite, pinMode, analogRead, etc) all work on Teensy. Teensyduino is also compatible with many Arduino libraries.

There are also ARM based Teensy boards. Teensy 3.0 that costs $19. Teensy 3.0 is an affordable 32 bit ARM Cortex-M4 board, for development in Arduino or C/C++. RCArduino blog article Arduino Due has a nice compares several Arduino platforms and Teensy 3.0. New Teensy 3.1 has the same size, shape & pinout; is compatible with code written for Teensy 3.0, and is well supported on the Arduino IDE using Teensyduino.

There are several interesting Projects Using Teensy, and here is one video example of one:




  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Emulating A Complete Commodore 64

    When the Commodore 64 was released in 1982, it was a masterpiece of engineering.

    [Frank Bösing] has just managed to emulate an entire C64 on a Teensy 3.6. The Teensy uses an exceptionally powerful microcontroller, but this is a labor of love and code.

    The inspiration for this project comes from a reverse-engineered SID chip that was ported to the Teensy 3.2.

    Commodore C64 Emulator

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Shapeshifter System

    The Shapeshifter System makes digital modular synthesis easy to understand, customize and arrange.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teensy Beats Shield

    An all-in-one, made to hack step sequencer built around the Teensy platform with LiPo charging, touch TFT, encoders, buttons, and RGB leds.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teensy Thumb Keyboard
    Handheld tactile switch keyboard for Teensy 3.2 compatible boards.

    This is a breakout PCB in the shape of a thumb keyboard for the Teensy 3.2. It should also work for similarly shaped boards like such as the Teensy-LC, Butterfly STM32L433 or Dragonfly STM32L476/96.

    I wanted a small tactile keyboard with a comfortable layout that could be used in any handheld based project. BASIC game console, graphing calculator, PDA, Raspberry Pi PocketCHIP replacement, etc.

    The main use case is a PocketCHIP replacement device using a Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An Easy Way To MIDI Sync Your Eurorack Build

    Eurorack synthesizer builds are known for a lot of things; simplicity isn’t necessarily one of them. However, not everything on a modular synthesizer build has to be inordinately complicated, a mess of wires, or difficult to understand. [little-scale] has built a neat and tidy module that might just find a place in your setup – the Chromatic Drum Gate Sync. The handy little device is based on a Teensy, and uses its USB MIDI libraries to make synchronizing hardware a snap.

    The device has 12 channels, each responding to a single MIDI note. A note on message is used to set a gate high, and a note off message to set it low again. This allows very fine grained control of gates in a modular setup. The device can also output a variety of sync signals controlled by the USB MIDI clock – useful for keeping your modular rack in time with other digitally controlled synths.


    This Teensy-based project has 12 gate outputs that are set using note messages over USB MIDI.

    Each note in the scale (C, C#, D, D# etc) corresponds to a gate output labelled G1 – G12, and will set high from a note on message and low from a note off message.

    If a USB MIDI clock sync is sent, Gate 12 will output a short trigger upon sequencer START or CONTINUE. Gate 11 will output a sync signal at a rate of 12PPQN. Gate 10 will output a sync signal at a rate of 16th notes. Gate 9 will output a sync signal at a rate of 8th notes.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Drum Set In Your Pocket

    We can’t speak for [Tomash Ghz] carrying a notebook, but he wanted a drum set in his pocket badly enough to make a custom circuit board to bring to the 2017 Fasma Festival in Athens. He wrote code for a Teensy 3.2 which fits on the back of his PCB next to a 9V battery. Don’t be afraid, the smallest components are 0805 so even clumsy fingers will be able to build their own. The Gerber files and BOM are all available, so nothing is stopping you.

    Fasma Festival 2017 – DIY Drum Machine (Teensy)

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Open Source Synthesizers Hack Chat

    PolyMod: modular digital synthesizer

    A customisable digital synthesizer. Works like an analogue modular synthesizer but cheaper, and with the ability to play many notes at once.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    While in beta, PJRC made these breakout boards to easily test the Teensy 4.0′s hardware features. Now, they’re sharing all the deets so can make your own copy of it!


  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CircuitPython Now Working On Teensy 4.0

    Python is often touted as a great language for beginner coders to learn. Until recently, however, it simply wasn’t a viable choice in the embedded space. That’s begun to change with projects like CircuitPython, and now it’s available on the Teensy 4.0!

    This milestone is thanks in part to [arturo182], who did the ground work of getting CircuitPython to run on the iMX RT series of microcontrollers. This was built upon by [tannewt], who is the lead in charge of the CircuitPython project.


  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    With the Arduino-Teensy4 expansion board from BurgessWorld, you can combine all of the Teensy 4.0′s powerful features with several popular 2.4 GHz wireless options.

    Expansion Board Turns the Teensy 4.0 Into a 2.4 GHz Wireless Powerhouse

    Arduino-Teensy4 adds Bluetooth, BLE, WiFi, and nRF24 support. It also makes MicroSD, USB Host, and the RTC more accessible.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pierre-Loup M.’s Teensymoog Recreates the Iconic Minimoog in Teensy 4.0, Arduino Mega Pro Form

    Inspired by the Minimoog, the first synth to be sold on the high street, the Teensymoog harnesses the power of three microcontroller boards.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New Teensy 4.1 Arrives With 100 Mbps Ethernet, High-Speed USB, 8 MB Flash

    It was only last August that PJRC released Teensy 4.0. At that time, the 4.0 became the fastest microcontroller development board on the planet, a title it still holds as of this writing — or, well, not exactly. Today the Teensy 4.1 has been released, and using the same 600 MHz ARM Cortex M7 under the hood, is now also the fastest microcontroller board. What the 4.1 brings to the table is more peripherals, memory, and GPIOs. While Teensy 4.0 used the same small form factor as the 3.2, Teensy 4.1 uses the larger board size of the 3.5/3.6 to expose the extra goodies.

    The now slightly older Teensy 4.0 — released on August 7th of last year — is priced at $19.95, with the new 4.1 version offered at $26.85. It seems that the 4.1 isn’t intended as a replacement for the 4.0, as they serve different segments of the market.


  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Brookwood Design Launches GrblHAL Breakout Board Unkit for the Teensy 4.1
    This board enables users to run the GrblHAL motion control system to drive CNC mills, routers, and lathes.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Paul Stoffregen’s Ethernet Kit Makes 100Mb/s Wired Teensy 4.1 Connectivity a Cinch — at Just $3.60
    The through-hole soldering kit includes all the parts you need to break out the Teensy 4.1′s 100Mb/s Ethernet header into a full-size jack

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This Guitar Pedal Hates Being Played
    Andrew Harvie’s device expresses its suffering using a Teensy board and Audio Shield.


  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Let Your Creativity Fly with This DIY Flight Sim Switch Panel
    LimaJuliett designed an interactive flight panel featuring a row of interface switches and internal lighting.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LV-TASC, the LabVIEW Teensy/Arduino Sketch Compiler, Looks to Bring LabVIEW to Microcontrollers

    Clever compiler turns LabVIEW projects into commented, ready-to-run Arduino sketches compatible with high-end Teensy boards.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The micro-ROS project, which offers the Robot Operating System 2 for microcontrollers, has launched an experimental library for the Arduino IDE or command line interface.

    Micro-ROS Project Brings ROS 2 to the Arduino IDE and CLI Through an Experimental Library Release

    Initial release supports the OpenCR 1.0, Teensy 3.2, and Teensy 4.0/4.1 development boards.

    The micro-ROS project, which offers the Robot Operating System 2 (ROS 2) for microcontrollers, has launched an experimental library for the Arduino IDE or command line interface.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Big Yard? Get in Line for an RC Riding Lawnmower
    Jesse Brockmann has set out to make a John Deere tractor autonomous.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    JayShoe’s Pro Audio Boards Bring High-Grade Audio Inputs and Outputs to the Teensy 4 Family
    With a two-channel DAC or a four-channel ADC, Jay Shoemaker’s add-ons offer quality audio for the Teensy 4 and Teensy 4.1.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why I put a Teensy in Every Project

    Spoiler alert: the Teensy destroys the Arduino Uno, Mega, even Portenta in memory, size, and sheer power, and it’s just as easy to use.

    The Teensy is cheap, and with the new Teensy 4.0, it’s extremely powerful. Its generous flash and RAM, numerous peripherals, and smallest size make it perfect for my most creative ideas. I’ve used them in machine learning wearables, Among Us gadgets, mechanical keyboards, PC case mods, and more. Even my Raspberry Pi projects get a Teensy!

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sample and Sequence Music with the SucoFunk Beatmaker’s Sketchbook

    The device is designed around a Teensy 4.1 and packs a microphone, two speakers, a fader, four rotary encoders, and more.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teensy MIDI Air Harp Sounds Huge

    Some of the coolest sounds come from wild instruments like orchestra strings, fretless basses, and theremins — instruments that aren’t tied down by the constraints of frets and other kinds of note boundaries. [XenonJohn]’s air harp is definitely among this class of music makers, all of which require a certain level of manual finesse to play well.

    Aetherharp: Three Level, 24 Note, MIDI Air-harp.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lepton 3.5 Thermal Imaging Camera
    Documenting my experiments with the FLIR Lepton 3.5 thermal imaging camera.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jannik Svensson’s Teensy 4.0 Thermal Camera Offers Live-View, Streaming Modes to Desktop and Mobile
    Designed for both standalone and tethered use to desktop or mobile, this low-cost thermal camera comes with integrated interpolation.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nam Tran’s Kurt Cobot3000 Is a Stepper Motor Synth Tuned Specifically for Nirvana Classics
    This musical marvel was built using four stepper motors, drivers, a Teensy-LC microcontroller, and two all-important googly eyes.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SparkFun Looks to Protect Your Firmware with Its New MicroMod Teensy Processor Board
    With an integrated encryption engine, this MicroMod Processor Board aims to protect your firmware — even if someone desolders the chip.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Making A $2000 Synth For $99

    A Teensy 3.x/4.x based polyphonic synthesizer, modelled after the Juno-106

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TEENSY Microcontroller As USB Audio Interface

    Here’s a handy guide for making an USB audio interface with a TEENSY.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Homemade Polyphonic Synth
    Six-voice polyphonic synth built around Teensy 3.5.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Epic Teensy-Based Synth
    Prajwal Mahesh created a beautiful portable DAW inspired by Teenage Engineering’s OP-1.

    Prajwal Mahesh is a big fan of Teenage Engineering, and especially their OP-1 digital audio workstation (DAW). This awesome device comes with a synthesizer, sampler sequencer and a four-track recorder in a mini-keyboard format in a fantastic style. The only problem is that they cost around $1,300, too much for Mahesh to reasonably justify.

    Teenage Engineering also has a line of Pocket Operator products, which are lower priced, much smaller, and more limited. Mahesh’s idea was to create something in-between the two capabilities-wise. While he wouldn’t have been the first person to think he could make a commercial product at a lower price with similar capabilities, his goal project goal was quite realistic:

    I know it’ll be impossible to completely replicate the OP-1 at a cheaper price and at this point it’s pretty ridiculous for me to think I can even achieve the performance of a Pocket Operator, but hey, this whole thing is a learning opportunity.


  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Building and Using the AVNA1 Audio Vector Network Analyzer
    A Teensy 3.6 based analyzer that measures impedance and transmission from 10 Hz to 40 kHz.


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