PlugIn Board – An AVRISP breakout board for prototyping with the AVR microcontroller

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In the past I would connect AVR microcontrollers to the AVRISP programmer by using individual wires to connect the 6×2 IDC connector to the protoboard.  There was also the hassle of wiring up a 5v supply.  So I designed the PlugIn Board to quickly connect the AVRISP programmer to AVR microcontrollers on a protoboard.


Looking at the PCB Board Layout below, the PlugIn board takes the AVRISP 2×3-pin IDC connector (ISP1) and maps to a 0.1-inch in-line header that plugs into a protoboard.  In addition it can power the AVR. Unregulated power can be fed through a 2.1mm DC jack or screw-down terminal connector(J1) which is connected to a 7805 regulator(IC2) to provide 5V to the AVR and other circuits.

A few other features in the PlugIn board is it has the recommended 10kOhm pull-up resistor(R1) for reset and the pinout matches the ATMEGA32 programming and power pins.

PCB Board Layout

Future Improvements

If I were to do another iteration of the PlugIn Board I’d add the recommended decoupling circuitry for the ADC with a separate ground plane as outlined in the Atmel AVR design considerations app notes.

While not recommended due to the long signal path, I’d also include a header for an external clock.  It would allow the user to swap out crystal oscillators or use an external clock source without fiddling around on the protoboard.

PCB Board Files

The PCB is designed using Eagle.  The board and schematics are available on my BitBucket at

Final Product

I had the board fabbed at OSH Park.  It works well and greatly simplifies programming AVR microcontrollers.

Written by M Kapoor

December 25, 2019 at 7:22 pm

Posted in microcontrollers, Project

Tagged with ,

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