Not sure if this is the right section but here goes.
My interest is model railway control using DCC and to date the projects that I have built have used Microchip PIC series of micro-controllers. Recently while searching the web I came across a site (https://rudysmodelrailway.wordpress.com/) using a ArduinoTiny 85 board. I would like to try to utilise such a system but I have no experience with Arduino or ATTiny micro-controllers so I would like to pose a number of questions if I may.
There are several Arduino Tiny85 boards advertised on the web. Are they likely to be interchangeable? Does it matter which one I buy?
How do I program the board? For the Microchip projects I have several programmers (PicKit 2 etc). Would I use the USB port on the Tiny85?
Which software must I use? The project site talks about Arduino IDE. Does the IDE software compile the program into a way that the board / chip can understand ie equvilent to a PIC hex file?
There also seems to a number of Arduino UNO boards available at differant prices and model numbering. Again will the external connections be the same irrespective of what is mounted on the board.