arduino newbie needs help!!!

hey everyone,i am completely new to arduino.i have been using basic stamps for a while and am convinced they dont have the capabilities i need for my projects and the cost of them is too much after a while.so i have a couple of questions before i make the switch to arduino. 1) if i were to buy an arduino uno board could i program any blank ATmega328 chip or do they need to have the bootloader? 2)after programming the chip can it just be removed then placed into my own circuits?. thank you in advance for any help.

You can always use a Blank 328, put a bootloader on it and it will behave like an arduino... including with the UNO board.

You can also use a programmed (with Bootloader) 328 in you own circuits... a minimal of parts is needed if you no longer need to program it from the IDE.

thanks for your quick reply.so i can get blank chips,use the uno to put a bootloader on them,program them on the uno then remove them from the uno board and use them in my circuits???.sorry if i come across a bit dense. :slight_smile:

yes, and if you have your uno setup as an ISP you dont even really need to swap chips, the same setup that allows you to use an arduino to upload the bootloader can be used as a direct programmer too (which then you dont even need the boot loader in the first place)

as long as you have one chip with a bootloader, and the means to connect it to your pc (ie an arduino board), your good to go for bootloading or not on your target chip

thanks alot for your help.i am definately going to trade the stamp for arduino asap.i am currently looking at getting the arduino mega and the arduino uno.i am excited about the fact the mega has so many i/o pins...endless ideas for my projects.oh,and the price difference between the stamp and arduino is huge so i'll have more money to play with.