USB plug for building my own board

I'm new to Arduino and I just started a class at our college today that deals with Arduino. I've been fascinated with it for a while now, but never took the time to learn it. I found an Instructable today that showed the process of making your own Arduino board. I feel this will be something awesome to put with the project for the class.

The problem I see with the directions is there isn't a straight forward way to program the chip. You can move the chip to an existing board, but that is a lot of movement. Can you not install a USB plug into the board? If not, what are some options for programming the chip without moving it back and forth between boards?

I tried searching the forums but I couldn't find information on this topic. If I have overlooked something, please let me know where to look and I'll go find it.


if you buy a atmega 328 with the Arduino bootloader( already on it, you can just use a serial FTDI board(

I've been fascinated with it for a while now, but never took the time to learn it.

Some How-To and Getting Started stuff here: The Breadboarding section may help..

Thanks for the input! I have LOTS of reading to do. LOL

sirbow2, forgive my ignorance, but how does that FTDI board program the chip? All I see is the USB plug on the FTDI. How does that transfer the sketch from the computer to the ATmega?

I was just looking for a way to plug it into a USB port like the Uno board I have. Is that not an option?

Thanks again for the help!

The Atmel chip (once the bootloader is installed) is programmed just using RS-232/TTL.

The Arduino boards have a USB to RS-232/TTL interface chip on board to allow easy programming.

You can program it through a "normal" MAX-232 type RS-232 chip from a normal PC serial port, or you can use any USB to RS-232/TTL converter chip or board.

The most common is the FT-232 chip from FTDI, but there are plenty of others. You can buy them ready mounted on a board with a USB socket and pin headers for easy breadboard use.

I think I’m getting closer to the answer I’m looking for.

So in order to program your own board, you would need both of these products? (breakout board) (cable)

Once again, please forgive my ignorance as I’m new and just learning all of this. I appreciate your patience.

No, it looks like the cable is the same as the board, but in a cable form.

You can use one or the other.

I've been using this USB/Serial adapter recently, works well.

You can also use a CP2102 module found on e-bay, there is a model where you can cut 1 trace and add 1 jumper and it will work great. The cut is on the Reset trace, the jumper is to connect that pin to the DTR output instead. Do you have a little more time (2-3 week shipping from China) or a little more money (mouser can ship now)?

For just a touch more, an FTDI Basic has Rx & Tx LEDs so you can see a transfer is going thru. (or just watch the status on the IDE screen as it downloads)

Awesome! It is all coming together now. I like how it looks like the Mouser product can be integrated into the board. That is what I was looking for. Something permanent as opposed to something else to worry about other than a cable. The idea of being able to find a USB cable anywhere and use it as opposed to finding a specific connection.

Thanks so much for the help!

I've only used the Mikroe-483 it in socket pins so far, seems to work nice tho. Will get brave one of these days and solder it it :)