AVR ISP Programmer

Like many makers, I took my first steps in hardware programming using the Arduino platform. And just as Atmel Microchip hoped, I am still pretty faithful to the AVR platform today.

To program AVR microchips, you need some kind of (USB) programmer. I opted for a cheap USBasp clone, because it is cheap but still reliable. However, you still have to wire the 10-pin connector to your chip by yourself. This is of course ideal for in-system-programming, where you just want to plug the programmer into your PCB. Since I prefer to solder chip sockets and programm my chips externally, I needed some kind of adapter.

One of my USBasp programmers.

The Adapter

About a year ago, I started working on a board where you could just plug in the programmer cable, and then push your chip in the fitting socket. It also had an external 16 Mhz oscillator for flashing those chips that required one. A few days ago, I found the abandoned project and decided to finish it.

Top view, this breakout board accepts 28-pin, 14-pin and 8-pin AVR chips. It also features a switch to enable or disable the external 16 Mhz oscillator.
I wired everything up using my patent pending 3D-Rats-Nest Technology. Usually, I would have preferred to etch a PCB, but I found this project half-finished in a box, abandoned by my younger self.

The Case

To complete it, I 3D-printed a nice box. This also gave the system the much needed rigidity and electrical insulation.

3D model by me. This time in Fusion 360, as I have moved on from the terrible past that was SketchUp.
The finished device. It works great and provides a much needed functionality for a very low cost to make.

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