Atmel SMD Prototype Board

A starting guide to building a prototype Atmel based Controller board.

This guide will show you how to create a basic micro controller board based around the Atmel ATMEGA8A device. We will be using a simple surface mount adaptor board, a few external components and the Atmel programming unit to create the foundation of a working prototype. This simple design will then be used as the heart of future guides. To begin with we will add an LED to show the unit is working, and a single tactile push switch that can be used as trigger of some sort.

This guide will show how to build the hardware, and also show in detail how the software will work.

Let’s begin with a list of required components that we will be using: –

  • Atmel ATMEGA8A Micro Controller
  • Atmel USBAsp Programmer
  • QFP PCB Adaptor
  • PCB Switch
  • LED + Resistor
  • 6-Pin Header Strip
  • Kynar Wire

The first and most important thing is to solder the ATMEGA onto the PCB. Best practice is align the device on the pad, solder one pin, re-align if necessary, and solder another pin on the opposite side. Once you’re sure all pins are correctly aligned with the pads, solder the remaining pins, ensuring there are no shorts between pins.