I have an Arduino SMD board and an external ATmega328 chip (with the Arduino Bootloader installed, from Sparkfun). I was wondering if I could program the external 328 with my SMD board as the instructions usually say to remove the processor from the Arduino board if there is one.

I've noticed if there were cables attached to the Serial pins in the SMD board, that the SMD would not program... Could I connect those right on over to the 328?


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    \$\begingroup\$ Although not burning, there may be a slight possibility you can program it since it already has a bootloader. You may wish to ask on Arduino forums. I doubt it however, as burning a bootloader is pretty much the same as programming and would require an ISP which the Uno can't do anyway (assuming it is of course one) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11, 2012 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


If you have the Arduino Uno SMD you cannot use it as an in-system programmer (ISP). This is due to an incompatibility with the OptiBoot bootloader (refer to ArduinoISP link below for more information).

You may have to purchase an ISP yourself to program the chip.

AVR ISP ladyada

A less costly "solder yourself" version: USBTinyISP ($22)

Standard AVR ISP 2: @DigiKey ($38)

If you are using versions before (Arduino Duemilanove or Diecimila), you could possibly use it to program your chip. Refer to this article: http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoISP

Example circuit setup:

example circuit

Edit: A possibility is a usb-to-serial or similar adapter due to the fact your DIP Mega has a bootloader already on it that may support it. I refrained from mentioning as it nears the cost of an ISP which can support non-preburned chips, however you can surely do that too.


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