found schem for simple avr prog but have some Q's!


I've been feverishly finding parts to get started with building my first Arduino, but naturally I've run into a few snags and am HOPING someone can help shed some light.

FIRSTLY -- I'm attempting to build my own Arduino from scratch. I've acquired all the parts (I believe) including a few atmega328 chips (not preloaded with bootloader). Why, well... because I suppose I like doing things the difficult way!! (helps you learn faster, IMO!)

So first things first... I have to get the bootloader onto the chip! I found some spec's to build a seemingly simple AVR programmer online (see note below!!) which I built... but with absolutely zero success.

I'm hoping someone with much more experience than I can tell me if this would even work... or if I'm just running in circles.

The forum won't allow me to post a link in this post because it is my first time using this forum, HOWEVER, if you google "make your own ultra simple universal avr programmer" it should be the first link Google returns.

Thanks a bunch!!

Many of us have had bad luck trying to get a DIY parallel programmer to function. I ended up buying a USB programmer, and it works great:

That's probably not what you wanted to hear. Possibly if you search the post around here you may find 'fixes' some have done to get their DIY parallel programmer to work for them. I would suggest that much tears and pain can be saved by buying a proved programmer like above or buy a processor chip with the bootloader preloaded:

Good luck


Thanks so much for the fast reply! I'll certainly take your advice into consideration... But I'd like to continue tinkering with my parallel schematic for a while.

While I'm looking forward to getting my first Arduino up and running, part of my journey (and my ultimate goal) is learning both the HOW and the WHY... Building a unit from utterly nothing would be a tremendous amount of pride ... So while I may ultimately have to give up on it (even if only temporarily to buy a tried-and-true programmer) I still want to figure this bad boy out!!

Post a picture of what you’ve done? Both Vcc and GND pins of the AVR connected? Bypass cap? recent version of the ponyprog software? Really short cable between you parallel port an the AVR chip?

The most common problem with this sort of parallel port programmer is that modern versions of Windows put a whole lot of crap in between an application and fiddling with the bits in the way that a chip programmer wants to do. It might be an interesting exercise (I’ve never tried this) to put all the needed SW on a CD, boot the PC in one of the more primitive “safe” modes, and try running the programming utility there.

As far as I can tell, everything is connected according to the schematic I found.

Here are a couple of shots of the board as it sits...

The VCC and GND pins are connected. I'm not familiar with a "bypass capacitor" ... (I'm completely and utterly new to this aspect of electronics, but I'm learning!)

I am using the most recent version of PonyProg (2.07c).

Concerning the length of the wires / cable to the AVR, I'm not entirely sure what you mean. I've got a 6 foot parallel ext cord from my PC coming to the cable I've soldered. I was very careful when soldering to ensure no accidental bridges.

Parts: 16MHz - FOX160 crystal... two 22pf caps in front of it. Voltage Reg is 7805 12v The rest of the parts list can be found at

I'm powering the board with a 9v battery.

The little labels on the wires at the top of the board represent the leads from my d sub connector... TOP wire is MISO SECOND wire is RESET THIRD wire is MOSI FOURTH wire is SCK

The chip is an atmega328p.

I'm running PonyProg is WinXP and installed GIVEIO and modified the system registry to set "DisableWarmPoll"=dword:00000001

Please ask whatever questions you think of and I'll do my best to provide answers as promptly as possible. Just remember that I am very new to this and often find myself resorting to googling acronyms I (frequently) don't understand. As I said in an earlier post, I'm one of those people that finds it easiest to learn to swim by jumping in the deep end of the pool...

I absolutely appreciate your time and feedback!


One other thought...

Should I be using PonyProg or just stick with the Arduino software...? I've tried both.

Ok... another thought. Can anyone confirm that the dsub 25 pins referenced in the schematic at are even correct?

I found another schematic at with an entirely different parallel pin configuration.

Can anyone confirm that the dsub 25 pins ... are even correct?

I found another schematic with an entirely different parallel pin configuration.

Insufficient information. The parallel port has something like 12 output pins and 4 input pins (plus a bunch of GND pins), so as long as the software matches the hardware, any number of differently wired programmers are possible. pins 1-9 are all outputs... (fun, eh?)

All the more convenient! :(