Digispark “Arduino-Compatible” Microcontroller Board

I few months ago I came across a project on kickstarter that I thought would be perfect for my small projects. I often use Arduino development boards in my projects but they are usually too big to use permanently in the project. This digispark board based on the Atmel ATTiny seemed to tick a lot of boxes so I ordered three to test.

digispark

Well, it seems that I wasted my money. Even though I think that the designer had a great idea, the execution thereof is just not up to scratch. There are far too many large problems with the board to make it useful.

The first problem I encountered was trying to program the device: both my windows 7 and windows 8 machines refused to acknowledge the driver and hence the hardware when plugged in (and yes, I did follow the instructions on their website). After much fiddling and trying to upload a program to the board, I finally succeeded. However that success was short lived – the process is extremely intermittent and seems to work once every 5 to 10 times I try to program it. Changing boards did not seem to help at all.

Secondly, once programmed, I found that my board does not power up from a USB socket on a psu. WTH? Ridiculous because now testing becomes a problem.

This was a great idea but very poor execution. When it works it is useful. Unfortunately it works so seldom like it is supposed to that they have now been relegated to the bottom drawer on my cabinet with my other obsolete junk.

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