hello im new to this all and loving it so far. just curious as to what the 6 pins are by the silk screen "icsp" on my boards i have a mega 2560 sainsmart and a genuine uno r3. thanks
Type "icsp" into google and all will be revealed.
They are for connecting an AVR In System Programmer (ISP) to program a bootloader into the chip using the SPI interface, or to load a sketch without having a bootloader at all; the sketch then starts immediately (within a few clock cycles) after a reset. One example is the Atmel AVR ISP MKii, $34 at mouser.com. Less expensive versions are also available. Example http://www.nkcelectronics.com/pocket-avr-programmer.html https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9825 https://www.adafruit.com/products/462