I recently purchased a Digispark for some of my smaller electronics projects. After it initially being a great little board, I soon found myself unable to flash the board in the same way I had done before i.e. according to the method described here. I am still unsure as to why the previous flashing method stopped working but have been unable to overcome the issue, nor have I found many other accounts of similar problems online.

After a period of frustration, unable to even find a way to reset the board, it dawned upon me that I may be able to use an Arduino to flash the board as seen here. However, the issue is that all the tutorials I could find online assumed that an Arduino Uno could be easily accessed, which is not the case for me. Despite this, I do have a few NodeMCUs hanging around and would love it if I could use them to flash the Digispark.

My question is: how exactly would I flash the Digispark using a NodeMCU (if it is even possible)?

P.S. Whilst I am aware that the Digispark board has a number of other components aside from the ATtiny85 chip, the pinouts (not the USB) of the board allow for direct interfacing with the chip.

Thank you in advance for any help,

Kind regards, Rocco

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of using esp8266 feather to burn bootloader on redboard
    – Juraj
    Nov 27, 2018 at 18:40
  • @Juraj I agree that my question is similar to the one linked. However, I would still like someone to confirm that this is the case for my specific situation. I.e. for an ATtiny85 chip as opposed to an 'Arduino redbird'. If so, is this due to the nature of the NodeMCUs or is it a specific issue with the two components in question?
    – Rocco
    Nov 27, 2018 at 21:37
  • 1
    IIRC the NodeMCU is a 3.3V device and the ATtiny is 5V so that could cause problems.
    – Craig
    Nov 27, 2018 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


It can be done. Your Digispark has SPI pins, which are ISP pins. For the esp8266 there is an ESP8266AVRISP library for OTA upload to AVR. You can use the example of the library.

You must wire the SPI pins and ground together. Wire reset pin of Digispark to io 5 (D1) of NodeMcu. You should use level conversion, but esp8266 tolerates 5 V TTL (not recommended for long term). Do not wire the SS pin.

  • Thank you for your reply. I still have a few questions; what is the 'Bluno' you are referring to? Would you be able to give a more step-by-step set of instructions of how to do this as I am unclear as to what exactly you mean. If possible, please could you include a wiring diagram for the digispark and NodeMCU? Thanks once again
    – Rocco
    Nov 28, 2018 at 20:17
  • @Rocco, sorry Bluno is a very similar small board. I fix it in the answer
    – Juraj
    Nov 28, 2018 at 20:50
  • Thanks for your answer, I'll give that a go when I next get the opportunity. Just two quastions: would I only need to use level conversion between the Digispark Reset and D5 or would I need it between all connections or what? Also, I can't find clear instructions for how to download avrdude tool online, is there a simple git clone or something?
    – Rocco
    Nov 29, 2018 at 16:17
  • Also, you mean wire the SPI pins of the NodeMCU and digispark together and then the ground of each board together as opposed to wiring the SPI pins to ground? I would also assume the digispark shouldn't need to be plugged in? Finally, would you be able to include a diagram showing exactly which wires are meant to go where for clarity if possible as I am not familiar with SPI? Thank you once again
    – Rocco
    Nov 29, 2018 at 16:24
  • reset and MISO are candidates for level conversion. the instructions are on the link to library in the answer
    – Juraj
    Nov 29, 2018 at 16:49

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