Also, thank you for the schematic copy suggestion. If I do this, would I just select the arduino mega 2560 board (even though it will be on my own board)?
I am assuming that I can use wires to the pins instead of using icsp pins (as I Plan on making my own board, I am not sure I will have icsp headers at all and am wondering if I can just go directly to the affiliated pins)
Thank you all for you help so far. To clarify the question "Are you planning on test points on the board you can just temporarily solder the wires to?" What I was planning to do was to put jumper wires into my programmer and then temporarily insert them into the corresponding pin holes (sck, miso, mosi, gnd, vcc) then remove them once the device is programmed (which means once I have installed firmata). Does this sound acceptable? I am planing to eventually ad 6 headers to the icsp pins on my atmega2560 but I am trying to avoid that at first (because I want the pcb as flat as possible)Crossroads "If I didn't have a dedicated programmer (MKii) ...I would be using Nick Gammon's Ardiuno as standalone bootload programmer" Does this mean that I could use Nick Gammon's Arduino as a standalone bootload programmer with the 2560 (and its higher flash capacity). It looks like it, but I was hoping for confirmation as this means I wouldn't have to get the MKII at all. You think I can use his code and method to bootload a blank atmega2560 on my own board?
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