Introduction: Turn Your Arduino Into an ISP

Learn how to turn your Arduino into an AVR In System Programmer. This will allow you to burn bootloaders onto new chips or program AVRs without a bootloader.

Step 1: Materials

To begin you will need:
* Arduino (I will be using the Uno)
* AVR Microcontroller (This tutorial will cover the ATtiny85 & ATmega644)
* Arduino IDE
* Breadboard
* Jumpers

Step 2: Setup

Before we begin programming chips we must set up the Arduino. First, make sure your Arduino IDE is up to date. Then select the File >> Examples >> ArduinoISP sketch and upload it to your Arduino. Now your Arduino is now an AVR ISP.

Step 3: Using Your Arduino ISP: Programming AVRs Without Bootloaders

There are a few instances in which it is neccesary to program microcontrollers without a bootloader. For example, if have run out of storage on a chip you can get an additional 2KB when you program without a bootloader. Another example, the one I will show you how to do, is to program chips that have no serial capabilities and therefore cannot use a bootloader. The ATtiny85 is one of these chips. 

To program the ATtiny85 using the Arduino ISP you must first add ATtiny85 support to the Arduino environment:
* Download attiny45_85.zip
* Unzip the folder
* Copy the folder to the Arduino IDE's Hardware folder
* Reopen the Arduino IDE, you should see the ATtiny85 in the Tools >> Board menu

Now connect your Arduino ISP to the ATtiny85 like the diagram below. 

Open the Blink sketch, change every '13' to '0', select ATtiny85 from the Tools >> Board menu, and select the serial port that is your Arduino ISP. Now click on upload and your ATtiny will begin blinking the LED once it's done.

Step 4: Using Your Arduino ISP: Burning Bootloaders

What if you want to program your chip over USB without an ISP? Well then you can use a bootloader. The process of programming a bootloader onto a chip is called burning a bootloader. Let's look how you burn a bootloader onto an ATmega644 using your Arduino ISP. 

To burn the bootloader to the ATmega644 you must first add ATmega644 support to the Arduino environment:
* Download the Sanguino hardware file
* Unzip the folder
* Copy the folder to the Arduino IDE's Hardware folder
* Open Hardware >> Sanguino >> boards.txt 
* Change:
     * 'sanguino.bootloader.file=ATmegaBOOT_644P.hex' to 'sanguino.bootloader.file=ATmegaBOOT_644.hex'
     * 'sanguino.build.mcu=atmega644p' to 'sanguino.build.mcu=atmega644'
* Reopen the Arduino IDE, you should see Sanguino in the Tools >> Board menu 

Now connect your Arduino ISP to the ATmega644 like the diagram below.

Select Sanguino from the Tools >> Board menu, and select the serial port that is your Arduino ISP. Now click on Tools >> Burn Bootloader >> w/ Arduino as ISP. If there is more than one 'w/ Arduino as ISP' just try each one until it works. 

Step 5: Congratulations!

You now have am Arduino ISP and know how to use it!

Comments

author
Keshav24 made it!(author)2016-07-30

Hi ,
Can u please tell ne how to burn bootloader into atmega32. Can u give me the link of the files needed ..
Ie. Bootloader
Burning software

author
beemakka made it!(author)2011-02-17

Well jayjay, I was like................................................blhurhshphit, then I was like.................................................plplplplpliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip, then I was like.............................................."what is it with people these days expressing their emotions so poorly?"

author
MinecraftG5 made it!(author)2016-02-16

What!?

author
gsuarda+bluetour made it!(author)2011-12-07

is this means that i can program my AVR micro controller with the simple arduino code in C ?

author
MinecraftG5 made it!(author)2016-02-16

Yup

author
diy_bloke made it!(author)2011-12-13

So do i understand correctly yu do not have to load the ArduinoISP sketch? The Arduino programs the Attiny with the sketch that is uploaded to the Arduino? Is taht correct?

author
MinecraftG5 made it!(author)2016-02-16

Yes

author
Asaleemj made it!(author)2012-02-28

I want to use it for Controlling Home appliances through Bluetooth Mobile and please can any one send me complete code for this microcontroller and which tool will be used to assemble and depoly the code

author
MinecraftG5 made it!(author)2016-02-16

Use an internet portal instead, and just buy a pre made arduino mega.

author
victor.valadez.547 made it!(author)2015-04-20

There is also another good tutorial titled:

"Arduino Uno R3 as a true ISP programmer for any Attiny and Atmega AVR"

see:

author
HirenT1 made it!(author)2014-10-08

author
HirenT1 made it!(author)2014-10-08

author
HirenT1 made it!(author)2014-10-08

author
AlexTech made it!(author)2013-12-26

What software do you use to make the diagrams?

author
austpet1230 made it!(author)2013-12-26

He's using Fritzing (available here)

author
Foxtrot70 made it!(author)2012-02-20

I do not have an arduino board but, have breadboarded a 328 chip. I can burn bootloader to the 328 chip but can not get the ArduinoISP sketch to load to the 328. I do get an error msg... avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp-0x00 . I also have some programs I want to DL to the ATTiny85 but, can not until this problem is solved. Can you help me?

author
WildWalkerCT made it!(author)2013-03-03

by ISP do you mean 'Internet Service Provider'?

author
Gairlochan made it!(author)2013-05-30

No, in this context ISP stands for 'In System Programmer'. Iow, it's a device which enables you to programme your AVR chip in situ, without having to remove it from the circuit. ISP programming is a fairly recent innovation in microcontroller programming.

author
atb_uk made it!(author)2012-10-08

Hi.
I had the exact same problem when I was using Arduino as an ISP.
What I found is that arduino is trying to write data too fast.
You can fix it by selecting "Arduino NG or older" from the boards menu and "Arduino ISP" as a programmer. This will force ISP to write data at 19,2kbps instead of 57,6kbps. Hope it helps.

author
Foxtrot70 made it!(author)2012-10-08

Thanks I'll give it a try.

author
Michael_Bell made it!(author)2012-06-26

I have the same problem, have you had any luck?

author
leeseibert made it!(author)2013-03-11

Here is some help for those using the Arduino Mega ADk or Mega 2560 instead of Uno or Due.

Check it out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DebJ1s5I3QM

author
Sparticles made it!(author)2011-08-12

Thank you very much!
This actually works!

But I still have a question with the time. Now, I used the blink program to test it out. Blinking a led 1000 ms on and 1000 ms off. At least so is it written in the code. The actual blinking is rather 8 seconds on and 8 seconds off.
Probably something with some different oscillator inside. (I used ATtiny2313)
Do you maybe know a proper way to adjust this?


(ok, I can divide everything by 8 but there is probably a better way.)

author
Snortimer made it!(author)2013-02-01

It's been a couple years, but people might want to know. Your code has to be compiled for the correct clock speed of your target chip. This is when the conversion between cycles and ms occurs, so your code does not need to change.

author
slayer04 made it!(author)2012-04-27

Please help, this must be my 20th time trying to get this to work. I'm currently trying to use Arduino 1.0 I dowloaded the correct ATiny files, it burns the bootloader just fine but then when I go to upload the Blink sketch I get:

Problem uploading to Board.

avrdude: please define PAGEL and BS2 signals in the configuration file for part ATtiny85
avrdude: please define PAGEL and BS2 signals in the configuration file for part ATtiny85

avrdude: stk500_paged_write(): (a) protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x64
avrdude: stk500_cmd(): protocol error

I understand the first part can sometimes be ignored but I can assure you that the sketch isn't getting uploaded, any ideas?

Thank you very much for any help

author
slayer04 made it!(author)2012-03-16

Nice instructible, but would you happen to know why my blink sketch runs about 5x faster when I upload it to the ATiny? I don't have any real errors, the sketch is set to delay 1000 like normal but it cycles about every .2 secs.

author
skootles made it!(author)2012-04-16

It might be the clock speed of the ATtiny. Follow the instructions on this page to change the clock speed to 8MHz: http://hlt.media.mit.edu/?p=1695

author
phenoptix made it!(author)2012-03-19

I found it easier to add the optional LEDs to the 7,8,9 pins for a error, programming and heartbeat LEDs (respectively) and leaving the LED on the breadboard off until the program successfully uploads. It just helped with debugging and understanding the circuit.

author
Mark3rr made it!(author)2011-03-02

Hi there,
I used your instruction to get a bootloader on an Atmega328p by using the Arduino uno with the Arduino Software release22 on a mac. But the only thing I get are some Error Codes like:

avrdude: stk500_getparm(): (a) protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x14

avrdude: stk500_getparm(): (a) protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x01
avrdude: stk500_initialize(): (a) protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x10
avrdude: initialization failed, rc=-1
Double check connections and try again, or use -F to override
this check.

avrdude: stk500_disable(): unknown response=0x12

I did it like shown here:
http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoToBreadboard

But it doesn`t work......
Can you help me? :)

author
jgrina made it!(author)2012-02-07

Version of Arduino IDE 0022 use tiny45-85.zip
Version Arduino IDE 1.0 use ATtiny.zip
mixing them up makes a mess

author
jayjay110 made it!(author)2011-02-03

Damn the title is misleading to me... i thought it said ISP as in Internet Service Provider, and i was like WOOOOAAAAA, then i was like.......................................................................................................................no

author
brawns214 made it!(author)2011-02-07

I thought the same thing when I first read this, then realized WHOA, this is way more useful!

author
DIY-Guy made it!(author)2011-11-22

Agreed! This is much more useful for building a business than trying to compete with the phone company. Various companies are currently selling circuits based upon a custom programmed chip. Everything is open source but of course the pre-programmed chip is what you end up buying... and that's where the money is to be made.

I gave up doing the Internet Service Provider thing a long time ago also. This has more potential on the scale that I would operate.

author
RichardBronosky made it!(author)2011-10-17

I'm curious to know what the expectation of an Arduino Internet Service Provider would be. I was in the dial-up ISP business in 1995. So, my thoughts on what ISP means is different than most consumers.

Can you even put into words what your most creative product would be?

author
jayjay110 made it!(author)2011-10-17

my most creative product? Well, its a toss up between a piece of wood with a nail in or a dirt house in Minecraft, both took the same amount of time to complete and were really hard tasks!

author
kgee made it!(author)2011-09-11

same...

author
angellicktrooper made it!(author)2011-08-02

same reason i clicked this one dude kinda sad :(

author
hightekrednek2396 made it!(author)2011-04-14

that would have been cool

author
techboy411 made it!(author)2011-11-20

Arduino ROCKS!!!!!!!!

author
Exiumind made it!(author)2011-10-16

Is it possible to burn another atmega like this?

author
csnowman00 made it!(author)2011-06-13

Just thought this blurb from Arduino.cc would be helpful:

NOTE: Currently, you cannot use an Arduino Uno as an ISP programmer because the optiboot bootloader does not support this sketch. A revision for this is in progress.

author
ryanstewart86 made it!(author)2011-07-04

yeh you can dude, you put a 10uf cap between the reset input pin and ground to hold it high for a brief period.

author
andy70707 made it!(author)2011-05-23

Could I use a similar method to program an ATtiny 2313 or a PIC16F648A?

author
thegriffy100 made it!(author)2011-04-27

i love ISP

author
robonerd made it!(author)2011-02-22

Had to prog a tiny85 and this was EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thanks a ton!

author
ElvenChild made it!(author)2011-01-29

cool

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