Gduino-No Programmer Required!! for 5$,Programs Multiple AVRs




About: Thank you instructables!!

Arduino is familiar to anyone who loves to build tech.It is very common in project makers.But why 25$ For this board!! We can make our own!! In this instructable I am going to show you how to build an arduino at home that doesn't need any external programmers like USBASP or serial communicators.USBASP is already embedded inside this circuit!! I was impressed by bjkayani's instructable Beeduino ,the tutorial is well detailed and also Thomas Fischl's USBASP.I decided to make both these circuits on one board.Not by soldering a perfboard or on breadboard but on our very own built PCB!! Yes we can make it at home!! I will show two ways of etching PCBs and also tell which one would be better!! The other interesting thing is that I made it in just 5$ 5 times less than that of original arduino. And also we can program many other programmable ICs like ATtiny45/85 etc.Enjoy!!

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Step 1: How It Works??

  1. The atmega 8 converts the usb to serial,part of usbasp.
  2. Usbasp can be of two types 6-pin or 10-pin nothing different!
  3. Here an external simple MCU circuit has been made.
  4. Most arduinos operate at 5v of usb but using a voltage regulator i.e 7805 we regulate any voltage upto 12 volts.
  5. We had used 16 Mhz crystal oscillator,internally the IC contains 8 Mhz clock but needs external one for faster processing.
  6. The push-button changes from 5V to 0V (or vice-versa) only when it is being pressed down, which is for a few milliseconds usually.

This is a little introduction of what we are making.

Step 2: Things We Need

For Circuit:-

  • Atmega 328
  • Atmega 8/48
  • 22 pf capacitor (4X written 22 on them)
  • 28-pin narrow IC base(2X)
  • 10/100 uf capacitor
  • 4.7 uf capcitor
  • LM 7805 voltage regulator IC
  • Connecting wire
  • 220 ohms resistor (2X Red-Red-Brown-Golden/Silver)
  • 10 Kilo ohms resistor (3X Brown-Black-Orange-Golden/Silver)
  • 2.2 Kilo ohms resistor (2X Red-Red-Red-Golden/Silver)
  • 68 ohms resistor (2X Blue-Grey-Black-Golden/Silver)
  • Green L.E.Ds (2X)
  • Red L.E.Ds (2X)
  • 100 nf capacitor (104 written on them)
  • Push button
  • DC jack
  • Male headers
  • Female headers
  • USB -B type port
  • 3.6 volt zener diode (2X 3V6 written on them)
  • 12 Mhz crystal oscillator
  • 16 Mhz crystal oscillator

For PCB etching :-

  • Ferric chloride/HCl and hydrogen peroxide (Ferric chloride from school lab and HCl from hardware store,Hydrogen peroxide from medicine store)
  • Single-sided copper clad board
  • Photo laser sheets
  • Electric Iron
  • Laser Printer
  • Rotary tool with needle like usually 0.8 mm drill bit
  • Plastic container
  • Cutter
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Safety for eyes

General tools :-

  • Soldering iron
  • Nipper

Misc. :-

  • USB cable from B-type to Ordinary
  • Acetone

Step 3: Printing Circuit

Here are some eagle and express pcb files.Print hem on Glossy paper side and cut out the printed portion.The MCU circuit itself was desined by bjkayani.I used the same.Here is the cirucit of USBASP as well as MCU. Here is a video complete video of pcb etching tutorial by Make.

Step 4: Sanding

Using scrubber or sand paper rub the whole copper clad board to remove any oxidization or stains.

Step 5: Printing

Set the iron to maximum heat and then place the sheet on glossy paper and iron the sheet smoothly for about 15 minutes,then you will get proper print.In the picture this one is failed print,if this happens scrub it again using scrubber or sand paper.Try again!!Cut off the extra copper clad board.If you are using ferric chloride as etchant then no need to retry the toner transferring,shade the left lines using permanent marker.

Step 6: Safety!!

Safety is must while doing etching HCl and ferric chloride both can stain anything that comes in its way and also choose a well ventilated place for etching the PCB.

Step 7: For HCl

If you choose HCl and hydrogen peroxide then it would be safe to apply a coating over the print like that of marker or polish.Dip it into 50-50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and HCl the solution would turn green the green salt is copper chloride which can be used again for etching PCb by dissolving it in HCl !! It would take about 1 hour if you are using HCl with 30% concentration.

Step 8: Ferric Chloride

Ferric chloride is better choice because it etches faster and more perfectly than the previous method.Take about 40 grams of ferric chloride and dissolve it in about 100 ml water.The solution must appear brown without board and when we dip it appears somewhat yellowish in color.Not a chemical reaction only reflection of copper!! Dip in it for about 15-20 minutes till the full PCB etches!!

Step 9: Congratulations!!

Take out the copper clad board from the solution and then wash it under water and pour some acetone on board removing the toner,you would see a beautifully etched PCB.

Step 10: Drilling

Use a needle like drill bit between 0.8 mm to 1.2 mm and you would require 3 mm drill for drilling the holes for dc jack and dc ports as well as voltage regulator.Drill carefully a small mistake can break lines of your hand-crafted PCB.

Step 11: Start Soldering

Switch on your soldering iron and solder all the components as directed in schematics and PCB layouts.First of all solder resistors and then other components.

Step 12: Soldering Tips

Don't apply too much solder all little quantity enough to make the pin and line in contact would be enough!!

Step 13: Soldering Other Components

Bend the voltage regulator IC and also check the stability of every component.Check again if any component is left to be soldered.

Step 14: Done Soldering!!

Cut off extra pins of components and insert the ICs now and it is the time to test our device!!

Step 15: Installing Drivers

Go to this website and download drivers for your os and install them after inserting the board.Select browse from my computer while installing drivers and then browse the folder where the drivers were downloaded.This installs the drivers.

Step 16: Connections

See the picture which shows the connections between the USBASP and the arduino board.The picture credit goes to bjkayani.Open arduino IDE select arduino/genuino uno and in tools select the programmer to USBASP.Make the physical connections and then in IDE press shift while the shift key is pressed then click on upload.The upload command changes to upload via programmer if shift key is presses.The lights would glow now see if your board works then congratulations.If it doesn't work then recheck the connections,it would work surely!!

Step 17: Checking

Check if dc jack works,press reset button for refreshing.Congratulations!!

Step 18: Done!!

Thanks for seeing my instructable!! This is a very cheap and home made solution for those costly arduinos.I have 5 arduinos but I love this one as it has been made by me!!I hope you like it!! You can ask if you have any questions!!

Please vote if you like this!!

Thank you!!


Before and After Contest 2016

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2016

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Arduino All The Things! Contest

Participated in the
Arduino All The Things! Contest

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Instrument Contest

    Instrument Contest
  • Make it Glow Contest

    Make it Glow Contest
  • STEM Contest

    STEM Contest

72 Discussions


2 months ago

Your circuit doesnt look like there is an atmega328 in it, but then suddenly it appears on your PCB.
Seems a bit overkill to use these two chips for one arduino.
No need for any bootloader?


3 years ago

I know it's fun to build your own, but you can buy the Uno

<$5, Nano <$3, and Pro mini <$2. What is your time worth?

6 replies
geekrexGursimran Singh 425

Reply 3 years ago

UNO costs around 350 rupees you dont need to think of duty and secondly using two mega is not a good idea.


Reply 3 years ago

i got mine for 150 INRs from chandni chowk , i bought 3 from there.. :D

grassmtGursimran Singh 425

Reply 3 years ago

If you order from AliExpress the shipping is usually free. What would the import duty be on a $2.00 item? I'm fortunate that they don't worry about the little items that come in from China. It's not worth their time/effort to keep track of them. What country do live in?
I made my own stripped down board for Arduino, but then the prices of the Arduino dropped. So, I don't bother building them. Question: If something is shipped to you that is a gift/free, what is the import duty on it?

Gursimran Singh 425grassmt

Reply 3 years ago

I'll try but last time when I received my arduino kit I had to pay 20$ while receiving even after I paid import duties because the package was from china!! For liitle things I had even paid more than the product costs,safety glasses,arduino due etc.In india I pay these if anything arrives from other countries!! It was just an idea to make own production version arduino,I still use arduino uno r3 for my projects!! I am working on a project that has a whole circuit assembled in two parts.I can use these circuits not the programmer inly MCU.:-)


3 years ago

If you don't like using acids and etchants, building it on perf board using wire-wrapping tool and wire would be an alternative. I used to build prototype circuits this way, when I worked in an electronics factory. You might have to solder some connections if the tags are too short for the number of turns used for a wire wrap joint. DIL sockets are available with pins suitable for wire-wrapping, or pairs of SIL connectors, suitably cut to length could be used. Cheap Arduino boards from China would probably be cheaper, but building one yourself, even if on breadboard, will definitely improve your understanding of the circuit.

tags are too short

2 replies
DuxtalGursimran Singh 425

Reply 3 years ago

hey, very great project ,very intersting :D | 1 problem ,how to open the .pcb file ?


3 years ago

Great 'ible! I was just wondering if anyone has ever tried making this as compact as possible by not using a board at all and what it would look like. Also, do you know about the ESP?

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

It is possible to make the board more compact by using SMD devices. But sometimes the SMD packages are difficult to solder by hand.
ESP8266 is already compact but it is difficult to solder pins. You can make your custom adapter for ESP.

Check my ible on SMD soldering

Also check my other instructables and do vote for the IoT based one if you like it.


Reply 3 years ago

@RobertH230, 18 steps to create an AVR circuit that doesn't require a dragon or ISP. Dude, it's a good circuit.


3 years ago

Looks like a very fun project that I may do in the distant future, but for all my control projects I would rather just buy a bunch of $2 mini atmega328 Chinese clones and 1 $3 programmer on ebay and use them instead.

However, this would be a fun project just to do by itself, except the pcb etching, being a mechanical engineer I would rather design and build a small pcb cnc with cd drives than use caustic chemicals (a pcb cnc is my next project after I finish my laser etcher and my aluminum/wood cnc).

1 reply