Atmega328 on breadboard


We often want to use microcontroller in our projects. One the most popular and simple solution is obviously Arduino. It comes with all the peripherals required to run the microcontroller. Its simple made plug and play which is very convenient for beginners. It comes in various versions viz., Uno, nano, mini, mega, due, etc. and sizes. So you can choose as per your project requirement. Here is a picture of Arduino Uno:

Arduino Uno

Now what if we want to use the microcontroller in a project where we design our own PCB?

The solution is using a standalone arduino without using the ready made arduino boards. Its simple and requires only a few components to start with. In this blog I will show you how you can make such a stand alone arduino on breadboard and upload the blink led sketch.

Materials you need

Here is the list of materials that you need to make this:
1. Atmega328p microcontroller
2. 16MHz crystal
3. 22pF capacitor (2nos)
4. 10K resistor
5. 100nF capacitor
6. Breadboard and jumper wires
7. 220ohm resistor (for led)
8. LED (any color)
9. FTDI programmer (USB to serial)

Pin mapping of atmega328 with Arduino

Here is an image which shows the pin mapping. Its very helpful!

Circuit Diagram

About the FTDI programmer

In this tutorial I will be using the FTDI programmer. It uses the ft232 USB to serial chip. This is one of the easiest programmer for beginners. Link to the driver is here
For 64bit : https://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.28%20WHQL%20Certified.zip
For 32 bit : https://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.28%20WHQL%20Certified.zip

Simple blink LED program code

void setup() {
  pinMode(13, OUTPUT); 

void loop() {
  digitalWrite (13, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(13, LOW);

Uploading sketch

After connecting the programmer with the chip as per the circuit diagram, the last and final step is to upload the sketch to our microcontroller. To upload the sketch go to Arduino IDE an then tools> Board> Arduino Uno. Then again go to tools> Port> and select the correct COM port in which FTDI is installed.

And now compile the sketch and click upload button on Arduino IDE. You should see the RX and TX led of FTDI module are blinking indication some data transfer. Now you have successfully uploaded the program into the chip.

You can also checkout my Youtube channel where you can fine more video tutorials like this.

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