Digispark DIY: the Smallest USB Arduino





Introduction: Digispark DIY: the Smallest USB Arduino

Digispark is an ATtiny85 based microcontroller development board come with USB interface. Coding is similar to Arduino, and it use the familiar Arduino IDE for development.

Digispark is copyrighted by Digistump LLC (digistump.com) and the full license is here: http://digistump.com/wiki/digispark/policy

Support for the Arduino IDE 1.0+ (OSX/Win/Linux)
Power via USB or External Source - 5v or 7-35v (automatic selection)
On-board 500ma 5V Regulator
Built-in USB (and serial debugging)
6 I/O Pins (2 are used for USB only if your program actively communicates over USB, otherwise you can use all 6 even if you are programming via USB)
8k Flash Memory (about 6k after bootloader)
I2C and SPI (vis USI)
PWM on 3 pins (more possible with Software PWM)
ADC on 4 pins
Power LED and Test/Status LED (on Pin0)

Step 1: Prerequisite

AVRISP MKII In-System Programmer
ATTINY85 Microcontroller
2 x 3.6V zener diode
2 x 68 ohm resistor
1 x 1.5K resistor
USB cable (get from broken mouse or keyboard)
Some wires

Step 2: Burning Bootloader to ATTINY85

Like Arduino, Digispark require a bootloader to be running on ATTINY85. The bootloader will occupied 2KB flash memory.

Download bootloader
1. Download Micronucleus bootloader for ATTINY85
2. Extract the file (micronucleus-t85-master.zip) to any folder
3. You can find the bootloader file at micronucleus-t85-master\firmware\releases folder
4. Use micronucleus-1.06.hex for the bootloader

Burning bootloader to ATTINY85
You must use the correct fuses bit for the bootloader

Extended: 0xFE
High: 0xDD
Low: 0xE1

Note: The above fuse bit will not enable reset as I/O, so you can have only 5 I/O instead of 6 I/O. I'm still try to figure out on how to set it to 6 I/O

I'm using AVRISP MKII In System Programmer and AVR Studio software for burning bootloader.

Step 3: Installing Digispark USB Driver

Digispark use USB to communicate with computer, so your computer must install Digispark USB driver
1. Download Arduino for Digispark which come with USB driver
2. Extract the file (DigisparkArduino-Win32-1.0.4-March29.zip)  to any folder
3. Execute DigisparkArduino-Win32\DigisparkWindowsDriver\InstallDriver.exe to start installing the USB driver

Step 4: Digispark Schematic

I provide two schematics, first one is the official schematic for Digispark, the other one is for testing purposes which the 5v is get from USB port and hence it is lesser components and much more simple.

Step 5: Plug in Digispark to Computer

1. Plug in Digispark to the USB port of computer
2. USB device is detected for first time use and prompt you to installing Digispark bootloader.
3. Click on Next button until finish.

Step 6: Configure Digispark Software

1. Run DigisparkArduino-Win32\Digispark-Arduino-1.0.4\arduino.exe to starting Arduino IDE
2. Click on Tools>Board>Digispark (Tiny Core)
3. Click on Tools>Programmer>Digispark

Step 7: Upload Sketch to Digispark

Upload an example. Click on File>Examples>Digispark_Example>Start
Coding is look like this:

// the setup routine runs once when you press reset:
void setup() {               
  // initialize the digital pin as an output.
  pinMode(0, OUTPUT); //LED on Model B
  pinMode(1, OUTPUT); //LED on Model A  
// the loop routine runs over and over again forever:
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(0, HIGH);   // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
  digitalWrite(1, HIGH);
  delay(1000);               // wait for a second
  digitalWrite(0, LOW);    // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
  digitalWrite(1, LOW);
  delay(1000);               // wait for a second

Follow step below to upload sketch to Digispark.
1. Unplug Digispark from computer before click on the Upload button 
2. Click on Upload button now
3. Plug in Digispark to computer when it prompt for "Plug in device now..."
4. If you see "running: 100% complete". Congraturation! you have own a working Digispark. 

Step 8: Test the Digispark

Connect a 330ohm resistor & LED to both pin5(Digital 0) and pin6(Digital 1) of ATTINY85. Plug the Digispark to computer,  both LED is start blinking now.

Step 9: What Can Do With Digispark

2 People Made This Project!


  • Paper Contest 2018

    Paper Contest 2018
  • Pocket-Sized Contest

    Pocket-Sized Contest
  • Science of Cooking

    Science of Cooking

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.




How did you get that shortened link to an Aliexpress item?

I want to interface ultrasonic sensor to ATtiny microcontroller is it possible?

have a look here:


this is also a nice method to burn bootloader using arduino UNO explained in the video.

i have a question, how can i use serial with the attiny85 so i can see a sensor reading or so? please help me want to build a remote control bt i need to see some ir signals to program the chip. thanks

Digispark works with Software Serial

I have a cuestion. I'm currently working on a project that uses an Attiny85 as the uC rather than an Arduino UNO (using one would be completely overkill as it'll be used just to measure temperature and displaying it) The hardware is realy basic. It's an LM35 as a temperature sensor and a 16x2 LCD display with an I2C interface. Now, with this Attiny85 board is it really necesary to burn the bootloader? Or is it already installed (or burned) into the uC? Being that is an SMT chip. How can I burn the bootloader? Can it be done via usb? Or using the Arduino IDE? Thanks.

Digispark Infrared Receiver:

nothing to do with windows 10 !!! i must program with arduino and wire connections!

Windows 10 does not recognize the digispark !