A Versatile ATtiny Programming Adapter

As mentioned in my article about designing a cheap plant watering sensor, I built a small adapter which can be used to pre-program the ATtiny13A. This is necessary, because once soldered on the board, I only have a debugWire interface, which has to be enabled first.


The adapter has a small 50mil JTAG header, where the Atmel ICE can be connected with the board. There is also room for a USB mini jack, which is used to power the MCU while programming. A small on-off switch is used to power the MCU and a LED is placed as indicator to see if the MCU has power. The assembled board looks like this:


One of the DIL/ZIF adapters is mounted on top of the female headers. Most of the adapters for SO-8, SO-14 and SO-16 will work with this board.



To make the board more versatile, I added a number of jumpers and solder points. By default, the adapter is connecting to the right pins for the ATtiny13A, but you can cut these routes and solder wires onto the board to implement any kind of connection you like.


I already used the adapter successfully and prepared a second one for an ATtiny24A MCU. It is nice to have a device like this, which is already correctly wired to the chip.

Boards and Schema

I created the schema and board using EAGLE. You can find the files here:


The board was produced by OSH Park and you can order your own copies of this board using the following link:

Order from OSH Park

If you have any questions, miss some information or for general feedback, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

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