A quick search for an ATtiny85 programmer will yield a variety of ATtiny85 programmers. Some slick, some that don’t work, and a variety of other possibilities. After downloading some Eagle board files for one of them and after ordering and soldering the necessary components myself, they didn’t work. It was either my soldering, the PCB manufacturer, or the boards themselves were defective. I was about to order another design I found until I realized I had all I needed on hand.

Sure, you could do it this way, but wiring that up every time is less efficient and crazy if you have to do it more than once.

A Sparkfun ProtoShield only costs $4.95 and makes for a nice DIY ATtiny85 programmer after a bit of soldering. Add a DIP socket, 10uF cap, 6 male header pins and you’re done.

IF I was thinking better, I should have moved the DIP more towards the top of the board (left in photo) and would have had more room to add a DIP for the ATtiny84 chip. I still can, but that will only leave me with one horizontal row of holes for spacing. Perhaps I’ll add that later….<edit> I did, but didn’t take a picture of it yet. One thing I still need to add, some female headers to the sides so I can leave it inserted and still usable for breadboarding. Right now, I have to remove it and insert in the breadboard after every programming change. Arg!

How to program:

  1. Download the ATtiny core board files >> here
  2. Copy the attiny directory from:      attiny-master.zip/attiny-master/attiny/*
    into the Arduino IDE installation directory:      <arduino_ide>/hardware/attiny/*
  3. Restart the Arduino IDE
  4. From the main menu select:      File / Examples / ArduinoISP
  5. Upload that sketch into your Arduino Uno
  6. Plug in the ProtoShield ATtiny85 programmer you just made with the 85 chip installed
  7. Select the ATtiny85 board, and ‘Arduino as ISP’ as the programmer
  8. Code, then upload your desired sketch into your ATtiny85 chip.
  9. Enjoy!