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Make your own, ultra simple, universal AVR programmer !!


Following circuit diagram shows ultra simple AVR microcontroller (SOURCE: unkown). It requires very few components and its very simple to build on general purpose matrix PCB. You can use PonyProg2000 software to program your AVR using this programmer.

1)Resistors220Ohms ,1/4W4
1µF , electrolytic2
3)Crystal4Mhz OR 8Mhz1
4)Voltage regulator78051
5)ConnectorD25 Male1
6)Grid PCB3″ x 3″
7)Connecting wires--
approximate cost : 55 Rs
• As programmer circuit is very simple, u can use substitutes if particular component is not available at your place.
• You will not get 3”x 3” GPCB ready made, you have to cut standard sized PCB. 3” x 3” is just rough estimate
Following photograph shows programmer I have made for 40Pin and 20Pin AVR µCs. MISO, MOSI, SCK, RESET, X1, X2 , VCC and GND pins of both 40pin and 20pin sockets are connected together.
  1. Open PonyProg2000
  2. Select menu : Setup>Interface Setup
  3. Select “parallel”, from drop down box select “Avr isp i/o”, select “LPT1″. Click OK.
  4. Now select menu Setup>Calibration. A dialog box will appear , click YES.
  5. Now PonyProg2000 is configured and ready to use.
  6. To burn your .Hex file into micro, select File>Open Program(FLASH) file.
  7. Select appropriate microcontroller from the list of devices at top-right. e.g >
  8. Connect your programmer ckt to PC, then place your micro into programmer ckt and turn on its power supply.
  9. Now click on the encircled icon :
  10. When device is programmed you will get “Program succesful” message.

Serial port programmer(reference: At-Prog) is shown here. Main advantage of using serial port is you can have cable length upto 2m. You can use PonyProg2000 software to program your AVR using this programmer. Serial port generates +- 12V on its pins, thus diodes and zener diode is used to clamp +12V to +5.0V(4.7V due to zener + 0.3V due to bat85) and -12V to -0.3V (due to lower Bat85). You can substitute Bat85 with 1n4148, however it is not recommended because, this diode will clamp +12V and -12V to +5.4V and -0.7V which are not desirable, as per datasheet of microcontroller. Its not that micro will burn if you use 1N4148 diodes, but why to take risk !!.
1µF , electrolytic2
3)Crystal4Mhz OR 8Mhz1
4)Voltage regulator78051
5)ConnectorD9 Female1
7)Zener Diode4.7V1
8)Grid PCB3″ x 3″
9)Connecting wires--
approximate cost : 90 Rs
  1. All steps are same as described in parallel port programmer section, However during third step do the following settings :
    select “serial”, from list select “SI prog I/O”, select “COM1″( usually serial port is at COM1, if your computer have more than one serial ports multiple options will be active. Select appropriate, if you know, else do trial&error), check “Invert Reset”. Click on OK.

• Circuit diagrams shown above are generic and suitable for any AVR µC which supports ISP (almost all AVR, you can refer to www.atmel.com)
• Connect pins (e.g. MISO,MOSI, etc…) of AVR to appropriate points shown in circuit diagram.
• You can built programmer for more than one AVR devices by using different IC sockets for each device and doing appropriate connections of all above signal lines ( MISO,MOSI,SCK,RESET,X1,X2) and Vcc,Gnd of each AVR.
• Prefer using ZIF socket with IC base(refer: How to use ZIF socket in circuit without re-drilling holes on PCBs). Though It is bit costly, it proves extremely helpful.

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