USBTiny Confirmed Working

Following up on my earlier post about the USBTiny failure to upload via AVRDude, I just did a quick test to see if I could upload a basic blink program to my ATTiny13. When I detached the cable from the ISP connector I’d sloppily soldered together, I noticed that the connections were loose – a glimmer of hope that the problem might be simple. So, I grabbed some jumper wires and hooked everything up again without the connectors. Sadly, no luck. When I wired up an ATTiny13, however, and cobbled together your average blink program, the upload worked just fine.

So, the good news is that the USBTiny itself is okay, and can still be used as an ISP programmer. Other good news is that I’m now closer to finding out the actual root of the problem. The way I see it, the options are as follows:

  • The USBTiny programmer is broken; or
  • The connections to the ATTiny84 are broken; or
  • The breadboard has faulty connections; or
  • There is a problem with the ATTiny84 itself.

My next test will have to be to put the ATTiny84 on another breadboard and try a basic blink sketch on it. That should determine whether the problem is with the ATTiny84 itself, or the other components. I sincerely hope that the blink sketch will work out, because that’ll be quite a simple problem to solve.

However, what’s far more likely a scenario, considering that I had odd error messages about the fuse settings just before I started having this issue with the chip, is that the fuses are messed up in some manner. I’ve been doing some cursory reading online, and one thing that might have happened is that the fuse bit that enables the reset pin is turned off, which means that the ISP programmer can’t initiate the programming sequence at all. Apparently, there may still be a method to rectify this, but it’s a method I don’t know (more opportunities to learn!).

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