Making an ISP programmer for the ATTINY85

Setting up a circuit every time you need to burn something into the Attiny85 is so cumbersome. So I decided to make a shield to get the job done easily.
I sought help from a lot of online references to go about making this shield.Here the full instructions:

1. The Components

  1. Arduino Uno (or their other boards with an ATMEGA328 )
  2. ATtiny85
  3. 10uF capacitor
  4. Perforated board
  5. Jumpers
  6. Male header pins
  7. Female header pins
  8. IC holder (8 pin)
  9. LED  (to test)
  10. 330 ohm resistor (to test)

2. Prerequisites

  • Install the latest Arduino IDE from
  • Open the IDE and go to Preferences which can be found in the File Menu.
  • Then in the Additional Boards Manager URLs field add the following URL:
  • Click OK
  • Then open the Boards Manager from the Tools -> Boards
  • Wait for the database to update itself
  • Search for ATtiny85 and install the board
  • Then open the Examples in the File Menu and select the Arduino ISP example program
  • Then upload this to your Arduino Uno
  • Now you’re all set to program the ATtiny85 with your Arduino.

3. The Circuit

Before directly soldering stuff, it’s highly recommended to try everything out the conventional way on a breadboard and see if everything works well.




Untitled Sketch_bb.png

After making the connections, in the IDE do the following:

  • Go to tools and change the board selection to ATtiny25/45/85
  • Select the processor as ATtiny85
  • Clock as ‘1Mhz’
  • Select the COM port to which your Arduino is connected
  • Select programmer as ‘Arduino as ISP’
  • Then open an example blink code and make the output pin as Pin 3
  • Then click on upload and the code gets burned onto the ATtiny85.
  • To test just connect an LED to pin3 and see if it’s working.IMG_20180318_225019.jpg

4. Making the shield

I made the shield in the following order. Feel free to do it the way you like it.

  1. Cut the perforated board in the required dimension
  2. Break the male headers to the number required for the shield i.e to fill the 2 required female headers of the Arduino
  3. Mark the positions where the male headers need to be soldered.

    Enter a caption
  4. Solder the male headers and check if it properly fits on top of the ArduinoIMG_20180319_001505
  5. Solder the IC holder onto the perf board in the centre
  6. Solder the female headers close to the ATtiny pins (this will help us quickly connect something to test an output directly )
  7. Then make the connections using a solder bridge or wire.IMG_20180319_014049.jpg
  8. Connect the capacitor as mentioned above.IMG_20180319_014122.jpg
  9. Verify all connections and ensure that there is no unwanted solder bridges, using a multimeter set to continuity mode.
  10. Plug in your ATtiny85 and you’re ready to go!
  11. Burn the sample blink code onto the microcontroller as mentioned above.
  12. Connect an LED through a resistor(ofc :P) and check if it works. 😁



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