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Portable AVR Hex Loader

Portable AVR Hex Loader


Arduino boards, and the Arduino IDE, have enabled countless people to make their own custom electronic “things.” Once you have your board or microcontroller set up, however, it’s not always convenient to drag your computer out to its location, or to remove it and take it to your PC.

Jon Mackey’s AVR SD Hex Loader ISP solves this problem in the form of a small portable device that loads pre-compiled hex files wherever you need them.

The trick here is that it allows the Arduino IDE to generate a compiled hex file and configuration data, using the custom HexLoaderUtility application to capture this data.

This is saved on an SD card, and placed into the Hex Loader, which uses it to program the AVR chip. The unit can act as a standard USB AVR ISP, which could be helpful in many situations.

The AVR SD Hex Loader ISP itself employs three separate PCBs for operation: an ATmega644PA-equipped base board that contains the bulk of the electronics, along with a 240x240 display module, and one that holds the buttons.

There's also a number of LEDs to assist with the user interface. A 3D-printed enclosure rounds out the design, creating a device that could be useful for remote programming and re-programming, or even as a tool for small scale production.

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