Sunday, December 11, 2011

Using an ATtiny to Save Space and Money

Have you ever needed a microprocessor that is easy to use but isn't as large and bulky as your Arduino? Or maybe you just don’t want to put a bunch of unnecessary money into a project and using a full Arduino just makes the project not worth the effort? That’s where the ATtiny85 comes in. Using a tutorial found on the MIT High-Low Tech Group page, you can now program your ATtiny using a traditional Arduino. Check out the video below for an easy to follow tutorial as well.

I tried this recently and had no issues. It even works with the newest Arduino IDE (Check out Arduino 1.0 if you haven't yet already). All you need to do is load some hardware folders and program your Uno to be an ISP. Then, change your board type to “ATtiny85 w/ Arduino as ISP” and upload your sketch. If you have an Uno you must remember to jump  the ‘reset’ pin to ground so that the auto-reset is disabled with a 10uf cap. Presumably you could also use a 120ohm resistor.

Overall the ATtiny works really well and uses most Arduino commands. The only issue for me is that the Servo library doesn't seem to work - meaning the project I had intended to work on has to use a regular ATmega. Either way, the ATtiny will find a use in some low-processing projects that I’m working on. Leave me some feedback on Facebook or Twitter with some cool project ideas or if you’re having any issues.


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