How to program a AVR (arduino) with another arduino using attiny2313 microcontroller

* you’ve got your arduino with atmega168 and you bought an atmega328 at you local electronics store. It doesn’t have an arduino bootloader
* you want to make a project that doesn’t use arduino – just a regular AVR chip (like the USBTinyISP) – you have a clean attiny2313/attiny48 etc that you want to burn firmware on.
Normally  you would have to have an ISP (In System Programmer) like USBTinyISP to program your new chip.  Having the arduino you can teach it to be a programmer thank to a great work done by Randall Bohn. He created Mega-ISP – an arduino sketch that works like a programmer.

Step: 1 What do you need ?

What do you need
* a working Arduino (or a clone – i’m using the BBB – BareBonesBoard and a RBBB – RealBareBonesBoard by ModernDevices)
* a chip that you want to program (tested with atmega8,atmega168,atmega368, attiny2313, attiny13)
* a breadboard or a board with ISP header
* 3 leds + 3 resistors
* breadboard wires

Step: 2 Making the mega-isp programmer on a breadboard

There are two ways to connect your Arduino to program a chip.
You can plug your avr chip to a breadboard and connect 5v and GND to the respective pins (check the datasheet!) + a pullup resistor to reset and wire pins from you arduino to the chip.
These are the lines on Arduino and their function
13 – SCK
12 – MISO
11 – MOSI
10 – RST (Reset)
Or you can make a 2x3pin ISP header that you can plug into a board that provides one (another arduino board).
The pinout for the ISP header is on the third image
There are 3 leds to indicate the status of the programmer.
pin 9 – blue led – its the hearbeat of the programmer.
pin 8 – red led – indicates an error
pin 7 – green led – indicates that the programming is taking place
(i was lazy so i didn’t match the colors in my setup)
Here are the drawings made in Fritzing
You can alsa make a MEGA-isp shield. Yaroslav Osadchyy designed the shield in eagle. You can get the eagle files on his site:

Step: 3 Uploading the sketch

Uploading the sketch
Download the sketch from mega-isp google code.( at the time of writing).
Unpack it and run arduino ide and open avrisp.pde.
Upload it to your arduino board.
Heartbeat led should start beating.

Step: 4 Using with avrdude

To use with avrdude (and all GUIs that use it) you have to select the ‘avrisp’ programmer. the safest bitrate is 19200.
To test your your new atmega168 from commandline try:
$ avrdude -p m168 -P /dev/ttyUSB0 -c avrisp -b 19200
/dev/USB0 is the port that arduino is connected to my linux box (your’s may be com5). This can be checked in arduino IDE in Tools -> Serial Port.
You should get:
[kabturek@hal-9000 ~]# avrdude -p m168 -P /dev/ttyUSB0 -c avrisp -b 19200
avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions
Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.13s
avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e9406
avrdude: safemode: Fuses OK
avrdude done.  Thank you.

That means everything is ok.
If you get errors – check the last step.
For more detail: How to program a AVR (arduino) with another arduino using attiny2313 microcontroller

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

Follow Us:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top