Simple led

So I have made an led light blink SOS. I want to make it permanent, in an old pcb. I do not want the arduino to control it, I want to make my own little led toy independent of the arduino. What component allows me to up load the blink program to make this happen? Basically I want to eventually learn to make my own electronics. I thought I would start with an led. I know an arduino is not needed to make this happen, I just need to know what actually records the program into a pcb, if that makes sense? I am new to this so if I sound crazy, I get it. I am dying to learn how to build bigger projects.

If you plan to program your own AVRchips (with or without the arduino bootloader) you should start by considering the purchase of an ISP programmer. It will allow you to buy Atmel AVR atmega328P (or other Atmel chips) and program them yourself, either by placing the bootloader on by yourself and uploading "serially"... or learning to code in ASM or AVRGCC (which the arduino solution is based on).

Keep in mind that AVRGCC is rather advanced and you will most likely really want to follow the path that shows you how to create a Breadboard Arduino as a next step.

I have found Nick's page

Make your own board

to be great.

http://www.gammon.com.au/forum/?id=11637

I know an arduino is not needed to make this happen, I just need to know what actually records the program into a pcb, if that makes sense?

Actually, you don't need a "program" at all!

It's certainly easier in software (with a microcontroller)... I could probably whip-out that program in 5 or 10 minutes, whereas it would take me at least a few hours design & build the thing in hardware if I had the right parts on-hand.

I don't have the circuit designed in my head, but you basically need to start-out with something that can generate pulses (The [u]LM555[/u] is a good place to start.) Then, you just need some logic and/or "counter" chips to take care of the logic. I don't know the timing for Morse Code, but you can set the LM555 for your your "dot" and "space" time. And when you want a "dash", you hold the LED on as your circuit counts 3 or 4 pulses. With the right logic circuit, you can crank-out the pattern of dots & dashes. The fact that you are always sending-out the same pattern/sequence makes it fairly easy.

Like I said, I don't have the design but the basic comonents (besides the "clock"/timer) would your everyday basic logic circuits - AND gates, NAND gates, OR gates, NOR gates, flip-flops, maybe counters & shift registers.

Basically I want to eventually learn to make my own electronics.

If you were taking a beginning digital electronics class, designing the circuit and drawing the schematic or block diagram would be a good homework assignment near the end of the semester. Actually building the thing with a 555 & logic circuits would be a multi-day assignment for beginning students.

I just need to know what actually records the program into a pcb, if that makes sense?

The Arduino is a beautiful thing! I've used some other microcontrollers... Most require a separate programmer and a separate development board (and sometimes expensive development software). The Arduino has the programmer built-in (bootloader & USB port) and it serves as it's own development board! Amazing!!!!

You can buy a separate USB programmer for the AVR chip (about the same price as an Arduino board), and with that you can either load your sketch directly, or load your own bootloader into a "blank" chip. But, you still need enough of a circuit to "run" the AVR chip, and you need the JTAG header, and a power supply, since you are not running from the USB power supply (Or, maybe you can pull power from the USB programmer, I'm not sure).

Realistically, building your own microcontroller board from scratch is not something I'd recommend for a beginner. I could do it, but getting a fully assembled, debugged, reliable microcontroller board is worth the price to me.

Sounds like I have some research to do. I appreciate the input guys!

Use your arduino to program an attiny85 with arduino as ISP, using probably the same code you are using on the arduino with a pin change. The Attiny can run off of a cr2032 coin battery, and needs no crystal, so it is really just the chip, resistor, and LED on the back pf a coin cell holder no bigger than a quarter. If you would like to share your code I will gladly build one to show you how small it can be. Of course I will post pics, and a video if you like.

A sideline from the standalone. Try using a buzzer alongside the led (or replace it). It will sound as good or better than it looks.