The popularity of the Arduino development platform has brought the world of micro controllers out of engineering labs, and onto the kitchen table or garage workbench. It has also made Atmel AT chips infamous among electronics enthusiasts such as myself, as well as those who's primary interests are in software development. Atmel, like many electronics component manufacturers, will provide free samples of their products to interested parties. However the primary intended recipient is a business or university considering buying large quantities of the product. That said, I recently decided to find out if I could acquire some free samples from Atmel and I'm sharing my experience in this article.

Step 1: Evaluate Your Ethics

I think this is an important recommendation as a first step because understandably some may initially feel this is unethical. If so, please consider the following.

  1. I did not lie during the sample request process.
  2. What is your intent behind acquiring free samples? Do you have an idea that could develop into a business that utilizes the products you're sampling?
  3. Have you ever sold something? If so, then you have acted as a business entity.
Now, if your still with me, please do read on.
<p>Or, just order them - you can get 10 on ebay for &lt; $15, shipped. If you can't afford $1.50/chip - you're in the wrong hobby.</p>
<p>True but eBay is rife with fraud, and even if the part is legit, you won't know if it's been handled correctly (static). Free samples are often US only, and in the U.S. It's easy to setup a DigiKey account. </p>
Hi, <br>I work for Atmel... <br>thanks for this... Now we know how to shut down requests that are not legitimate :)
<p>i think you really work for Microchip, and you really just want to steer novices students and young professionals away from Atmel :)</p>
De Nada, I think that illegitimate requests should be shut down. Here are some URL's you may find of interest:<br> <br> <a href="http://letsmakerobots.com/node/33130" rel="nofollow">http://letsmakerobots.com/node/33130</a><br> <a href="http://www.ladyada.net/library/procure/samples.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.ladyada.net/library/procure/samples.html</a><br> <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Free_Electronic_Samples/#intro" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Free_Electronic_Samples/#intro</a>
<p>i'm an electronics student from Slovenia and i can't seem to get free samples of anything, i wanted an attinny45 for a project</p><p>any suggestions?</p>
<p>What email do you recommend if you do not have an ISP email? I have tried 4 different emails with no luck. I put in my honest information (minus email) to stay on the ethical side of things.</p>
<p>What email do you recommend if you do not have an ISP email? I have tried 4 different emails with no luck. I put in my honest information (minus email) to stay on the ethical side of things.</p>
Excellent work - now ATTINY85 can't be ordered as samples anymore. <br>I don't see the point in providing a step-by-step tutorial for requesting samples, <br>thereby encouraging people to abuse the service. <br> <br>By the way: Atmel checks the orders manually and in some cases, declines them.
You seem to be implying that this article, and the inferred actions of those who may have followed it, are solely responsible for the ATTiny85 allegedly being removed from sample availability? Unless you have first hand knowledge supported by proof confirming this implication it's a weak theory at best. <br> <br>I did NOT encourage readers to abuse the service. In point of fact I encouraged readers to evaluate their ethics, and to be conservative with their requests. <br> <br>Additionally this is certainly not the first, nor only article bringing this information to the attention of those interested.
cool and informative instructable! <br>although i have a few doubts: <br>-did you pay for shipping <br>-if you did how much did it cost you? <br>-how long did it take to reach you? <br>-i'm a hobbyist and i do not own a company,can i type in independent hobbyist instead? <br>-what is the maximum quantity they allow you to sample? <br>-is the sampling limited on only some chips?
<ul> <li> Shipping was free &amp; my samples that were in stock arrived within 3 business days. <li> It's your choice to try entering whatever &quot;company name&quot; that your since of ethics and creativity dictates. <li> I do not know if there is a maximum sample quantity limit. Regardless I suggest being conservative with your request. <li> I do not know if sampling is limited on some chips. </ul>
Cool and informative instructable! <br>i have a few doubts about it: <br>-did you pay for shipping? <br>-how long did it take to reach you? <br>-how much is the maximum quantity they allow you to order? <br>-since i don't own a company and am a hobbyist can i type independent hobbyist instead of company name? <br>-do they require a number? <br>oh and that's it.Once again nice instructable!
where did you find air mail shipping?
My samples were shipped UPS 2nd day air.
Thanks! Just need ideas for company name...
De Nada
What are you going to make with them?
I designed a simple logic circuit for testing transistors that I want to automate.
<p>This is actually bullshit. They are offering free samples but want us to pay the shipping. If you order from China you'll get any Atmel's chip for even lowest prices, with the free shipping. So what is the point of free samples if you pay shipping more than a value of chips. Useless! And no, I am not in a wrong hobby because if you state it is free than it should be free!!! Full stop.</p>

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