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Spending some time optimizing my prototyping-tools, i finally got the atmega8-basic-circuit i searched for. i don’t need things like onboard MAX232 or FTDI, because i have modules for that. what i wanted was some AVR-module that is robust, compact and features a crystal, a pullup and ISP. here it is:

brickAVR lit

i soldered a row of female pin headers directly to the AVR-pins. they have a distance of 0.4″, so you could fit a custom protoboard-shield on top of the module. a 16 MHz-SMD-crystal was glued under the chip and connected to the pins, and so was the pullup. i glued an 6-pin ISP-header to the front of the chip and connected it to the appropriate pins. last but not least  i added an SMD-LED to indicate power-on.  that was it for the electronics. next i filled the space between the female pin headers and above the atmega with hotglue (sticking the led into it). finally i needed a case. i had some lego bricks lying around on the desk and more randomly picked one that seemed to match. amazingly it fit perfect after i clipped the sides of the ISP-header. so i glued the circuit into the hollowed brick and added a label i made in corel draw. that’s about it.

the module is powered by the programmer (USB) and i can access every single pin. i like to use it in prototyping applications where a whole breadboad would be overkill, fragile or simply too large. like when you  just want to create a specific output signal. the module also easily hooks up to a breadboard. here’s another two pics of the lower side and the raw circuit:

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