1. Overview

1.1. Supported AVR microcontrollers
1.2. Supported operating systems

Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2 or v2.1 with included hardware.

The Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2 and the Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2.1 are compact, low-cost in-system programmers (ISP) for AVR microcontrollers from Atmel (now a part of Microchip). The programmer provides an interface for transferring a compiled AVR program from your computer to the target AVR’s flash memory, allowing it to run the program. It is a good solution for programming AVR-based controllers like our A-Star 328PB Micro and Orangutan robot controllers. It can also be used to update, replace, or remove the bootloader on Arduino boards and our Arduino-compatible A-Star 32U4 controllers. This programmer is designed to work well with both 3.3 V and 5 V devices, and it can even be configured to provide power to the target device in low-power systems.

This guide covers both the Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2 (Pololu item #3170) and the Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2.1 (Pololu item #3172). Unless otherwise specified, the information in this guide applies to both versions. This guide often uses the designation “Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2.x” to refer to both versions at the same time. Many of the pictures in this user’s guide show a specific version of the programmer, but both versions have the same size and pinout, so you can refer to the pictures to learn about your programmer even if you have a different version from what is shown.

Features and specifications

  • Connects to a computer through USB via a USB A to Micro-B cable (not included)
  • Emulates an STK500 programmer through virtual COM port interface
  • Works with standard AVR programming software, including Microchip Studio (Atmel Studio), AVRDUDE, and the Arduino IDE
  • Configuration software available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux
  • Supports both 3.3 V and 5 V devices; can automatically switch operating voltage based on detected target VCC
  • Can optionally power the target at 3.3 V or 5 V in low-power systems
  • USB-to-TTL serial adapter functionality for general-purpose serial communication
  • Provides a 100 kHz clock output, which can be useful for reviving misconfigured AVRs
  • All I/O pins are protected with 470 Ω resistors
  • 6-pin ISP cable and a 1×6 double-sided male header included

Distinguishing different Pololu programmers

If you have a blue programmer and you are not sure what version it is, look at the name printed on the bottom side. If you have a green programmer, refer to the pictures below.

Please note that this guide only applies to the Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2 (Pololu item #3170) and the Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2.1 (Pololu item #3172), which are both blue. If you have the original version of the Pololu USB AVR Programmer (Pololu item #1300), you can find its user’s guide here. If you have the Orangutan USB programmer (Pololu item #740), you can find its user’s guide here.

Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2, bottom view.

Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2.1, bottom view.

From left to right: the original Orangutan USB Programmer, the Pololu USB AVR Programmer, and the Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2 (which looks almost the same as v2.1).

Related Products

Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2
Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2.1
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