I currently use my Arduino to program Attiny85. As I have one of these USB-to-TTL adapters I am wondering if it is possible to program Attiny85 with it, to free up my Arduino. I know it is possible to program Atmega's with such a thing.

If it is in fact possible to use the converter as a simple programmer for Attiny's, how should I connect the converter to the Attiny?

  • Without addressing complications and tricks for that particular interface, ATtiny's and ATmega's have basically the same sort of ISP programming scheme, just needing different details and data. If you are talking about serial download to a bootloader, that is possible as well, though an ATtiny85 bootloader has to do something comparable to software serial as the chip lacks a hardware UART. Aug 5, 2014 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is possible.

Note that the FTDI chip (assuming that is what you have) can be accessed as either Virtual Com Port VCP or D2XX. Where VCP is the traditional method of using them as Serial Ports with avrdude calling "-c arduino -P COM3 -b115200". However the later D2XX method allows for the pins to be Bit Bang'ed.

One can see in this tutorial it is possible to call avrdude with a programmer of "-c ftdi". Assuming that the D2XX drivers are installed.

Where I see in the current releases 1.0.5r2 and 1.5.7's avrdude's config files that a programmer of type "avrftdi" is supported, as opposed to the article "ftdi"

However, that is not to say the IDE natively supports its. You will have to either call avdude manually. Or add the "avrftdi" to "\arduino-1.5.7\hardware\arduino\avr\programmers.txt" so that the IDE will be aware of it.

That all said I see "Tiny AVR Programmer" that are very in-expensive.

  • Your are right, they are very cheap. I had no idea! I just ordered one at about USD 5 incl. shipping :-)
    – marlar
    Aug 7, 2014 at 10:22

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