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Hobbyduino Mini Bootloader ISP Shield

In a previous post I presented a revised version of my Minimalist Arduino Clone called the Hobbyduino Mini V3.0. Here a picture for reference.

Now, I would like to present a bootloader ISP shield that can be used to burn the Arduino bootloader onto blank ATMega328 or ATMega168 chips.  Here are a few pictures of what it looks like.

This board can be used in a number of ways with the first being stacked right on top of a Hobbyduino Mini V3.0.  Here is what that looks like:

I place this pair onto a small breadboard for stability Like so:

Now, there's a few things we need to do in order to get the Arduino bootloader onto a blank chip.  These are detailed below:

1. We need to upload the ArduinoISP firmware onto the Hobbyduino prior to installing a blank chip onto the ISP shield.  Connect a FTDI Basic Breakout or FTDI Basic cable (5V version) to the FTDI header on the Hobbyduino Mini.  Make sure the power jumper on the Hobbyduino is set VUSB.  This allows the Hobbyduino and ISP shield to get its power from the USB port.

2. Load the ArduinoISP firmware located in -- File->Examples->ArduinoISP.  See below:

3. If not already accomplished, attach the ISP shield to the Hobbyduino and install a blank ATMega328.  Ensure the lever on the ZIF socket is lowered in order to secure the IC.  See below:

4. Select the target board type from -- Tools->Board->Arduino Duemilanove or Nano/ATmega328.  See below:

5.  Make sure the correct serial port is selected from -- Tools->Serial Port.  See below (the shown ports may be different on your system).

6. Select Burn Bootloader w/ Arduino as ISP from -- Tools->Burn Bootloader-->w/ Arduino as ISP and the process should begin.  You'll see "Done burning bootloader." at the bottom of the Arduino IDE once the process is complete.  See below:

All that is left is to remove your freshly bootloaded IC from the ISP shield and install on an Arduino board of your choice. \0/

Additional Information:

The 'Pulse' LED on the ISP shield will blink once the ArduinoISP firmware is installed on the Hobbyduino, the ISP shield is attached, and the Hobbyduino is attached to the USB port.

This is normal as it indicates the ArduinoISP firmware is properly installed.

I mentioned above that there are other ways the ISP shield can be used to program the bootloader.  Another such method is to use it to burn the bootloader onto external boards that already have a chip installed.  This would be accomplished by attaching the external board to the ISP Shield/Hobbyduino combo by way of the 6-pin ISP header.  Do not install a chip into the ZIF socket in this setup.  See below:

Also, you'll notice a jumper on the ISP board that allows auto-reset to be enabled/disabled.  That jumper will typically need to set to disable auto-reset.  I won't go into why this is the case but, you can read all about it here.

The rest of the setup is as mentioned above.

The board files are below.  The were created in the free ExpressPCB program.


Hobbyduino_Mini_ISP_Plug_V2.0.png41.08 KB
Hobbyduino_ISP_Plug.zip49.32 KB

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Burn baby, burn!