Dear friends welcome to another video! This
is Nick from educ8s.tv and today we are going to take a quick first look at this ATtiny85
board. Without any further delay, let’s get started!
I wanted to take a look at this tiny board for a long time. It is very small size, it
is low cost and it uses a different processor than the Arduino boards. It uses the ATTiny
85 microcontroller chip, which can operate at a frequency up to 20Mhz. It has 8Kb of
flash memory, 512bytes of RAM memory and 6 I/O pins 2 of which can implement the I2C
protocol. It is very small in size and has low power requirements. We can program it
using the Arduino IDE, which makes things so much easier! I got this tiny board with
a USB interface in order to be easier to program. You can find a link for this ATtiny85 board
in the description of the video. I wanted to test if the ATtiny85 board is
a good option for simple projects and if we achieve longer battery life with this board
that a standard Arduino mini. Let’s find out together.
At first we have to download the appropriate drivers in order the board to work with your
computer. After trying a lot of different drivers for my Windows 8.1 installation, the
one that works comes from this website. Next we have to add the ATTiny85 board in the Arduino
IDE. We go to File ->Preferences and we enter this URL to the Additional Boards Manager
URL field. Next we press ok. Next we go to tools, board ->Boards Manager we select the
Digistump AVR package and we select install. After a few seconds our board is ready to
use with the Arduino IDE. In order to program this board we have to follow a different procedure
that the one we follow with Arduino boards. At first we select the board, we select Digispark
(Default at 16.5Mhz). Next we write our code and we press the Upload button with the board
still unplugged. The bottom status box will ask you to plug your Digispark board. After
doing so, the code will be uploaded to the board and the program, the standard blink
sketch in this example, will run. Now that we know how to program the ATTiny
board let’s modify the blink program in order to measure its power consumption. So,
in this example program, the LED stays on for a second and stays off for 3 seconds.
I have connected a Multimeter and as you can see, the ATTiny board needs around 13mAs of
current. If we put ATTiny to sleep using the code will provide, we drop the current draw
to around 4mAs. Still not low enough. So, I took more drastic measures. I removed the
power LED which stays on all the time and I removed the regulator and I provide power
to to ATTiny chip directly. Still, the current draw is high, about 2mA when the chip is sleeping.
It seems the USB circuit requires a lot of current all the time. So, this board is not
suitable for low power applications. I think we have to use a bare ATTiny chip if we want
to greatly reduce its power consumption. As a final thought, from my experience with
the board, I can say that it is a nice small board with limited capabilities. It is useful
from small projects that require few lines of code. But the power consumption is not
low. An Arduino pro mini at sleep needs less current, costs around the same, and offers
more pins, memory and functionality. For me, the Arduino Nano or the Arduino Pro mini,
is a better option, if the bigger size of these Arduino boards is not an issue. If you
need the minimum possible board size, the ATTiny is a good option. What do you think
about the ATTiny usb board? Have you managed to further reduce the power consumption of
it? If you have any tricks or advice, please post your comments in the comments section
below. Thanks! If this is your first time here, I would love
to have you subscribed. In this channel I post videos about DIY projects every Saturday.
I love making things and I believe that anyone can make things, anyone can become a maker.
That’s why I created this channel, in order to share my knowledge with the community and
learn from the community. I hope you will join us. Until next Saturday, Watch, Learn,