Programming attiny85 with Arduino Uno

This is just a short post about how I finally, after considerable troubleshooting, got my attiny85 programmed. I followed the High-Low Tech guide for programming my attiny85 with the Arduino Uno. However when I tried to upload the blink sketch to the attiny I got a bunch of errors(e.g. avrdude: stk500_cmd(): programmer is out of sync, avrdude: stk500_paged_write(): (a) protocol error). I rechecked everything (software, wiring, etc) way too many times just to run into the same problem again and again. Finally, what worked was to distribute grounds to various GND pins on the Arduino board. Now I’m not exactly sure which one did the trick, but anyway everything works flawlessly now. Actually the trick is to drop the baud rate to 9600 in the Arduino ISP program, and also edit the programmers.txt in the arduino > hardware folder.
avrisp.name=AVR ISP
avrisp.communication=serial
avrisp.protocol=stk500v1

avrispmkii.name=AVRISP mkII
avrispmkii.communication=usb
avrispmkii.protocol=stk500v2

usbtinyisp.name=USBtinyISP
usbtinyisp.protocol=usbtiny

usbasp.name=USBasp
usbasp.communication=usb
usbasp.protocol=usbasp

parallel.name=Parallel Programmer
parallel.protocol=dapa
parallel.force=true
# parallel.delay=200

arduinoisp.name=Arduino as ISP
arduinoisp.communication=serial
arduinoisp.protocol=stk500v1
arduinoisp.speed=9600

Hope this helps someone out there experiencing the same problem.

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1 Response to “Programming attiny85 with Arduino Uno”


  1. 1 Felix April 11, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Thank you, this solved my problem 🙂


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