Home Made AVR Devboard

In this article, I will show you how to make your own AVR development board for ATmega8 microcontroller.

What is a development board?

In order to learn any MCU like AVR we need a AVR MCU that has all the basic connections like power supply, crystal oscillator, proper reset signal and an ISP connector for uploading a program. All these things are required for any project you will make. A development board is a circuit board that contains all these connections and it has connectors for IO pins of MCU so that they can be connected to any external circuit with ease. So as you see its is like a basic framework. Once you make a good development board and test it, you will have a solid foundation and for your project you can concentrate on the specific requirement of that project. This will also reduce the chance of making errors. Some more complicated development boards have a RS232 level converters(for serial communication) ,motor control chips etc.

Now letโ€™s do it!

I have described the basic connections required by any AVR MCU in Part III of my AVR tutorial series so I am jumping right to the schematic.

atmega8 basic schematic circuit

Fig – Development board schematic.

Things you need are

S.No Components Name Value
ATmega8 IC1  
Voltage Regulator IC7805 IC2  
Resistance R1
Resistance R2
Capacitor(Electrolytic/Polar) C1
Capacitor(Electrolytic/Polar) C2
Capacitor(Electrolytic/Polar) C6
Capacitor(Ceramic disk type) C3
Capacitor(Ceramic disk type) C4
Capacitor(Ceramic disk type) C5
Capacitor(Ceramic disk type) C6
Inductor L1
Diode D1
Crystal Oscillator Q1
Tactile push to on switch S1  
Connectors,IC Socket, Power jack, general purpose PCBs, wires etc    

Note: The voltage rating of C1 must be at least twice the input voltage while that of C2 & C6 can be 12 Volts or more


Fig – Components for power supply


Fig – ATmega8, Resistors, Capacitors and Connectors.


Fig – Veroboard / General purpose PCB – Top View


Fig – Veroboard / General purpose PCB – Bottom View


Fig – Connectors for easy connection/disconnection from MCU pins


Now connect the components according to the schematic on a general purpose PCB. You will get something like this.

atmega8 board simple atmega8 board atmega8 board

Fig – Final Board with all components assembled.

Before inserting the MCU, first test the board for any connection error. Make sure everything is according to the schematic. Then check for any soldering errors like loose joints or unwanted shorting by solder. Finally connect power supply of 8 to 18 volts to the circuit by using an adaptor, battery, or transformer (after converting to DC). Check the power pins of MCU in the IC socket with a multi-meter for voltage. It should be very close to 5V. If everything is ok your board is ready.


Some difference in my prototype and the schematic.
  1. The value of C2 is 100uF but I have used 0.1uF ceramic type.
  2. I have not used the reverse protection diode D1. But you should for safety.
  3. I have used 220uF capacitor as C1. Anything over 100uF will do. Also the voltage rating must be double the input supply voltage
  4. I have not used the reset switch. However, it is very convenient if we have one.
  5. I have not used C6(1uF) as it is required for reset switch
  6. I have not used L1 for connecting the AVcc to Vcc, instead I have directly connected them. But if you are planning to use the ADC you should use the L1 as it makes the ADC much accurate by suppressing noise
  7. I have connected a 0.1uF capacitor from Vref to GND as it is suggested by datasheet. Only necessary if you are using ADC.

The same board made with a professional PCB.

A simple ATmega8 Devboard

Fig – A simple ATmega8 Devboard

You can buy it from here at only Rs 450/-. Sorry, but currently I ship it only within India (no International shipping right now).

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Avinash Gupta is solely focused on free and high quality tutorial to make learning embedded system fun !

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35 thoughts on “Home Made AVR Devboard

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  • By AL - Reply


    This is great! Just like the board sold by sparkfun.com but better ๐Ÿ™‚ I am a very beginner with microcontrollers and circuit designs. Would you kindly explain how you come about to use capacitors and the L1? I know the capacitors would smooth out the voltage to make it more stable, etc. But how did you come about the capacitance values?

    What kinds of tolerances in your resistors and capacitors, e.g., 1%, etc.?

    Thanks. And GREAT WORK!

  • By Avinash - Reply

    Hi AL,
    The ceramic capacitors (0.1uF) are Decoupling capacitor capacitor. They are used to decouple the power supply from the MCU. The advantage is they bypass the spikes frm the power supply. They are placed close to the MCU. The standard value used for this purpose is 0.1uF ceramic disk type.

    The C1 (100uF) is used as a filter capacitor. Its purpose is to further smooth the In put DC input which you may supply from a transformer. Its value is not so important just select is according to the current requirement of the circuit. It the circuit is a consuming one you can increase it (470uF or even 1000uF).

    The two capacitors 22pF connected to the Crystal. Their value is suggested in the ATmega8 Datasheet (see page 27)

    The L1 (inductor) C7 is used as suggested in the dataseet page 202 “ADC Noice Cancelling Techniques”.

    So Now you know how the value are calculated you can go ahead and start building !!!

    For any help we are here ๐Ÿ˜€

    The C6

    • By Unbehaun Andreas - Reply

      have a nice day

      Since you are not shipping to Germany, you could email me the gerber files for the simple ATmega8 devboard.



  • By AL - Reply


    Thanks for the answers. That helps a lot. I happen to find ModernDevice’s tiny Atmel dev board. It’s very interesting. See http://www.moderndevice.com/RBBB_revB.shtml.

    In your answer, you referred to page 202 for the “ADC Noise Cancellation Techniques.” All the Atmel datasheets I looked have 22 or pages not to 200+ pages. ๐Ÿ™ They do refer to those pages as well. I kept searching and searching on the atmel.com site but can’t find the complete (200+ pages) of the atmel datasheet. Do you know the link by any chance?


  • By AL - Reply
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  • By Seemanta - Reply

    Nice pictures man! I really liked you site. I too am a hobby embedded developer!

  • By Raul - Reply

    I have to do a project using ATmega16 and i make your Home Made AVR Devboard and the programmer for serial. I use PonyProg .
    And…i have some problems:
    I connect the programmer and Devboard to the PC serial, and when i tray to read the fuse bits, i receive the next error: “device missing or unknown device -24”, i clink the Ignore button and finally read the fuse bits, but all are selected.
    When i tray to write o small program into controller (i tray to on/off a LED)i receive the same error; i hit the Ignore button, PonyProg write something, verify something, but finally he says : “Write fail!!”.
    So … what is the problem? I skip something??
    One more question: when i write something into controller , the Devboard must to be power ?(i tray the both )

  • By Avinash - Reply

    Hello Raul,


    Please check connections. Communication with Programmer < -> Micro is not ok.

    Yes devboard should be powered while programming.

    Keep all cables as short as possible. Check DB9 PIN connections. Select Correct COM Port.

    If all else fails buy a ready made USB Port based programmer from here


  • By Suhas - Reply

    Hey, Is it possible for you to provide the PCB design of the Devboard?
    I am interested in making one myself.

  • By Zvonimir Cicak - Reply

    I’m interested also if you can give pcb layout of your Devboard so we can make it at home…

  • By Rohit - Reply

    you are doing good work, looking forward to your tutorial on rf transceiver.

  • By Mitesh - Reply

    Hi Avinash,
    Nice kits! I am in the US (used to live in Hyderabad) and can purchase these from you and sell them here in the US. I have friends/family that routinely fly back and forth. Which city are you located in? If it is Hyderabad/Bangalore/Chennai, I can have somebody purchase some of them and get them to me over here.

    • By Avinash - Reply


      Thanks! We are in Jamshedpur. I can also send these to you by DHL Express. We export many Items by DHL Express. Please tell me your background. Do you have experience in E business or Bussiness Related to electronics? Then you may represent us in USA. After India our Most of our Visitors are from USA and its a Great Market.

      PLEASE REPLY TO MY EMAIL avinash [ at ] eXtremeElectronics.co.in

  • By Ramesh - Reply

    Hi Avinash
    really gr8 job

  • By Rohit Sharma - Reply

    You know Avinash , you are a good guy.

    I really like the tutorials, (party because i had summer training on Atmega microcontrollers) these tutorials really helps and i am looking forward for more (specially on wireless module [read Zigbee])


  • By pp - Reply

    i want to make the development board for atmega16 …….is there some ckt diagram for this

  • By Stravy - Reply

    You are really really helping the future generation of engineers. I used to work on user interface (front ends) using all sorts of protocols which made me interested in embedded systems. I find AVRs particularly useful and interesting. Your tutorials and projects have made learning rather easy and stimulated my thought process.

    • By Avinash - Reply


      Thanks ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • By mKs - Reply

    can we use the same ckt diagram for atmega 16 connecting appropriately the pin nos?

  • By Itus - Reply

    Thank you a good deal! I truly enjoyed reading this.Looking via these posts and the info you?ve provided I can appreciate that I nonetheless have a great deal of things to discover. I will keep reading and maintain re-visiting.

  • By Arup - Reply

    Can you share the pcb layout of the professional version? I’d love to make that neat one in my home.

  • By mujtaba ali - Reply

    plz provide the pcb layuot of this poject…..

    Thanks in Advance

    • By Arup - Reply

      Mujtaba, I’ll publish one more functional dev board design soon.

  • By sudeep - Reply

    gud work and easy to understand……
    i have borrowed your idea to create my own dev board with more peripherals attached to in. pls check

  • By Bechir - Reply

    I have a question about the used atmega8 in the circuit. Is there any code flashed in it or it is used directly from the store without any hex code inserted in it

    Thank you for responding

  • By Roshan - Reply

    am a beginner to this.
    i am doing a protect for my uni.i was planing to use arduno mega 2560(coz i need 16 analog inputs). but now they saying that i ve to use costume made(by my self) and not to use developer board.
    can any one help me with this.coz i ve planed my coding
    and every thing for mega.
    thank you

  • By prabhu - Reply


    i need ATMEGA16 development kit, where i can get it in bangalore and how is the price.

    Can u tell me any bodys knows

  • By Vishal Garg - Reply

    Dear Sir how to make professional PCB at home , sir i wanna build neat and clean orginal type pcb , and how to print my name on pcb.

  • By Iqbal Samin - Reply


    Can you please tell me where can I get those connector (male) from?


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