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Getting started with the ATMegaZero

Getting started with the ATMegaZero

What's an ATMegaZero?

ATMegaZero Colorful Pins

The ATMegaZero is a microcontroller board based on the Atmel ATMega32U4 microchip, the same chip used in the Arduino Leonardo and Arduino Micro. It was modeled after the Raspberry PI Zero to take advantage of its sleek design and form factor but in the form of a microcontroller board. Similar to the Raspberry Pi Zero the ATMegaZero comes with 40 GPIO pins that can be used as input or output for interfacing devices and can be programmed using the Arduino IDE software.

The ATMegaZero comes with a built-in USB which makes the ATMegaZero recognizable as a mouse or keyboard.

How do you program the ATMegaZero?

In order to program the ATMegaZero you first need to install the Arduino Software (IDE). The software is available for (Windows, Mac & Linux) and is FREE to use.

Arduino IDE

Step 1: Install the Arduino Software (IDE)

Visit the following link to install it if not already installed. Click here.

Step 2: Configure the Arduino IDE

Now that you have the Arduino Software installed, let's configure it to work with the ATMegaZero. First, we need to add the ATMegaZero board url to the Boards Managers.

In the Arduino IDE, navigate to File->Preferences and paste the following URL. https://github.com/eddieespinal/atmegazero/raw/master/package_atmegazero_index.json into "Additional Board Manager URLs". 

Step 3: Install the ATMegaZero custom board

Let's install the ATMegaZero custom board that we just added. From the Arduino IDE,  open Tools->Board->Board Manager and search for "ATMegaZero". Once the board is found, click Install to add it.
Arduino Board Manager

Step 4: Use the ATMegaZero custom board

Now that the board is installed, let's select it and use it to blink the internal LED connected to Pin 13. Go to Tools->Board->ATMegaZero and select the ATMegaZero board.
Selecting the ATMegaZero board

Step 5: Run the Blink LED Sketch

To blink the internal LED, open the Blink LED sample sketch from File->Examples->01.Basics->Blink
Connect your ATMegaZero to the computer via the Mini-USB port. Make sure that the ATMegaZero port is selected by going to Tools->Port and select the port that has the ATMegaZero name on it. Then press the Upload button to compile the sketch and upload it to the ATMegaZero board. 
Compile Blink LED on the ATMegaZero