No, what I mean to do is develop the recieving code for all the slaves locally on the breadboard, and once that is complete I will upload that code to all the needed slave atmegas locally off the breadboard with the max232, and then I will put them into their final node circuit. I really just need for slaves to listen to the master say something like "Slave #6, turn on LEDs 4,7,12, and 14. Turn off 6", and perform that action. I believe that should be relatively little code for the slave. Once that is working I doubt I will need to update them much. I imagine most of my time will be spent on the master side programming the light sequencing it will direct the slaves to perform. I hope that makes sense and there is no major flaw in my plan -Sathi
Typically RS-485 links will implement a robust software protocol to use to communicate back and forth with the slaves and it might include error detection check sum or CRC bytes to every 'message'.