Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It Worked For Me - Evil Mad Scientist Arduino ISP Shield

I recently decided to try my hand at programming another member of the AVR family. After doing some reading I decided on the ATtiny85. Online I found a good tutorial on programming the ATtiny85 using a breadboard. I ordered up some ATtiny85s and followed the instructions on the tutorial and was quickly able to program it.

Plugging the ATtiny85 into and taking it out of the breadboard got old fast. Poking around the MicroCenter website I noticed that my local store had several Evil Mad Scientist Arduino ISP Shield kits in stock. On the Evil Mad Scientist website I found a link to an Instructable for hacking the shield to allow programming of the ATtiny85.

I picked one of the kits up from MicroCenter, built it with the great instructions on the Evil Mad Scientist website and then made the mods outlined in the Instructable to allow programming ATtiny85s.

View of the top of the shield.

View of the bottom of the shield.

Note the wire wrap wires used for the ATmega168/328 to ATtiny85 mod.

A Hack of My Own

I extended the mod from the Instructable to allow for multiple clock speeds for both the ATtiny86 and thge ATmega126/328. I connected the the clocking pins from the standard ATmega168/328 location to the ATtiny85 pins. I did this using wire wrap wire as done with the other pins. I then installed female headers in place of the capacitors and crystal. I took the capacitors and crystal and soldered them to sets of mail header pins. This way I can plug in different speed crystals.

Thanks to the folks at Evil Mad Scientist for producing such an affordable and hackable product, thanks to the folks at the High Low-Tech Group at the MIT Media Lab for instruction on how to program ATtiny85s using the Ardunio IDE and thanks to rleyland for posting instructions for his hack.