Digispark DIY: the Smallest USB Arduino




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Digispark is an ATtiny85 based microcontroller development board come with USB interface. Coding is similar to Arduino, and it use the familiar Arduino IDE for development.

Digispark is copyrighted by Digistump LLC (digistump.com) and the full license is here: http://digistump.com/wiki/digispark/policy

Support for the Arduino IDE 1.0+ (OSX/Win/Linux)
Power via USB or External Source - 5v or 7-35v (automatic selection)
On-board 500ma 5V Regulator
Built-in USB (and serial debugging)
6 I/O Pins (2 are used for USB only if your program actively communicates over USB, otherwise you can use all 6 even if you are programming via USB)
8k Flash Memory (about 6k after bootloader)
I2C and SPI (vis USI)
PWM on 3 pins (more possible with Software PWM)
ADC on 4 pins
Power LED and Test/Status LED (on Pin0)

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Step 1: Prerequisite

AVRISP MKII In-System Programmer
ATTINY85 Microcontroller
2 x 3.6V zener diode
2 x 68 ohm resistor
1 x 1.5K resistor
USB cable (get from broken mouse or keyboard)
Some wires

Step 2: Burning Bootloader to ATTINY85

Like Arduino, Digispark require a bootloader to be running on ATTINY85. The bootloader will occupied 2KB flash memory.

Download bootloader
1. Download Micronucleus bootloader for ATTINY85
2. Extract the file (micronucleus-t85-master.zip) to any folder
3. You can find the bootloader file at micronucleus-t85-master\firmware\releases folder
4. Use micronucleus-1.06.hex for the bootloader

Burning bootloader to ATTINY85
You must use the correct fuses bit for the bootloader

Extended: 0xFE
High: 0xDD
Low: 0xE1

Note: The above fuse bit will not enable reset as I/O, so you can have only 5 I/O instead of 6 I/O. I'm still try to figure out on how to set it to 6 I/O

I'm using AVRISP MKII In System Programmer and AVR Studio software for burning bootloader.

Step 3: Installing Digispark USB Driver

Digispark use USB to communicate with computer, so your computer must install Digispark USB driver
1. Download Arduino for Digispark which come with USB driver
2. Extract the file (DigisparkArduino-Win32-1.0.4-March29.zip)  to any folder
3. Execute DigisparkArduino-Win32\DigisparkWindowsDriver\InstallDriver.exe to start installing the USB driver

Step 4: Digispark Schematic

I provide two schematics, first one is the official schematic for Digispark, the other one is for testing purposes which the 5v is get from USB port and hence it is lesser components and much more simple.

Step 5: Plug in Digispark to Computer

1. Plug in Digispark to the USB port of computer
2. USB device is detected for first time use and prompt you to installing Digispark bootloader.
3. Click on Next button until finish.

Step 6: Configure Digispark Software

1. Run DigisparkArduino-Win32\Digispark-Arduino-1.0.4\arduino.exe to starting Arduino IDE
2. Click on Tools>Board>Digispark (Tiny Core)
3. Click on Tools>Programmer>Digispark

Step 7: Upload Sketch to Digispark

Upload an example. Click on File>Examples>Digispark_Example>Start
Coding is look like this:

// the setup routine runs once when you press reset:
void setup() {               
  // initialize the digital pin as an output.
  pinMode(0, OUTPUT); //LED on Model B
  pinMode(1, OUTPUT); //LED on Model A  
// the loop routine runs over and over again forever:
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(0, HIGH);   // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
  digitalWrite(1, HIGH);
  delay(1000);               // wait for a second
  digitalWrite(0, LOW);    // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
  digitalWrite(1, LOW);
  delay(1000);               // wait for a second

Follow step below to upload sketch to Digispark.
1. Unplug Digispark from computer before click on the Upload button 
2. Click on Upload button now
3. Plug in Digispark to computer when it prompt for "Plug in device now..."
4. If you see "running: 100% complete". Congraturation! you have own a working Digispark. 

Step 8: Test the Digispark

Connect a 330ohm resistor & LED to both pin5(Digital 0) and pin6(Digital 1) of ATTINY85. Plug the Digispark to computer,  both LED is start blinking now.

Step 9: What Can Do With Digispark

2 People Made This Project!


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73 Discussions


Question 8 months ago

I found a couple of tiny-85 dev boards in my stash but have no idea what to do with them. They have a attiny 85 micro controller and a micro USB interface with six pads labeled 0-5. Would your boot loader and USB driver likely with with this board? It looks like a lilypad but with the USB and without the graphics. It is labeled with a phrase DIY MORE but their web site doesn't have any reference to this product.


1 year ago

if do you want to disable reset pin for a one more I/O pin, use this fuse setting

High fuse: 0x5d


2 years ago

I want to interface ultrasonic sensor to ATtiny microcontroller is it possible?

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

have a look here:



2 years ago

this is also a nice method to burn bootloader using arduino UNO explained in the video.


3 years ago

i have a question, how can i use serial with the attiny85 so i can see a sensor reading or so? please help me want to build a remote control bt i need to see some ir signals to program the chip. thanks

3 replies

Reply 3 years ago

I have a cuestion. I'm currently working on a project that uses an Attiny85 as the uC rather than an Arduino UNO (using one would be completely overkill as it'll be used just to measure temperature and displaying it) The hardware is realy basic. It's an LM35 as a temperature sensor and a 16x2 LCD display with an I2C interface. Now, with this Attiny85 board is it really necesary to burn the bootloader? Or is it already installed (or burned) into the uC? Being that is an SMT chip. How can I burn the bootloader? Can it be done via usb? Or using the Arduino IDE? Thanks.


Reply 3 years ago

Digispark Infrared Receiver:


3 years ago

nothing to do with windows 10 !!! i must program with arduino and wire connections!

Windows 10 does not recognize the digispark !

2 replies

Reply 3 years ago

One of the driver files wouldn't install, there is an address problem downloading and installing the Digispark version of the Arduino IDE, and now I'm discouraged.

Any suggestions?


3 years ago

one more question how can i program the attiny85 digispark usb with my tablet?

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

I can't help you on this matter because I do not own a tablet.


3 years ago

I'm having problems with the USB driver, it keeps saying board has been removed and timing out on the USB install.

It's not showing up in device manager.

Any Tips?

I remember someone once posted an alternative driver for Chinese origin ones.

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

Have you read this?

If the computer will not recognize the Digispark try the following:
1. Try connecting it to another USB port or system.
2. Try connecting it to the rear ports (if a desktop)
3. Try connecting it to a USB hub.
4. Try a powered USB hub.
5. Try a different cable.

I like the intent behind this Instructable, but I have a couple issues with how it was presented. You're using "Digispark" as if it were your name, and there's no reference to to the actual Digispark product after reading through the whole writeup. You use the Digispark schematic, but removed the creative commons license, and didn't mention where it came from. It would be nice if you gave your project a unique name, e.g. "DIYspark - a Digispark clone", and at least put some links to Digispark in your writeup.

2 replies

Yes, I was wondering that too.

I got the impression that I had to burn the Bootloader onto my Digisparks, but they worked right out of the box. On a windows 10 OS.