We all have a deep fondness to our Arduino with its familiar shades of blue/green, but the time has come to explore other project options. One that involve fewer pieces, fewer parts, and fewer dollars. Building a standalone Atmega328 is far simpler than you might have imagined and can open up a wide range of of new project possibilities.

Atmega328 Datasheet:

Step 1: Materials:

The shopping list contains parts that are entirely plug and play. No configuration or setup needed! These parts are from Sparkfun using their parts #, but are widely available from other electronic websites.
Sparkfun is kind enough to put a little sticker on the chip so that you know what each pin corresponds to ex. 1 is RESET.

Atmega328 DEV-10524 - make sure that it has the boot-loader on it. You can put it on, but this one has it and it makes everything far simpler.

28 Pin DIP socket PRT-07942 - helpful for reprogramming the chip so that you don’t have to de-solder it every time you need to make a change (breadboard friendly).

Power (3 options depending on power source):
a) 4x AA NiMH Batteries PRT00335- They are each 1.2V so *4=4.8V, safely with the Atmega328′s operating range. Also helpful is the fact that they will give you around 2500mAh versus ˜800mAh from a 9v Battery.
b) 1x 5v Voltage Regulator COM-00107 - The Atmega328 needs a regulated voltage to run and 5v is well within its operating range. You will need a 9V+ power supply for the voltage regulator 2x Electrolytic Decoupling Capacitors COM-00523.
c) 1x 5v Voltage Regulator - http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/798 - Takes less than 5v and steps it up so that your Atmega328 is running at 5v.

Resonator COM-09420 - No fuss or extra parts. The middle leg goes to ground and the other 2 legs go to Pin 9 and 10.

1x Pushbutton - it does not matter what kind, this will be used for reset.
1x 10K Ohm resistor.

Breadboard with channel
300 Ohm resistor
Thank you Hammock Boy, for this presentation. Due to the cost of the Arduino boards not many can afford to plop one into every project they make. Of course the size of an Uno or Leonardo can also be an issue, that's where your project comes in, with it's much smaller footprint. <br> I wonder if you could enlarge your images a mite? At 15k I'm unable to decipher any info contained. A readable schematic would be most welcome.
very nice! been meaning to try this out for some time now, I'd love to get some of my projects running without using up an entire arduino! have you finished anything that uses only the ATMEL chip?
Do you mean no components other than the Atmega328? I have some projects (disassembled right now and re purposed) that used an Atmega328 instead of an Arduino. <br> <br>The only problem with not using an Arduino is that you lose the serial communication unless you buy an FTDI chip which also gives you the benefit of being able to reprogram the chip without taking it in and out of the DIP package. <br> <br>For example: <br>https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9115

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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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