I am really new to avrs and don’t know much about them. I have been using the basic stamp for a while now and find it quite easy to work with, but the problem is I want to use them in dedicated projects but don’t want to spend too much. I would like to build a usb avr programmer so I can program a heap of chips for dedicated projects and have found a couple of sites which ont really help and i don’t understand there brief instructions.

Does anyone have any easy to understand instructions on how to build an usb avr programmer? Or even a instruction guide on how to set up a home made arduino?

Much appreciated thanks.

I’d recommend starting with at least one official Arduino so you have a known device to learn how things work, from there…

You can use an Arduino to put a bootstrap loader into other chips.

The schematics are in the hardware section if you want to make your own Arduino. It is simple enough that you can put it together on a prototyping board. The part that gets complicated is if you want the USB<->RS232 converter. These don’t come in DIP packages. I’m not sure if there is one that works at 5V, but I’ve used a Nokia cell phone data cable in other cases. Some models of these are just USB<->3.3v RS232 converter cables.

If you are cost sensitive and close enough to the US, SparkFun sells the Olimex 28 pin AVR board for $16 (+$4 for an Atmega8) It is serial interfaced instead of USB and its LED is in a funny spot from the Arduino perspective, but it has a good amount of holes for piecing things together. You’ll probably want to put in a 16MHz crystal so you don’t have to mess with making a different boot loader image. And you have to connect the RX and TX pins to the level converter on board. Remember to cross them.

Thank you for your help, i probably should experiment with the arduino first since there is so much helpful documentation.