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Description: The ATtiny45 and 85 are a couple of really cool little MCUs but did you know you can program them in Arduino? That’s right, now you can shrink your Arduino projects down to “tiny size” by moving your code straight over to these small but capable ICs. The standard method for programming the ATtiny ICs involves a breadboard, lots of jumper wires and a hardware programmer, but David Mellis over at MIT Media Lab has simplified the process by laying out this handy USB programmer.

The Tiny AVR Programmer plugs directly into your USB port and provides a programming socket for the ATTiny45 and 85. Just slot an ATtiny with a DIP footprint into the socket, plug the programmer into your USB port and start up the Arduino IDE. After installing the proper board definitions, you simply program it the same way you would any other Arduino board. The programmer even breaks out the IC pins to female headers so you can easily prototype around the ATtiny without pulling and plugging it over and over. There are two ISP headers that have also been broken out so you can use the programmer of solder in a 6-pin header for other AVR microcontrollers!

Note: You’ll need to install the USBTinyISP drivers if you don’t have them yet, you can find them in the documents below!


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Customer Comments

  • It’s a great product, but combined with OS X it is driving me crazy. Had it working a few months ago, then didn’t use it for some time. Now I’ve been googling all around to find out how I can get an USB tty to show up in Arduino for this. I’ve tried a lot of things already, various drivers that may or may not be the correct ones, reboot, shutdown, start, connect directly to USB port, connect via hub… It just won’t work.

    avrdude: Error: Could not find USBtiny device (0x2341/0x49)

    Trying on El Capitan. An Arduino Uno works fine on the very same system. I’m at a loss here, I would expect to find some useful information on the links of this article, but alas. If anyone has a pointer to a helpful URL, please let me know.

  • Is it true that you cannot use I2C communications when the chip is installed and the USB is connected to the PC? I saw in a review that a customer could not use I2C this way? Thanks.

    • This is just a programmer so you’re supposed to remove the chip after you flash your code. The programmer does occupy some of the I/O pins on the chip while it’s in the programmer and I would expect some functions to not work until the chip is removed.

      • Then you should NOT advertise: “The programmer even breaks out the IC pins to female headers so you can easily prototype around the ATtiny without pulling and plugging it over and over. ” That is the SOLE reason I purchased it. If it doesn’t work like you advertised then I’ll ask for a refund.

  • Is there a way to use the Tiny AVR Programmer to program the surface mount ATTINY85’s?

  • Quick Questions… Will this work with any of the ATTINY85’s? I noticed there were a lot of different 85’s on Atmel’s website, and I just wanted some confirmation. Thank you!

  • In what case do you need to be concerned about bootloaders? Thanks!

  • A note for Linux users: If avrdude returns “initialization failed” while trying to program a chip, you might need to add a udev rule as outlined here[1]. Running as root did not work for me, but the udev rule fixed my issue.


  • Had a very hard time inserting the break-away headers (PRT-00116) into the prototyping pins. They really don’t act like they were made for one another. I never did really get them fully inserted. On some attempts the pins were pushed through the break-away header and not further into the prototyping pins.

  • Still having issues with this using drivers here.

  • This has a small problem. You are going to push the far end to insert it. But since the jumper connector is surface mounted, there is little holding it on, so it will break off (and damage the pins).

    You should add some kind of glue to support it our use thru-hole parts that won’t break off. You need the thru-holes anyway for the 8 pin socket.

  • Using a USB hub cable with the programmer, it might not work properly if the cable is damaged. You might get this error:

    Could not find USB device 0x1781/0xc9f

    Try using a dedicated mini-B USB cable or a different USB cable to prevent this error.

  • Below are steps for burning a bootloader to a bare ATmega328p using the Tiny AVR Programmer[1]. They’re all documented elsewhere, but I had some trouble collecting all the required docs.

    Preparing to burn the bootloader:

    • Connect as in the photo[2][3][4]. A bare ATmega328 is likely to be shipped requiring an external 16MHz crystal. A pullup on the reset pin is required. An LED on pin 13 (which is also SCK) is optional.
    • Install the Breadboard Arduino board config[5].
    • Board > ATmega328 on Breadboard
    • Programmer > USBTinyISP

    After burning the bootloader with the 8MHz internal clock, the external crystal may be removed.

    Uploading a sketch:

    • Sketch > Upload using Programmer

    The normal sketch upload button does not work (errors like “avrdude: ser_open(): can’t open device”).

    1. Tiny AVR Programmer instructions/pinout
    2. photo of programmer and breadboarded ATmega328p
    3. ATmega328 (and 168) pinout
    4. programmer connection guide
    5. breadboard arduino config download under “Minimal Circuit”
  • I accidentally shorted the + and - pins together for a full 3 seconds. What damage to the programmer or the attiny85 should I expect?

    • Depends… Most importantly was there power on those pins? If not you should be fine. If so it is hard to say. Things will start to heat up, and most ICs tend to have some sort of protection, but you’ll just have to try it and see at that point. If you don’t hear anything pop, see magic blue smoke escaping, or see a melted component on the board you might be ok.

      • Yes there was power. However, the were no pops, smoke, or melting. I hope its ok!

  • Worked a week ago but now the (Windows) IDE says: “avrdude: Error: Could not find USBtiny device (0x1781/0xc9f)”

    I have tried to plug it into both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, reinstall the driver, and restart my PC to no avail.

  • Not really interested in Arduino, but can this program an ATTiny13? I’d like to program these little micros before stuffing them in a PCB that lacks the space for the six pin programing header

  • Hello, I bought this programmer and I am not sure how to program larger chips. Should I use the 2x3 header or the 6 at the end? I have been using the 2x3 header but I feel like that is used to reprogram the onboard attiny84. Any help is appreciated.

  • I replaced the chip socket with one with longer legs. I needed .400" legs to clear components on another board, but with longer legs it can plug into a breadboard, or the end resultant board. Now I can leave plugged into USB, program, test, repeat. This after moving the chip back and forth a hundred times, using jumpers was cumbersome.




  • I looked at the schematic. What’s the two 3.3V zener diodes for? To make the D+ and D- operates at 3.3V? Thanks!

  • Debian 8 .0 required a udev rule to get this device to work for me:

    SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{product}=="FabISP", ATTR{idProduct}=="0c9f", ATTRS{idVendor}=="1781", GROUP="dialout", MODE="0660"

    Important: after creating the rule and restarting udev, unplug and re-plugin the device.

  • Has anyone here programmed an Attiny84 (an external one) using this? Also is the programmer compatible with atmel studio?

  • I had several inconsistent issues with this product on my Windows 7 64 system and running Arduino 1.0.6,,,, until I read Member #341993 comments. Thank you Member #341993, it works perfectly now.

  • Break away headers don’t fit the female headers on this board. The pins make contact but fall out easily. Jumper wires worked perfectly though.

  • Fix the driver for this Win 8….not signed?

    • There are signed Windows 8 drivers available through Adafruit:

      A recent review noted that there are no drivers for Windows 10 - which isn’t technically out yet; ye on the cutting edge of technology: it’s but one edge of a double-edged sword.

    • Use the following from the hookup guide to temporarily bypass that warning and install anyway.

  • An adapter board for the attiny84 that could plug into the inline strips that are .8" apart sure would be nice. This programmer makes using the attiny85 very easy. It would be great to have the same convenience for the attiny84.

  • The linked schematic and eagle files dont match with the shipped product (product says v13, schematics say v12)… but this seems to be what was shipped (eg the github a few revs ago.)

  • While creating a udev rule for use on Linux, I had to use the following:

    SUBSYSTEM==“usb”, ATTR{product}==“FabISP”, ATTR{idProduct}==“0c9f”, ATTRS{idVendor}==“1781”, MODE=“0660”, GROUP=“dialout”

    Note that the product entry is now “FabISP” rather than “USBTiny”.

  • I had endless problem with mine on Windows 7 64bit on an HP dm4. It worked sometimes and not others. I’d get a mismatch error. I have spent a lot of time debugging and trying things. I downloaded Xloader to load hex files for my Nano based projects and on a whim decide to try using it with the usbtiny. It seemed to work reliably. So I moved the avrdude.exe and .conf file from the Xloader dir to the Arduino tools/avr/bin and /etc dirs. Now it seems to work reliably from the Arduino dev environment, The create date of the working avrdude is March 18, 2012 and it is 1,922,788 bytes. I cannot find a version number easily. I loaded this into a Arduino 1.06 install. I hope this helps folks.

    • endless problems with Windows??????? <sarcasm> ;)

    • Thank you so much! I had exactly your setup (Windows 7 64bit + Arduino 1.06) and was receiving those same errors. The programs still ran on the attiny85, but error messages are never good and I don’t like ignoring them. Your fix worked perfectly. Good on ya for spending the time to figure it out so that others don’t have to.

  • Has anyone got this working with a Mac on Arduino 1.5? I’ve spent too long, and I can’t get it to work.

    (1) The Sparkfun supplied boards.txt file doesn’t appear to be correct for 1.5. (2) Arduino doesn’t recognise the programmer as attached to the computer, even though the device is enumerated. (3) Dropping back to 1.0.5 has worked, but this doesn’t seem like the right think to rely on in the long term.

  • I’m running Arduino IDE 1.0.5 on a Mac Book Air. I successfully programmed an ATtiny 85 with the tiny AVR programmer (burned fuses for 8 MHz, uploaded sketch, prototyped circuit successfully), but when I tried to upload the sketch again, to make a change in a threshold value, I got this error: avrdude: Error: Could not find USBtiny device (0x1781/0xc9f) The on-board LED on the tiny AVR programmer lights, so the tiny AVR programmer is working, at that level. Can anyone suggest diagnostics I should try?

  • In the it says USBTinyProgrammer will show up as the device for the Programmer when you first plug it in to a USB port. On my Bootcamped Win 8.0 Macbook Air It was something completely different, nothing like the image in the guide. But it still installed just fine.

  • warning NOOB question: I found a hex file online that adds the fuses at the end: >> “sd8p_oc.hex” . i get an error trying to write to the chip. is there a command to have it accept the fuses from the hex file? or am i just doing it wrong? here is the output: “;topic=259074.0;attach=91116;image”

  • Can I use this to program the attiny2313?

    • Yes, you obviously won’t be able to plug it into the controller, but you can still connect the 6 pins needed and program the chip.

  • I have been testing using this programmer as an ISP programmer for ATmega328. I have been able to burn fuses and a HEX file (using AVRDUDE), and load simple blink sketches (using Arduino IDE). However, when I’ve tried loading a more complex sketch, the program doesn’t run correctly when the ATmega328 is plugged into an Arduino. I am able to get the sketch to run properly on the chip when I use another Arduino as ISP using tutorial on Arduino site. I am assuming, I need to set some configuration settings/files up properly.


    • TinyAVRProgrammer ICSP port connected to ATmega328p RST,SCK,MISO,MOSI,VCC,GND pins

    • TinyAVRProgrammer connected to PC (Windows 7) via USB

    • Arduino IDE Tools->Board->Arduino Nano w/ ATmega328 (note: have also tried Arduino UNO)

    • Arduino IDE Tools->Programmer->USBtinyISP

    • Arduino IDE File->Upload Using Programmer

    No compile or upload errors are reported. Arduino IDE reports Upload Complete.

    I would like to use this programmer to load onto chip directly rather than using Arduino as ISP and having to hook it up, remove the Arduino chip, etc.

    The program (sketch) has code for using SD card, LCD/touchscreen, and wireless communication if that is at all helpful. The specific part not working is the LCD does not show the image. The same sketch works fine using the Arduino FTDI to load via the TX/RX pins.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks Krist

  • can you use serial communication with this? UART

  • Does this work with macs?

  • Could i use it to program an ATtiny13, too? I am playing around only with small analog electronics (very basic) and would use it only for very limited tasks, so ATtiny13 would be enough. Greetings

  • …anyone have luck loading the tone() library onto a ATtiny85? i found a couple of tutorials on adding enhanced cores to be available in the arduino IDE:

    but they don’t show how to modify the boards.txt file to upload with the Tiny AVR programmer.

  • Works great! I’ve used it to program not only the ATtiny85, but the ATMEGA328P as well, via ICSP port.

    The only thing that threw me for a loop was that it doesn’t give a /dev/ device filename, even though the Mac OS X sees it on the USB bus.

    Arduino 1.5.x gave me some issues complaining about not being able to connect to a usb port at first, but choosing USBtinyISP works fine, just need to make sure no actual PORT is selected.

    Only wished it was better protected. On receiving mine, wrapped it up from the USB port to the first row of sockets with kapton tape to protect the chips from shorts.

    • I am having some trouble with programming mega328 (see my recent post). I realize you have a Mac OS, but perhaps your config will help guide me to my problem.

      Thanks Krist

  • This Tiny AVR Programmer makes programming the ATtiny85 chip for my project so much easier. I love it! However, I recently ran into a problem. I just tried loading some new sketches using Arduino IDE v1.0.5 on a Win7 64-bit machine and I get a verification error. I have used this machine and software many times before without problems. IT appears from my searches that this indicates some kind of communication breakdown between the programmer and the computer. The onboard LED does show communication activity. I have tried two different chips. I have tried burning bootloader in case fuses had been changed. I tried reloading the drivers and core files.

    Any ideas about how to fix? Is this a problem on the board or have my chips failed?

    here is the verbose upload output:

    Binary sketch size: 844 bytes (of a 8,192 byte maximum) C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\hardware/tools/avr/bin/avrdude -CC:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\hardware/tools/avr/etc/avrdude.conf -v -v -v -v -pattiny85 -cusbtiny -Uflash:w:C:\Users\Krist\AppData\Local\Temp\build282759822894877516.tmp\ATtiny85_Blink.cpp.hex:i

    avrdude: Version 5.11, compiled on Sep 2 2011 at 19:38:36 Copyright © 2000-2005 Brian Dean, Copyright © 2007-2009 Joerg Wunsch

         System wide configuration file is "C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\hardware/tools/avr/etc/avrdude.conf"
         Using Port                    : lpt1
         Using Programmer              : usbtiny

    avrdude: usbdev_open(): Found USBtinyISP, bus:device: bus-0:\.\libusb0-0001–0x1781-0x0c9f AVR Part : ATtiny85 Chip Erase delay : 4500 us PAGEL : P00 BS2 : P00 RESET disposition : possible i/o RETRY pulse : SCK serial program mode : yes parallel program mode : yes Timeout : 200 StabDelay : 100 CmdexeDelay : 25 SyncLoops : 32 ByteDelay : 0 PollIndex : 3 PollValue : 0x53 Memory Detail :

                                  Block Poll               Page                       Polled
           Memory Type Mode Delay Size  Indx Paged  Size   Size #Pages MinW  MaxW   ReadBack
           ----------- ---- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ---- ------ ----- ----- ---------
           eeprom        65     6     4    0 no        512    4      0  4000  4500 0xff 0xff
                                  Block Poll               Page                       Polled
           Memory Type Mode Delay Size  Indx Paged  Size   Size #Pages MinW  MaxW   ReadBack
           ----------- ---- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ---- ------ ----- ----- ---------
           flash         65     6    32    0 yes      8192   64    128  4500  4500 0xff 0xff
                                  Block Poll               Page                       Polled
           Memory Type Mode Delay Size  Indx Paged  Size   Size #Pages MinW  MaxW   ReadBack
           ----------- ---- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ---- ------ ----- ----- ---------
           signature      0     0     0    0 no          3    0      0     0     0 0x00 0x00
                                  Block Poll               Page                       Polled
           Memory Type Mode Delay Size  Indx Paged  Size   Size #Pages MinW  MaxW   ReadBack
           ----------- ---- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ---- ------ ----- ----- ---------
           lock           0     0     0    0 no          1    0      0  9000  9000 0x00 0x00
                                  Block Poll               Page                       Polled
           Memory Type Mode Delay Size  Indx Paged  Size   Size #Pages MinW  MaxW   ReadBack
           ----------- ---- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ---- ------ ----- ----- ---------
           lfuse          0     0     0    0 no          1    0      0  9000  9000 0x00 0x00
                                  Block Poll               Page                       Polled
           Memory Type Mode Delay Size  Indx Paged  Size   Size #Pages MinW  MaxW   ReadBack
           ----------- ---- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ---- ------ ----- ----- ---------
           hfuse          0     0     0    0 no          1    0      0  9000  9000 0x00 0x00
                                  Block Poll               Page                       Polled
           Memory Type Mode Delay Size  Indx Paged  Size   Size #Pages MinW  MaxW   ReadBack
           ----------- ---- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ---- ------ ----- ----- ---------
           efuse          0     0     0    0 no          1    0      0  9000  9000 0x00 0x00
                                  Block Poll               Page                       Polled
           Memory Type Mode Delay Size  Indx Paged  Size   Size #Pages MinW  MaxW   ReadBack
           ----------- ---- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ---- ------ ----- ----- ---------
           calibration    0     0     0    0 no          2    0      0     0     0 0x00 0x00
         Programmer Type : USBtiny
         Description     : USBtiny simple USB programmer,

    avrdude: programmer operation not supported

    avrdude: Using SCK period of 10 usec CMD: [ac 53 00 00] [00 00 53 00] avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions

    Reading | CMD: [30 00 00 00] [00 30 00 1e] CMD: [30 00 01 00] [00 30 00 93]

    ##########CMD: [30 00 02 00] [00 30 00 0b]
    ############################ | 100% 0.01s

    avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e930b avrdude: NOTE: FLASH memory has been specified, an erase cycle will be performed To disable this feature, specify the -D option. CMD: [a0 01 fc 00] [00 a0 01 ff] CMD: [a0 01 fd 00] [00 a0 01 ff] CMD: [a0 01 fe 00] [00 a0 01 ff] CMD: [a0 01 ff 00] [00 a0 01 ff] avrdude: erasing chip CMD: [ac 80 00 00] [00 ac 80 00] avrdude: Using SCK period of 10 usec CMD: [ac 53 00 00] [00 ac 53 00] avrdude: reading input file “C:\Users\Krist\AppData\Local\Temp\build282759822894877516.tmp\ATtiny85_Blink.cpp.hex” avrdude: writing flash (844 bytes):

    Writing | CMD: [4c 00 00 00] [20 4c 00 00]

    CMD: [4c 00 20 00] [f7 4c 00 20]

    CMD: [4c 00 40 00] [24 4c 00 40]

    CMD: [4c 00 60 00] [01 4c 00 60]

    CMD: [4c 00 80 00] [00 4c 00 80]

    CMD: [4c 00 a0 00] [3f 4c 00 a0]

    CMD: [4c 00 c0 00] [00 4c 00 c0]

    CMD: [4c 00 e0 00] [40 4c 00 e0]

    CMD: [4c 01 00 00] [bf 4c 01 00]

    CMD: [4c 01 20 00] [91 4c 01 20]

    CMD: [4c 01 40 00] [93 4c 01 40]

    CMD: [4c 01 60 00] [c0 4c 01 60]

    CMD: [4c 01 80 00] [97 4c 01 80]

    CMD: [4c 01 a0 00] [00 4c 01 a0]

    | 100% 1.84s

    avrdude: 844 bytes of flash written avrdude: verifying flash memory against C:\Users\Krist\AppData\Local\Temp\build282759822894877516.tmp\ATtiny85_Blink.cpp.hex: avrdude: load data flash data from input file C:\Users\Krist\AppData\Local\Temp\build282759822894877516.tmp\ATtiny85_Blink.cpp.hex: avrdude: input file C:\Users\Krist\AppData\Local\Temp\build282759822894877516.tmp\ATtiny85_Blink.cpp.hex contains 844 bytes avrdude: reading on-chip flash data:

    Reading | ################################################## | 100% 1.11s

    avrdude: verifying … avrdude: verification error, first mismatch at byte 0x0080 0x57 != 0xe1 avrdude: verification error; content mismatch

    avrdude done. Thank you.

    • there was nothing wrong with the programmer…complete rebuild of computer fixed whatever software glitch existed.

  • Uploading seems to be impossible with a USB3 port on at least on newer Mac laptops that only have USB3. This seems to be a common problem with USBTinyISP products. Discussion on Adafruit forum about this: This can be usually fixed with connecting the board through a USB2 hub.

    It might be a good idea to add to the tutorial that you can set the fuses of a ATtiny85 to 8 MHz by selecting the “internal 8 MHz clock option” and then using “burn bootloader” from the Arduino IDE.

  • How do you configure the ATTiny85 to use it’s 16mHz internal clock with the Tiny AVR Programmer?

  • Do i need USB drivers when I run the Arduino IDE on Ubuntu 64 Bit?

    • RTFM … sorry for the question. The answer is NO: :-)

  • You guys would be my heroes if you’d make a bigger version that could program 14 and 20 pin ATtiny chips. I’m using the ISP header on this to do that now. But if you’d make one device that could do it all, I’d happily buy it.

    • To keep the cost down we don’t plan on increasing the size of the PCB. But you can program 14 and 20 pin ATtinys - you just have to wire from the 6-pin connector on the end to the ICSP pins on the micros.

  • Is the ISP header used to program external devices, or to load code from an external programmer onto the ATTINY84 on the PCB? Or both?

    • Both. As-is for external devices, short the RST jumpers for ATTTiny84. Though I can’t think of a reason to reprogram the 84. It works very nicely as is.

      I’ve used this both for ATTiny85s and to reprogram the LCD serial pack with firmware that actually works. In that case I used avrdude in command line mode to download a prebuilt hex file. Great product.

  • The extra pins to the side make it easy if you use a crystal (for exact timing). I often solder them onto the side, but I have an application that doesn’t need that much precision, so I could changes the fuse settings back more easily.

    To do the HV stuff, you need an AVR Dragon. That is what I used before.

  • I entirely made an adapter for the programmer that I got from Adafruit. As for the HV fuses….I made an adapter for the Arduino HV Rescue shield to fit the ATtinys. But that was a few years ago…not even sure I still have it.

  • I wish it had a High Voltage programming capability to reset fuses (in case other methods of programming are disabled)

  • Shouldn’t it say somewhere, that this replaces PGM-11460…

  • The tie points on this aren’t as secure as I’d like them to be. I think this thing would be much easier to use if it used the wire wrap through-headers to just attach it to a breadboard. I can use a M-F USB extender cable for flexible connection to a computer.

    I don’t even need the headers soldered in, throw the long head headers in the bag and I can solder it myself.

    • Buy the 8-pin wire wrap socket below (PRT-08112) and some solder wick. Problem solved. They can’t make products to suit every taste or need, but they try their best. The rest is left to ‘maker’ ingenuity, and if you can’t manage that, well…

  • I like how on the schematic, it says “3x2 connector can be”. Also kind of wondering how they get the code into the ATtiny84.

    • They (not SparkFun) make ZIF sockets for SMT ICs that you can use to program bare chips before they’re soldered in place.

  • This board already uses through-hole parts, so why continue with the SMT machine pin headers? Wouldn’t the through-hole version be more resistant against mechanical stress?

    • I’ve been using mine for months with no connector issues. It’s plenty tough.

    • It’s cheaper to use the SMT version since they can be autopopulated by the pick and place machine.

      • That being said, they’re already leaving the 2x3 ICSP header unpopulated. They could have done the same with the two 1x4s. Maybe toss them in the package to be populated by the user if they want them. Or hell, leave them out and make them separately orderable.

        That said, the DIP-8 socket is already through-hole. they could easily make the 1x4s through-hole, insert all four headers in the board, flip it over, and solder them all real quick, all at once. And that’s assuming they’re doing the through-hole soldering by hand instead of using a wave-soldering machine. (which is really cool to watch in-use, btw)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

Based on 56 ratings:

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Good, but finicky

I wish this came assembled and in an enclosure. One small bump and the USB connector is likely be easily ripped off.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Handy programmer, but flawed

This is a very handy programmer. Works great for general ISP programming as well. One drawback on the design are the female header pins for prototyping. They are of the machined type headers and components or wires do not hold very well in them. So they are mostly useless for prototyping. They should have been female header like they use on the Arduino boards.

Hi, Thanks for the feedback. I would like to see this revised to run standard female headers as well. I will share your feedback with the engineers for the next time this gets a revision. Thank you

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Very reliable tool for programming ATTiny85s - I2C Application

This tool just works!! One caveat I found relative to I2c: If you leave the ATTiny85 plugged into the board while trying to debug I2C, the board holds the SDA signal on Pin 5 HIGH during the acknowledge clock cycle which results in not being able to detect an Acknowledge (LOW) from a slave device. The SDA pin during the acknowledge clock cycle is configured as an Input. The ATTiny85 worked just fine when removed from the programmer.

3 of 3 found this helpful:

Programming an ATTiny84 with the Tiny Programmer

Super handy. Buy a chip extractor to go with it.

If you want to program an ATTiny84 with this, here are the pin connections:

ATTiny84  --->   Tiny Programmer

1  ---> +
14 ---> -- (minus sign)
4  ---> (unlabeled)
7  ---> 0
8  ---> 1
9  ---> 2

( find more info here )

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Works great

This seems to work flawlessly, even when I have a hard time getting my other programmers to “play nice” with the ATTiny85.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

RE: No signed x64 drivers

To Member #6938: use the links to the driver on the product page, not the hookup guide (they are different for 64 bit). If that still doesn’t work, try this link (it worked for me):

1 of 2 found this helpful:


The schematic shown is for REV 14, however I was sent REV 13, board I designed to match the pinouts at JP10, doesn’t match now I’m forced to connect each pin individually to program each my board. Grrrr.

Hi, From my records, we haven’t revised these in years. I’m not sure why your board doesn’t match what you expected. I’m very sorry for the issue.

fast and furious

Greetings from Germany. I bought this item and it arrived in Cologne in less then 2 weeks, great! I used the shipping time to prepare my Arduino IDE and alter the blink-sketch, so when the programmer arrived, I put it into the USB-Port, installed the drivers, one click and the LED startet blinking. You get what you see and it does what it should do, so there is no reason to grumble. Nevertheless I wonder why did they not solder in the pins for the ISP-headers. I think it would not rise the price that much and would prevent me from messing around with the valuable PCB. Driver-installation on win 8 is really a pain in the … Here in german language: Treiberinstallation für deutsches win 8.1: win-Taste+C: öffnet Charms-Menue (rechte Seite) - EInstellungen - PC-Einstellungen ändern - Update/Wiederherstellung - Wiederherstellung - Jetzt neu starten - Problembehandlung - Erweiterte Optionen - Starteinstellungen - Neustart dann die 7 wählen, der PC startet und endlich kann man die Treiber installieren

DIese Abfolge am besten ausdrucken, damit man sich nicht verirrt.

Works Great!

It works exactly as expected and I love it. Makes simple projects even easier.

great little device

A great little device. Works great programming my ATtiny85 chips. Super easy and quick. A wonderful tool in my pile of electronics.

In the box with my ATtiny85 chips...

Like I said in the title…

Great programmer!

Easy to use and (thus far) works perfectly!

No I2C if chip used on programmer ?

I got this to program ATTiny85s and I expected to use the breakout headers to program it in-circuit with jumpers to the breadboard circuit for rapid prototyping. The circuit used I2C with an external EEPROM. The circuit did not work with the chip installed on the programmer, but with the chip in-circuit without the programmer it worked correctly. I believe this may be due to this programmer not being able to allow I2C communication when the chip is installed on the programmer unfortunately - I suspect this due to a comment left by a previous customer. I am forced to move the chip back and forth to the programmer to use it correctly. If I knew this I probably wouldn’t have bought it. Can you please fix this problem? Thanks.

Giving this a 5 for ATTiny85

Super easy to use with the latest IDE and the sparkfun link to the driver for ATTiny85. Working great on win8.1 and win10.

Have not got it to work with an Atmega328p yet. Could be the chip I’m using has already been fused to 16 MHz. Not a biggie as I could always plug the chip into an UNO and re-fuse it. ;)

I like this easy device for 8 pin at85. I approve this review. LOL.

Works for what I need

Would be nice if this had a USB-B port so this could be connected by a cable, as currently I have to use it in an awkward position on my PC. Otherwise works well. Proto headers are a nice touch

Bit of a learning curve ...

Easily programs the attiny 85, both on board or breadboarded, but having difficulties doing a breadboarded 328 using Arduino IDE 1.6.4 following the hookup guide. Will persevere!

This is an excellent value

I’ve used it on Windows and Mac so far. Well integrated into Arduino IDE. AND It’s inexpensive.

Perfect for me

Win7 works great, fast easy way to program chips. See ‘comments’ for my photos on adding legs to the socket to help with breadboard and in project usability.

It works perfectly!

Now I have a quick and easy way to program ATtiny85, using the Arduino IDE 1.6.6. I have followed Hookup Guide.

Great programmer!

Very quick to set up and easy to use. Had my ATtiny85 controlling an LED array in no time.

Works awesome!

Would have been nice to have a link to the drivers.

Awesome little programmer.

Very convenient and easy to use. headers make prototyping simple. The pins on the back make it simple to program other AVRs, just make sure to use right angle pins or it won’t plug into a laptop.

A very well designed product

What I like about this programmer is that it programs without requiring a preloaded bootstrap loader. It is also small and self-contained (does not need a separate power supply). Naturally, the Arduino IDE port is a great asset as well. I bought 25 of them and handed them out for free when I gave an invited lecture to high-school students recently. It was very appreciated! I´m just worried that they may ask me to give this lecture to many more classes… /Robert

Worked perfect

This worked as expected. The windows 8 driver issue was a bit of a pain.

This is an inexpensive way to get into embedded programming.

Thanks SparkFun for the excellent tutorials for getting started programming attiny chips with this device. Below is a video of some music I programmed to play from the attiny. As a testament to the robustness of the tiny avr programmer, if you look closely you’ll see a crater in the middle of the chip socket. Yep, I put one in backwards and it got quite hot. The chip was toast of course, but the tiny avr programmer still works! (I later ordered a spare programmer given the price is so reasonable).

About 30 seconds long, a little Bach. A link to the C source is on the youtube page.

Excellent AVR Programmer

I used it at first to program some ATtiny85 ICs but soon added a 3x2 male header and with six male-to-female jumpers, I now program my 328P ICs on the motherboard. Great value.

Wonderful and quick

I love that you can quickly and easily flash an ATTiny45 on this thing. It’s so nice not having to wire up a breadboard to flash the chip. This is about as convenient as you can get. Got it working very quickly on Mac OS X with avr dude

Great for most projects where you only need a couple of inputs and outputs.

Handy (if not necessary) device!

Hardware: Great simple programmer with plenty of options! The female headers hold jumpers quite well. Nice that other programming pin options are offered. Good form factor: won’t hog USB space from another port next to it and fairly sturdy (with no intermittent connection issues).

Software - Drivers: I know that the drivers aren’t the product, but without them the product doesn’t function. First, is anyone else using Chrome getting a security error when trying to download the drivers? I keep getting the red danger page stating “The site ahead contains harmful programs. Attackers on might attempt to trick you into installing programs that harm your browsing experience (for example, by changing your homepage or showing extra ads on sites you visit).” I know Sparkfun isn’t evil, so I just used another browser to remedy this. Now my homepage is….jk. Drivers work with Arduino 1.6.1 (with Tiny add-on) and Win7.

Software - Arduino: There are frequency options for the Tiny85, but changing from the 1MHz internal clock does nothing. I tried using the 8MHz internal even when the Tiny AVR Guide warns me that things will slow down. It seems that the scaling settings for correct timing get changed but not the clock selection or prescaler. I’ve checked a few things to verify the clock not changing. Might have to dig in to figure out clock selection or directly write to the clock registers.

This is really good one

I had used Arduino to program the tiny one but since I used this Tiny AVR programmer, it makes my live more easier. Thanks Sparkfun for having this product

Beautiful gadget... howver seems like new arduino version does not like it so much...

I believe the update screws up the tiny avr process.. I had my attinys working.. updated to the new one… now they dont work.. Back to the previous one and it is back on… KNowing my newbieness…it is probably just me but still the error is

Arduino: 1.6.1 (Windows 7), Board: “ATtiny85 (internal 8 MHz clock)”

Selected board depends on ‘arduino’ core (not installed).

This report would have more information with “Show verbose output during compilation” enabled in File > Preferences.

so I guess for now Ill stick with the previous version…

I love mine

Thanks to this board, the ATtiny85 has become my favorite chip for projects. I only wish I knew half the features this board offers.

A word of caution, and some praise for durability: I have melted 3 ATtiny85s by plugging them in backwards. Each time I just desoldered the melted socket, soldered on a new one, and went back to work. I love that this board could take that kind of clumsy abuse.

Exactly what I needed.

As this was going to be my first time dabbling into AVRs, I didn’t want something that required too much wiring. This little guy does the trick. The instructions and support given here made it well worth the money over cheaper solutions.

Getting it to work with Windows 8.1 is a pain, what with having to boot windows into a non-signed driver mode, but other than that minor, infrequent annoyance, this has been a pleasure!

It is so simple now !

I was using the Arduino and a basic breadboard for programming ATTiny85, but now, with this Tiny AVR, which works perfectly with Arduino studio, it is easiest, faster & reliable.

Works as advertised. Driver installation was easy but not seamless. Directly plugging in to a usb port causes unwanted mechanical strain. I recommend using with a usb extension cable.

Otherwise an excellent tool.

couldn't get it to work as instructed

Tried in vain to get this thing to work on the newest release of arduino. (1.6?) Used the old arduino programmer and it worked. Wish there were better instructions for beginners.

Getting a verification error

I’ve tried to use this programmer with Arduino IDE and I get, “avrdude: verification error, first mismatch is at 0x0080.” The board is set as ATtiny 45, 1 Mhz clock. The programmer is set to USB tiny ISP. I can program the same chips just fine using an Arduino UNO as programmer. Just bought this programmer. Could it be bad out of the box?

Hi, Make sure you follow the directions in the hook up guide, there are some steps and add ons that you must follow to get this operating in the Arduino IDE -

Tiny AVR Programmer

When I ordered this I was having problems with my Macbook Air attaching to some Chinese Arduino’s. When this programmer came in I resigned myself to having to slog through debugging usb communications on the Mac. Imagine my surprise when It worked the very FIRST TIME! Awesome sauce! Bravo on this product. I’m very happy.

Sweet little thing

Wow this baby works great and is so small.

0 of 2 found this helpful:

Seem to work fine but...........

Publicity should make it clear that this device cannot accommodate surface mount I.C’s

Great little device for programming Attiny MCUs

The Tiny AVR Programmer is an excellent device for programming and testing Atmel 8-pin MCUs. It beats Arduino boards which need leads as well as a 10 uF capacitor by lengths… Great work from Sparkfun!

Great little device, does exactly what I wanted, I am very happy with it and the on-line instructions required on getting it going initially.

Great Product

Works great with my ATtiny85 bought from I’m using the Arduino IDE to program the chip. I installed the IDE following the hookup guide also on sparkfun.

Tiny AVR Programmer is Great

This programmer is great. If you need to utilize all of the 8K of flash on the ATtiny85, definitely buy this. It allows you to program the ATtiny85 without needing a bootloader, saving around 2K of flash.

Outstanding item

Love it, simple as that. Worth every penny of the twenty bucks.

Worked like a champ!

I used it to create a one-off simple game timer. It worked flawlessly, once I got both the correct and current software for both this device and the Arduino IDE. My Mac did not show it as an attached USB device, but the on-board LED let me know the two were conversing. Off I go now to do some more stuff with these terrific little ATtiny85s!!

perfect for what I need it for, works GREAT!

programs ATTINY85, super easy to set up and use, no more messy jumper wires from my Arduino Uno, plug and go!

Cool little device!

It works as advertised. It is nice that we can program little ATtinys!

Really cool !

Simple and light. Used to begin C/assembly without arduino IDE. Maybe a little difficult for beginners but with a lot of documentation on internet (perfect for programming the sunday in sofa ^^).

Nice device

I’m still using Windows XP. The Tiny Programmer works fine with Arduino 1.0.6 but I could not get it to work with Arduino 1.6.1 or 1.6.3 even though I followed the Sparkfun and High Low Tech. tutorials and downloaded the files for 1.6.1.

Every time I attempted to upload a sketch I received the error message “id.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close”.

If anyone has a suggestion, I’ll try it.

So much more convenient than using an Arduino Uno as an ISP Even my SOIC ZIF adapter fits on it (

My only complaint was shipping - it took forever to get here.

Rigidity is the only flaw.

If you want this thing to last, and you will, because it’s so much more useful than any other incarnation of AVR programmers - install additional headers first and then cover the entire stick in epoxy. Put a little loop of scotch tape around the chip socket to make sure glue doesn’t get into it and cover RST/VCC jumpers with a cutout from a pencil eraser if you ever plan on messing with the bootloader. The rest can use a layer of epoxy as thick as the USB plug.

This device is incompatible with Windows 8 / 8.1 / 10! [FIXED!]

FIX: The links to the drivers are for an old Adafruit code base. The folk over at Adafruit have a signed Windows 8 - 10 driver on their site;

It works and is verified with the 64 bit Windows 8 / 10


The AVR programmer is simple and easy to use. The price seems a tad high for what it is but it works and it works well.