The ATTiny45 and 85 are a couple of really cool little MCUs but did you know you can program them in Arduino? That's right, now you can shrink your Arduino projects down to "tiny size" by moving your code straight over to these small but capable ICs. The standard method for programming the ATTiny ICs involves a breadboard, lots of jumper wires and a hardware programmer, but David Mellis over at MIT Media Lab has simplified the process by laying out this handy USB programmer.
The Tiny AVR Programmer plugs directly into your USB port and provides a programming socket for the ATTiny45 and 85. Just slot an ATTiny into the socket, plug the programmer into your USB port and start up the Arduino IDE. After installing the proper board definitions, you simply program it the same way you would any other Arduino board. The programmer even breaks out the IC pins to female headers so you can easily prototype around the ATTiny without pulling and plugging it over and over. The ISP header is also broken out so you can use the programmer for other AVR microcontrollers!
Note: You'll need to install the USBTinyISP drivers if you don't have them yet, you can find them in the documents below!
Posted by PaulC on 21st Mar 2013
Perfect ATtiny85 programmer - works with pretty much no effort - as easy as any Arduino board. Think I'll be playing with this for a while.
Posted by Gaz on 5th Mar 2013
Spend hours and hours and hours footering with my Ardiuno in the hope of getting it to write to a ATTiny microcontroller. Problem after problem had me upset and emotionally tender.
But this tiny AVR programmer has done the job 3 minutes in. Couldn't be more straight forward.
Ideal if, like me, code hurts your brain and you intend some lovely small projects free of big electronics.