Introduction: Fish Out of Water - ATtiny Board Used With Arduino

About: Married to Domestic_Engineer (but I call her Meghan).
FishBowl is a small microcontroller board programmable using the Arduino software.  It has a battery so you can then use it without the larger Arduino main board.  It is like a tiny Arduino to-go.

Build instructions for the Fish Out of Water Kit from the Blinky Fish Kickstarter Project

A PDF version is attached to this step.

  1. Assemble with soldering
  2. Program an Arduino as a programer (optional, kit comes with pre-programed ATtiny)
  3. Program ATtiny microcontroller with the Arduino (optional, for same reason)
  4. Attach Blinky Fish

Step 1: Parts

Soldering Iron:

Here is a link to the soldering iron I am using, it is good.

Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station FX-888D FX-888

Step 2: Assembled Board

Here is the final assembly.  This might be all you need.  Notice the line on the capacitor goes towards the line on the board.  The header pins go on the bottom of the board.  The header sockets go on the top.  There is a socket to hold the ATtiny chip.  The battery clip hold a CR2016 button cell battery.  It can be modified to hold the larger CR2032 battery.

Step 3: Solder - Battery Holder

Step 4: Solder - Socket

Step 5: Solder - Header - JP3

Sockets go on top of board.

Step 6: Solder - Headers, JP1,2

Pins go on the bottom of board.  If you do not plan to re-program the ATtiny chip then you can leave these off. You could also try leaving these un-soldered, they should stay in place will enough to program with the Arduino and then be removed after programming.

Step 7: Solder - Capacitor

Line goes towards the line.

Step 8: Attach to Arduino

These are the steps to program the ATtiny board using the Arduino main board.  

You can skip this if you have the March 2013 Kickstarter kit, the chip is pre-programmed.

The next few steps are derived from this -

Step 9: Program Arduino As ISP

In Arduino softward version 1.0.1, go to Examples and open ArduinoISP.  Dowload this program to the Arduino board.

Step 10: Insert ATtiny

Insert the ATtiny into the socket.

Step 11: Program ATtiny

  1. Open a new sketch and copy the code below.
  2. Select Tools -> Programmer -> Arduino as ISP
  3. Select Tools -> Board -> ATtiny45 1MHz clock
  4. Download to the ATtiny, lights will blink (look through the 2 holes), there will an error message (2 of the same message) but that is okay.
//****ARDUINO CODE *******// blinky_2  for ATTINY 45//Pinsint Led1 = 0; //11;int Led2 = 1; //10;int Led3 = 2; //9;int Button = 3; //12;//int PullUp = 13;                    int ButtonState = 0;
int oldButtonState = 0;

voidsetup() {
pinMode(Led1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(Led2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(Led3, OUTPUT);
pinMode(Button, INPUT);
//pinMode(PullUp,OUTPUT);//digitalWrite(PullUp, 1);

voidloop() {

ButtonState = digitalRead(Button);

if (ButtonState != oldButtonState){
if (ButtonState == HIGH){
digitalWrite(Led1, 1);
oldButtonState = ButtonState;

Step 12: Attach Blinky Fish

Step 13: Add Battery

Step 14: Arduino to ATtiny Code Conversion

To make the Arduino code work the the ATtiny, we changed these pins.

Aduino   --  ATtiny 
  11         --   0          
  10         --   1
   9          --   2
  12        --   3

Step 15: Schematic and PCB

Step 16: Design Files

Step 17: Attribution

"Arduino" is a trademark of the Arduino team.  Learn all about it here:

Using the Arduino to program the Attiny is based on this tutorial:

The idea to make the new board like an Arduino sheild came from this instructable by instructables member Plusea.

Step 18: To Buy One Now....

A few people have asked about buying this, the Kickstarter project is over.  I thought I would try selling them right in the instructable... but that didn't work. 

So, here is link that goes to a webpage, that only has the paypal button to buy the kits.

You can get either the Blinky Fish Kit alone, the FishBowl "Fish Out of Water" kit alone, or get both.  Shipping is $2.  If you are not in the USA.... I'm not sure what will happen....

Each kit is to make ONE thing (the kickstarter rewards included parts to make a whole bunch, that is why the price here is a little lower)