New class: Programming a Tiny85 with Arduino

  • April 13, 2013 · 10:00 AM
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Tiny85: a simple, cheap alternative to dedicating an Arduino to a long-term project

Atmel offers several processor chips in the same family as the Arduino's ATMega328P that are often perfect for a simple permanent controller. This class introduces you to the ATTiny85, with mention of some others. You'll leave with an '85 running a simple blinkie with code you wrote, you ported to Tiny85, and you burned into the '85 along with a mini shield to use an Arduino as a programmer for the '85 and many other Atmel chips.

The class is open to Arduino users with at least basic programming skills. (You'll need to be able to modify the Blink sketch.) You'll need to bring a working Arduino (or clone), a laptop with the Arduino 1.0.4 development environment, and a breadboard. We'll supply a Tiny85.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    The class was a lot of fun. Jim was certainly a very technically proficient teacher!
    It did seem like a good portion of the class was spent covering deep technical details, regarding setting fuses, avr dude and its settings, and high power 12v programming... all of which did not relate to the basic intro level type of work we were doing.
    Next time I would focus more on just what is absolutely needed for writing and programming the Blinky sketch on your Arduino, then simple modifications required to the code so it will run on an ATTINY85, then build/use the custom header and program the TINY with your program, and build your Blinky circuit on the breadboard with your newly programmed chip.
    Though that was the intent of the class, I think we got a bit sidetracked and spent a lot of time in deep technicals. It was still a good class, we learned a ton, and are very thankful to Jim for all the time he spent with us after the class.

    April 13, 2013

  • Mohan G.

    Hi Andrew
    I do not have programming skill, If you teach little programming skill prior to tiny 85, I can join. Last week I attended 101 class, Still I lack basics in programming,

    April 9, 2013

    • Jim W.

      Hi Mohan,

      Here's what you'll be asked to do in the class. "Take a couple of minutes and build a blinkie on your breadboard driven by your Arduino. It should have between 2 and 5 LEDs doing something mildly interesting. You may use PWM on a couple of the LEDs."

      After we go over some basic Tiny85 stuff, you'll be given a Tiny85 with the instructions "Here's a Tiny with a simple sketch programmed in to blink an LED on pin 6. Put it in your breadboard, power it up, and verify that it blinks the LED."

      Then you'll need to "port" your blinkie code to the Tiny85. That will just consist of changing the pins you used to the appropriate ones for a Tiny85 (which we'll go over in some detail).

      <continued>

      April 9, 2013

    • Jim W.

      Next you'll solder some headers and some wires into a little PC board to make a simple adapter to turn your Arduino into an AVR programmer. Then you'll connect those wires to the Tiny on your breadboard and program it with your blinkie sketch. Put LEDs on the pins you chose when you ported your code and make sure it works.

      The teacher and students will be there to help each other, so it's not like you'll be out in the cold all alone!
      A good idea might be to try doing the first part - building a sketch that blinks a couple of LEDs - at home before the class. Start with the example blinkie sketch and build on that. If you come in with your blinkie sketch already written and running, that's perfectly fine.

      If you've been through the Arduino 101 class and are interested in building small microcontroller based projects, I'd encourage you to come!

      Jim

      April 9, 2013

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  • Andrew
    Founding Member, Organizer
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