Leonardo not working as ISP for Attiny84

Hey all,

I'm trying to program an attiny84 with my Arduino Leonardo as the ISP.

I loaded the ArduinoISP sketch onto my Leonardo, and the connected my attiny84 to the leonardo with a 6-pin ISP patch cable, as so:

The green LED shows power from the +5V line, and the blue led is attached to pin 2 of the attiny84 (pin 0 in Wiring according to Using the Arduino Uno to Program ATTINY84-20PU : 10 Steps - Instructables) so I can tell if the code is working.

When I try to upload this through the ISP, I get the error:

avrdude: please define PAGEL and BS2 signals in the configuration file for part ATtiny84
avrdude: Yikes!  Invalid device signature.
         Double check connections and try again, or use -F to override
         this check.

which is no good :frowning:

After some googling, it seems like there was a problem with the Leonardo as an ISP because of the reset pin (Arduino Leonardo As ISP : 7 Steps - Instructables). So I followed the instructable and rewired to get the above picture (with reset going from pin 10 instead of the ISP header).

Still no dice, though :frowning:

I'm trying to doing this on Mac OSX, and have had some trouble with using avrdude (as documented in another thread). Does anyone have suggestions for what may be wrong here?

I can upload normal programs to the Leonardo just fine.


Nick Gammon has an alternative sketch for ISP in his series here.

I have used the Stock ArduinoISP sketch to burn t85's as well as the 32U4 on the Leonardo Mini clones, but never attempted to use a Leo as the ISP burner. There is a lots of junk happening on the Leonardo... when you get off the beaten path, you are alone in the woods.

If you do this kind of thing often, best to just use an UNO with a ZIF shield or invest in an external ISP.


Yeah, I'd agree. I was trying this out because I can't find my AVR ISPmkII (d'oh!) and needed to burn some chips ASAP for a project.

That said, it seems like there is, indeed, quite a bit of weirdness with the Leonardo. Perhaps I'd be better of borrowing an Uno from someone else to do the burning...