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Ever since I started playing with Arduinos and microcontrollers, I was always fascinated by one very specific chip.

The Attiny85!

I know, I know! It’s not the fastest microcontroller out there, nor it is the best but being so small and requiring no external components for it to work is what makes it so interesting to me.

I’ve used it before, both for projects on the channel where I’ve made an automatic vacuum switch for my workshop and for personal projects but I never really gave it a better chance for proving itself so today, that is all about to change.

How did we get here?
A while ago, I made a video that was the trigger for all of this. In that video, I made two Arduino Nano boards talk to each other via I2C on a parent/child relationship in an attempt to free the parent a.k.a. main Arduino from certain processing tasks.

The benefit of that approach is that now, the child Arduino can handle a single or multiple repetitive and highly CPU intensive jobs while the main board will be left free to handle the rest of the functionalities and only provide instructions to the child Arduino.

This all worked beautifully, but what I wasn’t able to accomplish at that time is to use an ATTiny85 for the child controller, because the I2C communication and the dimmer module required pin 7 (PB2) to be used for different purposes at the same time. That is still an issue, BUT, that experiment sparked the idea for what I now call, ATtiny Device.

To design this board, I used Altium Designer. Altium Designer is your best choice when it comes to PCB design where they provide all the necessary tools for all of your ideas. Schematic capture, high speed, rigid-flex, HDI, they have it all and on top of that, you can collaborate with multiple people at the same time to bring your ideas to life.

A critical feature for the current state of the world that we are in is their Manufacturer Part Search where you can see directly the stock available for the selected parts and base your design decisions on that. This alone can now be a decisive factor if your project can leave the design phase or get stuck due to the shortage of components.”

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