The ATTiny by Atmel has been one of my favorite Arduino accessories since reading the blog post: “How-To: Shrinkify Your Arduino Projects” by Make Magazine. Since then I have made numerous projects including the “KNOCKturnal Watch” (details coming soon) that are 100% based on this chip.
Since I am an Arduino fan and programming “newbie”, I prefer to use the method of programing this chip outline in this tutorial by MIT Media Lab’s High-Low Tech Group. However the amount of setup time and messy wires made the programming aspect a pain.
The solution is my new ATtiny85 Proto Shield. This shield acts as both a programer as well as an integrated breadboard. It may even be able to act as a multi chip programmer as the programming pins are duplicated on the chiprest and the breadboard. Please excuse the messy solder as this was just my prototype. The shield even has an integrated 10 uF capacitor required by the UNO tieing the RESET and the GROUND.
“The capacitor prevents the Arduino board from resetting (which starts the bootloader), thus ensuring that the Arduino IDE talks to the ArduinoISP (not the bootloader) during the upload of sketches. (The capacitor is needed if you’re using an Arduino Uno, and might also be necessary for an Arduino Duemilanove.)”
To use the board as a proto shield, simply place the chip in its rest above and use the corresponding rows on the breadboard for your prototyping. This allows you to program, modify and reprogram without moving any wires or connecting and reconnecting the capacitor.
The bare proto shield was purchased off of an $8 eBay auction and the LED’s can be tied into the pins for programing status indicators.
Since this creation I have been able to setup a programer and reprogram my chips from various projects in a matter of seconds. All I have to do is snap the shield onto my Arduino, set the ISP and upload the new code!
I hope you like it and if you have any questions or comments, please let me know!
ATtiny85 Proto Shield
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