Building an EEPROM programmer

Behold this ATtiny85 based EEPROM programmer. It seems like a roundabout way of doing things, but [Quinn Dunki] wanted to build to her specifications using tools she had on hand. What she came up with is an ATtinyISP USB programmer, pushing data to an ATtiny85, which then programs an EEPROM chip with said data.

The hardware is the next module for her Veronica 6502 computer build. When we last saw that project [Quinn] was planning to add persistent storage for the operating firmware. This will be in the form of an EEPROM programmed with this device. Using ISP and an ATtiny as a go-between means that she should have no problems reflashing the OS without removing the chip. But it all depends on how she designs the interface.

For example, she blew a whole bunch of time troubleshooting the device because garbage data was being written to the chip. In the end, having her manual bus programmer hooked up during the flashing operation was the culprit. Lesson learned, it’s onward and upward with the build.

We’ve been featuring [Quinn's] projects a lot lately. That’s in part because they’re really interesting, but also because she does such a great job of documenting her experience.


  1. Hackerspacer says:

    [S]he does such a great job of documenting her exerpience (sic).

  2. zigzagjoe says:

    I actually made one of these about a week ago as well – used two ‘373 latches and a teensy to do it. Was thinking about posting it. Bit more interesting how she did it, though.

    If you can hook up a serial port, you can write bursts of data to the AVR, store it in the AVR’s RAM, then write the whole buffer to the eeprom.

  3. Andy says:

    I’ve always wanted some DIP ribbon cables, what’s the best place to get them like that?

  4. Alex Rossie says:

    I thought we’d already established, female submissions must be accompanied by a mug shot..? Whatever, just remember for next time.

    Very clean build though been there with a very similar face palm moment.

    What’s she plugging her ribbon’s into? That looks hella useful.

  5. Kyle Hotchkiss says:

    I feel like I see her name around here a lot.

  6. WestfW says:

    You (HaD) should have mentioned that this was a *PARALLEL* EEPROM burner. I was staring at the picture wondering what all those wires were for, since most EEPROMs are SPI or I2C (4 to 2 wires!)

    You (Quinn) should be able to program modern flash memory chips with essentially the same circuit (and slightly different pre-erase algorithms.) Or “non-volatile SRAM” chips (with a built-in battery.)
    Both are still available in DIPs.

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