[TriEmbed] catching up

Jon Wolfe jonjwolfe at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 27 22:43:10 CDT 2013

Hello all,

I was at the June meeting, it was nice to meet some kindred spirits.

Anyways, there was some discussion about getting started with Arduinos and AVR chips, and techniques for uploading code to ATTiny and non-Arduino AVR chips.

I had recently built a couple ATTiny85 based ISP programmers. I couldn't remember the name at the time, but I looked when I got home, and wrote a brief blog post about it:


I'd forgotten about the blog entry until I saw yesterday that Dangerous Prototypes had pickup on my post, and mentioned it on their front page.

The Little Wire is probably one of the cheapest ways to get an AVR programmer (if you don't count the value of your time spent assembling it).

I made two of them, one for my wife. My original intent was to use the first one to "bootstrap" the second one using the first, but I ran into a couple issues with the fuses in avrdude, and cheated with a different official Atmel AVR programmer that can un-brick chips with fuse issues.

If anyone has an interest in making one of these, let me know. You have a slight "chicken and egg" problem in that you need an initial device to program the programmer. I'm probably going to make July's meeting. August is looking iffy.

There are Arduino sketches out on the web for using an Arduino board as a chip programmer. My wife and I tried that, and struggled to get avrdude to recognize it consistently. We found the Little Wire to be much easier to work with.

I can also help anyone interested in doing "pure" C/C++ on AVR chips. If you're a seasoned C/C++ developer and a Windows user, Atmel's AVR Studio is free, and pretty easy to setup, and a lot more convenient than the Arduino IDE. 

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