Site Map - skip to main content

Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes every weekday Monday through Friday.
This page was generated by The HPR Robot at

hpr2407 :: The Lost Episode Part 2

NYbill talks about flashing firmware to a Atmega328p chip to get a Transistor Tester Kit working.

<< First, < Previous, , Latest >>

Thumbnail of NYbill
Hosted by NYbill on 2017-10-24 is flagged as Clean and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
Electronics, kit, tester, AVR programmer, transistor. 5.
The show is available on the Internet Archive at:

Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Play now:

Duration: 00:22:12

Hobby Electronics.

Building electronic devices and kits, repairing electronics and learning about components and their uses.

A follow up to “The Lost Episode”. Flashing the blank Atmega328p chip to get bring a nonworking Transistor Tester Kit to life.

There are a lot of these kits out there. Different shapes, colors, and capabilities. In my case the kit was called a: 2578AY-AT. The firmware for this particular kit is: mega328_color_kit.

    lsusb (get bus and device ID numbers.)
    sudo chmod +777 /dev/bus/usb/*bus_ID/*device_ID

    avrdude -c ‘your programmer’ -p ‘your chip’
  • In my case:
    avrdude -c usbasp -p m328p

Avrdude should communicate with the programmer and verify the chip is ready to receive instructions.

From here Avrdudess helped as I was able to use the ‘verify’ options after a write to see there was an error. Avrdudess also let me correct the error by changing the E-lock value to 0x04. Then the flash would write.

Remember to write the hex file first and the eep file second as hex would over write a eep file if it was written first.


Subscribe to the comments RSS feed.

Comment #1 posted on 2017-10-24 01:54:38 by Mike Ray

avrdude, fuses, clone programmers etc.

Cracking episode! Brilliantly timed for me as I am just starting down the path of AVR programming.

I've bought several programmers, usbtiny, libusb, usbavr, avrisp2. A lot of them seem to be less than perfect clones of known designs and they spit out what look like error messages that you can suppress with the -F flag and then carry on working.

Fuses are confusing but there is an online fuse calculator, I'll look it up and post the link if you haven't found it.

I didn't know about avrdudes and I will look at it. But a lot of GUI programs are written with inaccessible toolkits like Qt.

Arduino IDE is itself inaccessible, so I stick to the command-line. Take a look at, which is a Makefile system you can use with programmers to avoid the Arduino IDE My first project is an audible logic probe. Had a logic probe with LEDs for years but that's useless to me now of course.

I'm jealous of all the little gizmos now appearing with cheap and colourful displays, like your transistor tester.

Comment #2 posted on 2017-10-24 05:56:49 by Ken Fallon


My first real solder project. I hope the thing is programmed.

Comment #3 posted on 2017-10-25 10:40:12 by NYbill

Thanks, Mike.

Yea, I can tell I'm just scratching the surface with this AVR programing stuff. I'm sure I'll be messing with it more in the future. I'm not sure Avrdudess is necessary. It just helped me find out quickly there was a verify option. I'm sure the GUI is just setting some flag for AVRdude I don't know about.

Comment #4 posted on 2017-10-25 10:40:59 by NYbill

Nice ken.

You ordered one, nice. Its a fun project to solder up. And the best part is when you're done you'll have a useful piece of test equipment.

Comment #5 posted on 2017-10-26 21:08:28 by NYbill

...We will expect a show about the build, Ken.


Leave Comment

Note to Verbose Commenters
If you can't fit everything you want to say in the comment below then you really should record a response show instead.

Note to Spammers
All comments are moderated. All links are checked by humans. We strip out all html. Feel free to record a show about yourself, or your industry, or any other topic we may find interesting. We also check shows for spam :).

Provide feedback
Your Name/Handle:
Anti Spam Question: What does the letter P in HPR stand for?
Are you a spammer?
What is the HOST_ID for the host of this show?
What does HPR mean to you?