There is a really grand price difference between an empty Atmega328 chip and the one with the Arduino bootloader installed. In my country, this difference is 1:3. This means that uploading bootloader manually would save me a lot of money, while this operation takes about 5 minutes altogether.
I've heard (but not read) about the possibility to make an Arduino upload the bootloader on another Atmega. This has at least 2 disadvantages:
- You need to have one Arduino first.
- You must turn that arduino into programing device - so you cannot have fun with it.
- The process will be hard to control until some advanced techniques are implemented (control leds, start button)
I own a few old PCs with standard real serial port and I also have a USB to serial converter.
- Is there any chance to create a little PCB that connects dirrectly to a PC and would serve to upload the bootloader to the chip?
- Is it thinkable for me, to create an application for this in C++? (I'm a begginer, but I don't give up fast) Or does it already exist?
- Could you please provide links to any tutorials concerning this matter?