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programmer schematic Parallel Port Programmer

This is a really inexpensive way to program your Arduino. In fact, it’s a really cheap way to program any ATmega8 chip. However, there are a few drawbacks. It only works with Windows, and you can’t communicate back to the host computer for serial communications. Despite some of the drawbacks, I still like this solution since many people would have all the parts needed to make one right now. Check out the link for the complete build details.


  • Soldering iron
  • Hot glue gun (optional)

You’ll need (parts):

  • (2x) 470 ohm resistor (yellow-purple-brown)
  • (1x) 220 ohm resistor (red-red-brown)
  • (1x) Parallel port cable or parallel-to-serial adapter
  • (2x) Three wire cables with female connectors on one end, unattached wires on the other

More about making a Parallel Port Programmer

In the Maker Shed:


More about the Arduino Mega in the Maker Shed

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.

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