More Microcontrollers – Digispark ATTiny85

Browsing eBay for additional Arduino hardware, I came across a Digispark ATTiny85 clone for £1.99 shipped from the UK. You can get them cheaper in bulk from China though. I did some searching on YouTube to see the kind of things that this development board is capable of. I initially searched for compatibility with the WS2812 LED strings, and yes – there’s someone running the Adafrult Neopixel Library and the srandtest sketch on the Digispark ATTiny85 🙂

These tiny boards can also be used for many other projects – including emulating a USB Keyboard. I might make something to switch input over on the future video recordings 🙂

Here are some specifications:

  • 16.5mHz Microcontroller
  • Power via USB or external source – 5v or 7-35v (Recommend 12v if 5v not available)
  • On-board 500ma 5v regulator
  • 6 I/O Pins (2 of which are used for USB port only if your program uses the USB port, otherwise all 6 are available)
  • 8k Flash Memory (~6k free after bootloader)
  • I2C and SPI (via USI)
  • PWM on 3 pins (more is possible via software PWM)
  • ADC on 4 pins
  • Power LED and Test/Status LED

One thing I quite like is the built in voltage regulator, this will come handy for tiny embedded projects!

There are some caveats to be aware of using this board though. There is no reverse voltage protection, so applying GND and +5 the wrong way around will almost certainly damage the board so perhaps a Diode would be helpful here or a MOSFET?

When uploading a sketch, you have to unplug and re-plug the device to enter programming mode (which the device stays in for 5000ms) then it will run whatever sketch you have uploaded to it.

I’m looking forward to testing this hardware out and now I’m just waiting for delivery 🙂

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