Using a straight ATMega?

Hey all - I've programmed up a friend's art project, and it's coming up on actually assembling it. My plan was originally to just buy an Arduino Pro Mini from Sparkfun, but they're out of stock at the moment (hoping they're back this week...)

In any case, that got me exploring other options. So I'm wondering - what do I need to do to just use a stock Amtel chip instead? I understand I need an oscillator/crystal, voltage regulation, ICSP to program...

My general feeling at the moment is that I'd rather just buy a board with all that built in, so I can just upload my code to it and solder on the control wires. But is it simpler than I'm assuming?

I have no aversion to doing a little work, and I always enjoy learning something new. But would all the 'supporting actors' that make an ATMega tick, be unnecessarily complicated?

what do I need to do to just use a stock Amtel chip instead?

You need to add crystal & capacitors, add a USB to serial chip of some sort and program in a boot loader to the chip.

OK... the Pro Mini literally just came back into stock over at SparkFun - I'll be ordering that. I just didn't know how long the part I'd planned on would be out-of-stock, and using a straight chip sounded like it might work. But now I don't need to make up my mind by tomorrow (had to order stuff). I'm still curious...

Thanks for that link Grumpy - the manual is very informative. But what if I wanted to build this in? In other words, assuming I didn't need any Arduino shields or easy programming, what would I need to feed an Arduino with to make it go?

This breadboard circuit gives what looks like what I need: . All I see is two caps, a few resistors, and a crystal, but this seems to be enough to run the chip.

Would I be able to get away with those components plus a 5v regulator and a datasheet handy to find the digital and analog I/O pins?

Hereis a build tutorial:

Have you looked at the RBBB? Cheaper. Not as many IOs. If you need more IOs, look at a Sanguino. Modern Device or Wulfden has them. An RBBB without the pins is real handy to use in an embedded design with only wires to the external circuitry.

If you need something smaller, also look at a Teensy.

OK thanks a bunch guys. Looks like the bare minimum I need is an oscillator (or resonator) with a few caps, resistors, and power. That's basically all I had to know.


There's also the Boarduino ...