Introduction: Chipper Board - ATtiny Programming Shield

Picture of Chipper Board - ATtiny Programming Shield
Unleash the full power of an Arduino in 10 different kinds of ATtiny chips.

The Chipper Shield allows anyone with an Arduino or AVR programmer to easily program ATtiny chips. ATtiny chips are the core behind many projects that only need a few pins and cost a fraction of an Arduino ($1-4). With access to PWM and Analog pins ATtiny chips can take on any project in 8, 14 and 20 pin form factors.

Want your own version of the board? The Kickstarter is live!

Features of this shield include:
  • 100% Arduino compatible
  • Program ATtiny 85/45/25/15/13  84/44/24  2313/4313 chips.
  • Debug your program with 2 LEDs and a broken out sensor port.
  • Compatible with either an Arduino board or AVR programmer
  • House sensors on the proto area of the board with access to broken out power and ground.
  • Reset a chip mid-program with the reset button.

Step 1: History

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When I first learned about ATtiny chips, I was ecstatic because there were a number of projects that I worked on where an Arduino was simply to big for the project/expensive. 

First working with ATtiny chips proved to be frustrating however. It was a real hassle to wire the chip up in a breadboard program it, insert it into the project, realize something was wrong in the code and start all over again. Debugging was only agitated by the lack of indicators and inability to reset the chip.

What I needed was a way to debug the ATtiny chip without constantly prying it out of DIP sockets (poor legs). Thats when it hit me: AN ATTINY PROGRAMMING SHIELD!

The board is actually on its 3rd version.

Step 2: Assembly and Datasheets

Picture of Assembly and Datasheets
I have put together a series of guides on how to use the Chipper Board:

Here are the datasheets:

Step 3: A Fun Example

Picture of A Fun Example
For this example we are going to use a potentiometer to controle the brightness of an LED while running the ATtiny85 on an external 16MHz clock
void setup(){

void loop(){
int sensor_value = analogRead(A1);
int output = map(sensor_value,0,1023,0,255);

Burn the 16MHz bootloader to the ATtiny85 and then the above script.

After connect the 2 legs of the crystal to pins 3 and 4. Then connect the 22pf capacitors from each of the crystal's legs to ground.

Next hook up 5v and Gnd on the potentiometer and connect the middle pin to pin 2 on ATtiny85.

Lastly connect the resistor to pin 0 on the ATtiny85 and the LED which also connects to Gnd.

As you twist the potentiometer left and right one of the LEDs will change brightness from fully on to fully off.

Step 4: Please Support!

Picture of Please Support!

Please support this project on Kickstarter or spread the word. Any help is greatly appreciated!


lhowells2 (author)2013-06-25

Is it possible to program other chips or are the ATtiny the only ones compatible with the arduino programing?

Hammock Boy (author)lhowells22013-06-26

The ATtiny chips are the only ones compatible with my board. With the right board definition though I don't see why you couldn't program any other type of AVR chip.

vishalapr (author)2013-05-31

Thats a really well done board! It look professional :)

skootles (author)2013-04-12

Nicely done. I thought about doing individual sockets for my ATtiny / ATmega programmer shield (the ArduinoISP Deluxe Shield), but I felt one ZIF socket was a better way to go. I hate prying chips out of those sockets.

About This Instructable




Bio: From solder to zip ties, lead acid batteries and LEDs, and especially Legos, putting things together has always fascinated me. The more challenging the better ... More »
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