I admit it: I'm a total geek. I love electronics, programming, 3D art, vintage Apple hardware, and whisky. I'm always juggling half a dozen projects. I also enjoy documenting it all: my successes, my failures, my experiences... and everything geeky along the way.

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ATtiny Programming Shield | Kevin Rye.net - Main

Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

ATtiny Programming Shield

After a few failed attempts at making a home made PCB for my ATtiny Programming shield, I decided to go ahead and upload my Eagle file to OSH Park.

ATtiny Programmer final brd

Two weeks later, I had a fresh batch of purple goodness in-hand. They are a little lighter than usual. I emailed OSH Park and they said they were aware of the problem and it’s been fixed forward going. I guess rather than scrapping the boards and making everyone wait another 2 weeks, they opted to just send them out and hope no one cared about the color. I guess it’s no big deal. There’s nothing wrong with the boards, it’s just that they are not “as purple” as usual.

ATtinyProgrammingShield_0047

They switched fab houses. The boards are supposed to be of a higher quality. The text is a higher dpi and the through-hole plating definitely looks better.

ATtinyProgrammingShield_0049

FunTak to the rescue. I have to tell you, this stuff is great for keeping components in place while you solder them.

ATtinyProgrammingShield_0064

One complete board ready for testing.

attinyprogrammingshield_0074

This is why I built in an onboard LED. As soon as I load the Blink sketch, I get immediate feedback that the chip was successfully programmed. It works!

ATtinyProgrammingShield_0073

Since the pins are broken out, not only is this a cool shield for programming the ATtiny, but it’s also the board for the finished project, whatever it may be. I can connect whatever I want to the 6-pin header, load the sketch, and it’s good to go.

ATtinyProgrammingShield_0083

I know what you’re thinking. Since I have that onboard LED connected to a digital pin, isn’t it going to flash like crazy if I assign that pin to another function? Well, you’re absolutely right! That’s why I also included this handy-dandy little jumper:

ATtinyProgrammingShield_0068

All I have to do is throw the jumper to disable the onboard LED. Doing so will also save a little juice when I have it connected to a battery pack.

ATtinyProgrammingShield_0090



Once the board was verified working, it was safe to go ahead and assemble the other two.

ATtinyProgrammingShield_0081

They also have no trouble driving 24 RGB LEDs. Not bad for $10.00. Not bad at all.

ATtinyProgrammingShield_0091



The only question now is, do I use my ATtiny shield or my Bare Bones Arduino board for my RGB Night Light? I’m sure the power consumption on the ATtiny is much better and a few AAs will last that much longer. I guess it all depends on whether or not I can get 3 PWM pins on the ATtiny to blend the RGB colors the way I want them to. I played around with a new core, but I only managed to get 3 PWM pins by emulating it in software. I’ll have to play around with it some more.

See this project from start to finish:
Playing with the ATtiny85
Etching at Home - A Dry Run
Etching at Home: Take 2 (FAIL!)
ATtiny Programming Shield