Why take the ATMega328 chip off its happy home on the Arduino to sit naked on a breadboard? Because Arduinos cost $22 while the ATMega328 with Arduino bootloader runs about $1-2 plus a dollar for the support components and a couple dollars for the breadboard. So if you’re planning on making a lot of microcontroller projects and don’t need to connect to wi-fi or USB and stuff, the ‘Naked ATMega’ is the way to go in order to stay within budget.
Permit me to show you how incredibly easy it is to move the ATMega chip off the Arduino prototyping platform once you’ve programmed it, and then bring it back to the Arduino board for reprogramming as needed:
0. The breadboard layout for an ATMega328 with support components and wiring is derived from the Mintduino Instructable. I skipped some resistors and capacitors on the voltage regulator, but it seems to work.
1. Take it slow and easy, be gentle. As mentioned in a previous entry, I crimped pin D9 by not being careful.
2. Probably should have unplugged the Arduino from the computer before removing the chip.
3. I don’t know what the yellow handled tool is called. Let’s go with ‘prying tool.’
4. The device used to push the chip into the breadboard is known as a ‘pen.’ (No overthinking here, folks!)
5. A pin identification sticker for the ATMega is very helpful. Here are some.