Minimalism AVR development board

Lacking of proper development board always poses huge resistance for me to jump onto a new MCU. Even with the most prototyping friendly DIP packages, wiring a programming header onto the breadboard is both troublesome and unreliable. Things become worse when the MCU is an AVR. There is absolutely no way to mount a 2×3 0.1in pitch programming header onto the breadboard. It was such a pain until recently I found a elegant way to make a quick and dirty minimalism board. Here is how.

The AVR chip I’m talking about is Atmel ATTiny2313, in SOIC-20 package. To make the development board, I bought some 28 pin SOIC/SSOP to DIP adapters. These adaptors usually come in double sided design. Corresponding pins on both sides are connected via the plated through holes at edges.

SOIC/SSOP - DIP adaptor
SOIC/SSOP – DIP adaptor

I made a 2×3 AVR programming header by pulling off pins (longer ones) from a double-row right angle pin header and reinsert them into the plastic base. A needle nose pliers is very handy for this purpose.

AVR programming header
AVR programming header

Both the programming header and the chip are soldered onto the SOIC side of the adaptor board. The programming header is taking pin 1-3 and 26-28. ATtiny2313 is taking pin 5-14 and 15-24 (numbering according to adaptor board).

Front side of AVR development board
Front side of AVR development board

Since the corresponding pads at both sides are electrically connect, it is easy to wire the programming header from the back side or the adapter, using enamel wires and some kapton tape. These pads are 0.5mm pitch so a really fine solder tip is necessary (I use Metcal STTC-126).

Back side of AVR development board
Back side of AVR development board

Finally install the pins for breadboarding, a minimalism AVR development board is ready to roll. (Picture of ATTiny2313 and ATTiny85 boards below).

Minimalism ATTiny2313 development board
Minimalism ATTiny2313 development board


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