ATTinies (like the ATTiny 85) are super awesome! They are super cheap, low power, and they do what most Arduino projects accomplish anyway (give a simple output or take in a simple input).
One difficulty can be quickly seeing what's going on with their internals for easy debugging. The ATTInies can't use the hardware serial built in to many larger arduinos, and so you need to use the SoftwareSerial library. This can be a bit tricky or confusing. Other people use software serial for directly programming their Tinies in the first place with all kinds of crazy hookups, and maybe capacitors, and USB to serial devices. You might even have to put special software on the arduino talking to the hardware serial, and the one just using software serial.
Some of us who have only used Dave Mellis's tinyAVR programmer
get a bit confused, or are just too lazy to try that all out. It can be confusing for beginners, and I wanted the simplest way to teach my animal interaction design students how to use these great little microcontrollers.
So thanks to help from Paul O'Neil, I wanted to describe really quickly a simple method for talking with your ATTiny and the only extra necessary material is an Arduino Uno or Duemillanove (or Seeeduino that acts like one).
If you are new to programming ATTinies go check out the nice tutorial over at HLT
and then come back here after you get your environment setup.
- ATTINY 85
- TinyAVR Programmer (it's on sparkfun)
- 2 wires
- "Slave" Arduino Uno or Duemillanove (or Seeeduino that acts like one).
++Photo of Pinouts
++Photo of Special Extra Learning Notes
- We'll find out that your
- We'll find out that analog input 2 is a bit tricky on the ATTiny