Resources for getting started with AVRs

This is a short list of resources for getting started with AVR microcontrollers. It’s intended as a supplement to intro AVR classes that we have given. We intend to periodically update this list; leave your suggestions for additions in the comments, please. (Last update: October 2012)

First of all, these GUI installers for the GNU AVR toolchain are really excellent: Two flavors for Mac and Windows:

CrossPack (Mac – recommended solution)

MHV AVR Tools (Windows – recommended solution. Also available for Linux and Mac)

On Linux and Unix-like operating systems (Macs included) you can also follow the directions given by bdmicro (330 kB PDF) for installing the components one at a time.

Almost certainly the best place to get started is at Ladyada’s AVR tutorial. It is extensive and up to date, and it will probably be kept up to date better than most of the other resources that we mention here.

A couple of other sets of instructions and reference guides:

Some notes on hardware:

A few interesting examples of AVR source code:

  • TV-B-Gone, the open-source version.
  • Gobs of other good examples at
  • Procyon AVRlib by Pascal Stang. Open-source C libraries to do all kinds of things– some quite advanced.

Our own articles about and using AVR microcontrollers:

  1. An AVR-based Analog Plotbot with an E-Paper Display
  2. Quick and Dirty D to A on the AVR: A timer tutorial
  3. Fixing a bad frequency fuse bit on an AVR
  4. Resources for choosing a microcontroller
  5. Programming the Atmel ATtiny2313 in Mac OS X (only partly Mac specific– but mostly out of date. Some hints about programmers, programming, and target boards.)
  6. How to make high-tech LED decorations for the holidays
  7. LED Micro-Readerboard, version 2.0
  8. LED Micro-Readerboard, version 2.0: FAQ File (with hints about programming)
  9. Instructables: Micro-Readerboard Build
  10. Using AVR microcontrollers: Minimalist target boards
  11. The Adafruit Industries USBtinyISP kit
  12. Using an ADXL330 accelerometer with an AVR microcontroller
  13. AlphaPOV: An alphanumeric persistence of vision display
  14. MiniPOV Cylon firmware
  15. Make a Robotic Snap-O-Lantern!
  16. Peggy, A Light Emitting Pegboard Display
  17. Solid freeform fabrication: DIY, on the cheap, and made of pure sugar
  18. Meggy Jr RGB
  19. POV Lissajous figures
  20. Resurrecting Tennis for Two
  21. Business card breakout boards for ATmega48/88/168/328
  22. Scariest Jack-o’-Lantern of 2008
  23. Simple Solar Circuits
  24. The Mignonette
  25. Peggy 2.0
  26. Single Sided Circuit Board with an ATtiny2313
  27. Business card breakout boards for ATtiny2313
  28. Basics: Serial communication with AVR microcontrollers
  29. Giant 7-segment displays
  30. Deluxe LED Menorah
  31. The Larson Scanner
  32. The Rovin Pumpkin
  33. The Bulbdial Clock
  34. Using an ADXL335 accelerometer with an AVR microcontroller
  35. Mac Sleep Light Pumpkin
  36. Octolively Interactive LED panels
  37. ISP Shield for Arduino
  38. Reading and writing flash contents
  39. Sharing target boards
  40. On the design of the Bulbdial clock
  41. Diavolino
  42. Interactive Game of Life Exhibit
  43. Say Hello to xmega
  44. Blink an LED with an AVR
  45. The Art Controller

2 thoughts on “Resources for getting started with AVRs

  1. By far the easiest way to set up AVR development on a Mac is by downloading Crosspack:

    It’s just one download and an install, no mucking about with compiling and installing 4 different packages of tools, which may or may not be compatible with the particular version of compiler you happen to have installed.

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