Tic-Tac USBtinyISP Programmer

What’s with mint boxes and electronics? Beats me, but they are somehow made for each other. I had built ladyada’s USBtinyISP v1.0 circuit on a breadboard which I used every other day. It worked sporadically(and never at hour of need), used up half of my breadboard and looked ugly. So I decided to try my hand at home PCB fabrication and build it in, of course, a tiny tic-tac box. Since I was a beginner, the circuit is easy and single-sided and uses crystal instead of ceramic oscillator.
Frankly, I didn’t even expect it to work so didn’t take any photographs. I recently decided to make it again with a few improvements(notice the old orange one has the top backwards) and document it for Instruct able. You have to make one of these if you:
Tic-Tac USBtinyISP Programmer

  • want to use bare-bones super-cheap arduinos in your projects
  • want to burn boot loader to a blank AVR for your Arduino
  • love working with AVRs
  • are thinking of buying a programmer

Note: You need to break out of the chicken-n-egg problem and get the program onto the ATtiny2313 used in this project. Check out  Step 4 for detailed information and possible solutions.

The chicken-n-egg situation while working with microcontrollers is that you need to get your program in a microcontroller to program another microcontroller. I know that’s whacky but it’s only one-time. There are some ways which I’m listing below. You only need one:

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