Introduction: 8-Pin Programming Shield

Picture of 8-Pin Programming Shield

The 8-Pin Programming Shield allows you to program ATtiny series chips using the Arduino itself as the programmer. In other words, you plug this into your Arduino and then you can easily program 8-pin chips. These small microcontrollers can then be incorporated into any project that you want. Follows are instructions for assembling your own 8-Piin Programming Shield.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Picture of Go Get Stuff

What you will need:

- Shield circuit board (download the source file: 8pinshielf.pcb)
- ATtiny chip
- 8-pin 0.3" socket
- SPST tactile switch
- 10uF 16V electrolytic capacitor
- 5mm LeD
- 220 ohm 1/4 watt resistor
- 6-pin male header
- 8-pin male header
- (x2) 2-pin male header
- (x2) shorting blocks

Step 2: Headers

Picture of Headers

Solder the 6-pin and 8-pin male headers to the circuit board such that they are pointing down from the underside of the board.

These headers will plug into the Arduino sockets.

Step 3: Resistor

Picture of Resistor

Solder the resistor to the board in the spot that kind of looks like a resistor outline right below the bottom of the chip's footprint.

Make sure to solder this to the top side of the board and not the bottom like the headers.

Step 4: Switch

Picture of Switch

Solder the tactile switch atop the large square footprint that is in the shape of a tactile switch.

This is the chip's reset switch.

Step 5: Socket

Picture of Socket

Solder the socket in place.

Make certain that the notch in the socket aligns with the notch on the screen printed footprint.

To be more clear, the notch should be pointing towards the tactile switch and 6-pin male header.

Step 6: Dual Headers

Picture of Dual Headers

Solder the 2-pin headers to the top of the board as shown.

Step 7: Sockets

Picture of Sockets

Next solder the two 4-pin female sockets on each side of the chip's socket.

Step 8: LED

Picture of LED

Make certain that the flat notched side of the LED lines up with the flat side of the LED footprint and then solder it in place.

Step 9: Capacitor

Picture of Capacitor

Electrolytic capacitors are polarized, which means they can allow electricity to flow in one direction, so you don't want to wire this backwards.

Carefully align the side of the capacitor without the minus stripe label with the + sign that is labeled on the circuit board. The minus stripe aligns with the hole without the plus sign.

Step 10: Short

Picture of Short

Put the shorting blocks onto the 2-pin header.

You may want to consider removing the shorting block next the LED during programming (and circuit depending). This shorting block basically connects the LED to Digital Pin 0 and is used for testing. If you are using that pin for anything else, you probably want to keep the LED disconnected.

The other shorting block is for connecting the 10uF capacitor between resistor and ground. This capacitor is largely needed when working with the Arduino Uno. Earlier versions may or may not need this capacitor connected while programming the ATtiny.

Step 11: ATtiny

Picture of ATtiny

Insert an ATtiny chip into the socket such that the notch in the chip lines up with the notch in the socket.

Step 12: Plug It In

Picture of Plug It In

Plug the programming shield into the Arduino such that the labels on the shield align with corresponding pins on the board.

Step 13: Program

Picture of Program

Plug the whole thing into your computer and program the ATtiny chip using the programming directions found here.

*Note: You can skip ahead to Step 3 of that Instructable, as the circuit is already built.

Step 14: Get Your Own

Picture of Get Your Own

I started with 50 of these 8-Pin Programming Shield Kits to give away.

I have no more kits to give away! Thanks to everyone who participated.

I will be sending them as thank you gifts to the next 9 people that post Instructables that meet the following criteria:

- Was posted on or after October 12th, 2011
- Uses an Arduino or ATtiny
- Has 4 or more steps
- Has full original written and photo documentation

Simply post a link to your project in the comment section of this Instructable and I will compile a list of the first 50 people to properly complete a project and respond. All of these people will receive one one of these kits as a thank you gift.


superaison (author)2015-02-21

i will buy right now if it will program 8-pin 16-bit i think 93c56

MohanR3 (author)2014-11-12

Here is an alternative for this You can program ATtiny13/15/25/45/85 with these shield also. I found one here its very cheap and easy no jumpers and breadboard needed.

arnefl (author)2012-06-14

Here is my approach with both led and cap having jumpers

diy_bloke (author)arnefl2014-02-11

I think your PCB is too short. You need 20 holes across. Not 19

Pizzapie500 (author)arnefl2012-08-13

That's awesome! Did it work? I'm thinking of doing the same.

ace4sia (author)2014-01-13

1st of all a very nice instructable and a cool board.

Unfortunately I can't buy the kit so I'm trying to make the kit myself.

I have no problem with connecting the pins, thanks to your PCB layout. but for using the led and capacitor (2 jumpers) and also the reset switch, correct me if I'm wrong, all they do is to ground the corresponding pin, right? cause on your PCB layout the other side of jumpers and push button are not connected to anywhere, so i figured they need to connect to ground. If this is true the ground pin next to 5v on Arduino is OK?

Thanks again for your helpful instructable.

Aaron1088 (author)2012-12-06

Hi what distances is needed between the pins in the headers?

randofo (author)Aaron10882012-12-06

What do you mean? The actual part spacing? Whatever standard header pins are. It is also the same as most DIP pack ICs.

stealthop (author)2012-10-12

where do you get your pcb's manufactured ? everywhere i have tried seems outlandishly expensive . i have noticed that small kits for sale are pretty cheap
but when i try to get a pcb manufactured (3" x 4") it costs like 300 bucks. any help would be great, thanks.

snowluck2345 (author)2012-08-12

I was wondering what software I should use toopen this file for pcb etching?

randofo (author)snowluck23452012-08-13

Express PCB

dznodes (author)2012-04-11

What are some examples of projects that use this board? and When with they be back in stock for purchase?

shaggs31 (author)dznodes2012-04-20

You can use this board to program the ATtiny chips. These chips are smaller than ATmega328 which is used by Arduino. This chip uses less power but does not have as many pins. So if you have a small project that will use only a few pins you can use this shield to program the ATtiny chip.

dznodes (author)shaggs312012-05-17

Okay,... I don't have a small project.... that is what I'm asking for some examples of. Sorry if the question was unclear. I am looking for examples of "small projects" that use this ATtiny chip.

In other words, if I buy this kit and solder it together and put it on my arduino and load it up with some code; Where can I find some examples of fun code to use?



dznodes (author)diy_bloke2012-05-17

Yes! Thank you. That is what I was looking for. Is there anywhere on the web that has a collection of projects like this one? Projects written specifically for the 8-pin ATtiny microcrontroller?

dr.rami (author)2012-03-30

Is there a kit available for purchase?

dznodes (author)randofo2012-05-17

When will there be more of these kits available?

lmperkins (author)2012-02-18

If you've got any kits left here is my instructable posted in December:


Bot1398 (author)2012-02-15

If the offer is still valid then here is my project:
Light Sensing LEDs

generalgeek314 (author)2012-02-13

Here's my Arduino project:
Nice Instructable btw!

wirenut1980 (author)2012-01-04

Here is my link, hope it makes the list! By the way Awesome shield and already have a project in mind for an ATtiny!

randofo (author)wirenut19802012-02-08

Added to the list.

wirenut1980 (author)randofo2012-02-12

Awesome!! Thanks!

LexanPanda (author)2011-12-10

I'm not sure how I missed this Instructable, but this shield would have been a huge time saver when I made this with an ATtiny85V:

I don't suppose this qualifies me for one of these kits? (:

randofo (author)LexanPanda2012-02-08

Thanks for posting and added.

kenyer (author)2011-12-11

Wow this is really cool. I want one :) Here is my link:

PS I think that I've made the same shield, but yours looks so much better.

randofo (author)kenyer2012-02-08

Added to the list.

gab3iel (author)2011-12-15

That shield looks pretty awsome!

Here's my instructable:

I hope you like it!

randofo (author)gab3iel2012-02-08

Thanks for posting. Added to the list.

astroboy907 (author)2011-12-15

Maybe got one last one? ;)

randofo (author)astroboy9072012-02-08

Added to the list.

baharini (author)2012-01-06

Here's my Instructable. It is very original and has never been tested on the ATTiny45/85.
It shows how to connect a character LCD to the ATTiny via a shift register, and how to generally program an ATTiny45/85 with an Arduino.
Here's the link:
By the way, I really love this project.
It is WAY easier programming chips your way than using a breadboard.
Keep up the good work :)

randofo (author)baharini2012-02-08

Thanks for sharing. Adding you to the list.

baharini (author)baharini2012-01-06

Hope I make the list :)

baharini (author)baharini2012-01-09

Wow, my Instructable was featured on the homepage!

wirenut1980 (author)baharini2012-01-09

2 Thumbs up!

Panici (author)2012-01-16

Got any of those ATtiny shields left?

If not, no worries, i'll make one as my next project.
But it would be nice if you saved me the work!

Here's my instructable. 16 digit display and an ATtiny85

randofo (author)Panici2012-02-08

Yes I do. Will add you to the list.

TobaTobias (author)2012-01-16

Here is my instructable. I made a ATtiny shield with a few components and a pcb. It also explains how to program the ATtiny.

Your project is really nice :)

randofo (author)TobaTobias2012-02-08

Cool. Thanks for sharing. Will add you to the list.

TobaTobias (author)TobaTobias2012-01-16

I hope you still have some.

TobaTobias (author)TobaTobias2012-01-17

I can't believe I made it to the homepage :) So happy!

Hugu (author)2012-02-01

anyone can share the layout in *.pdf format?

canot open the *.pcb anda extract the layout in pdf... :(

thank you!

wirenut1980 (author)Hugu2012-02-05

The only way I could use the file was to download ExpressPCB. It is free to use. Once the program is installed, download the file and save it as( what ever name you want ). Then right click on the file and select "run with" then search for espressPCB and click open. Now it should open just as Randofo designed it.

mischka (author)2012-01-05

Can you share the pcb layout or the schematic in a more open format? I dont have a windows-pc/mac or mac, but i'd like to make it. Thanks!

sinnadyr (author)mischka2012-01-05

Appearently the link is wrong, and the file should be able to read with CadSoft Eagle. This is freeware and also works on *nix

mischka (author)sinnadyr2012-01-07

Thank you.

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previously life I had founded and run the Instructables ... More »
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