My Arduino In Circuit Programmer

Posted on Feb 4, 2014

This Lazy Old Geek is also an Arduino Geek. If you are an Arduino Geek, one of the common microcontrollers used by Arduinos is the Atmega328 chip. In order to use Arduino software, the Atmega must have bootloader software on it. I didn`t realize there was a difference. As far as I can tell, the Atmega328P-PU has lower power but it also has a diffe

My Arduino In Circuit Programmer
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

rent device signature which is important to Arduino users. As of November 2011, the Atmega328-PU is cheaper by about $1. Problem: So there are hundreds of articles on installing bootloader on the Atmega328. I built one using another Arduino to program the chip. I built one using the USB-BUB to program the chip. I built one using a parallel port to program the chip. Well, even after a week of troubleshooting and searching the Internet, none of them worked. So I gave up. I am usually a very persistent hacker but I`m getting old so I gave up. Well, this one looked a lot like most of the others I`d built. But it was from AdaFruit which has some of the best tutorials (accurate, complete, well documented) I`ve seen for the Arduino and it had different code. So I hacked up the hardware (See picture) using a RBBB Arduino and loaded the software. And guess what. It still didn`t work. Signature: So what is a signature Well, it turns out it is a specific code hard wired into the chip to identify it. Now all of the bootloader software seemed to be looking for 0x950F and not 9514 or 0G—9514. GeekSpeak: This is like ROM code that cannot be changed. By the way when you see programming code written starting with 0x` that means it is a hexadecimal number. I won`t go into details but hexadecimal numbers go from 0 to 15 instead of 0 to 10. Signature: So it turns out the bootloader software I`ve seen were based on the 0x950F signature which is...

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