If you're looking to get down and dirty with microcontrollers, then you'll most likely be using them as a standalone chip, rather than within a platform such as Arduino. To do this, you'll need a programmer, which allows you to program your chips over a USB connection to your computer.

AVR

If you've used Arduino, then you've probably used an AVR chip.The Atmega line of AVR chips is the most popular and easy to use microcontroller series available.

  1. USBasp USBISP 3.3V/5V AVR Programmer
    Rating:
    100% of 100
    SKU: 018-USB-AVR-ISP
    This handy little programmer is well known by hobbyists and seasoned AVR coders alike. The drivers are compatible with 32 and 64bit operating systems.
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    10 from local stock, 1 supplier stock; your order will dispatch between Dec 1 to Dec 10. And yes, stock levels and lead times are accurate!

    Delivered by Jul 4th
  2. Pocket AVR Programmer
    Rating:
    100% of 100
    SKU: PGM-09825 Brand: Sparkfun
    This new version uses an SMD 5x2 header. This is a simple to use USB AVR programmer. It is low cost, easy to use, works great with AVRDude, and is tested extensively on a Windows desktop. Based on Dick Streefland’s USBtiny and Limor Fried’s USBtinyISP. This is a low-cost programmer designed for those on a tight budget.
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    2 from local stock, 1 supplier stock; your order will dispatch between Dec 1 to Dec 10. And yes, stock levels and lead times are accurate!

    Delivered by Jul 5th
  3. Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2.1
    Rating:
    100% of 100
    SKU: POLOLU-3172 Brand: Pololu
    A USB In-system programmer, suitable for AVR controllers and AVR based boards. Can be used for general purpose serial communication, debugging or programming microcontrollers
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    4 from local stock, 1 supplier stock; your order will dispatch between Dec 1 to Dec 10. And yes, stock levels and lead times are accurate!

    Delivered by Jul 5th
  1. PICAXE USB Programming Cable
    SKU: PGM-08312 Brand: Picaxe
    If you’re looking to play with PICAXE microcontrollers on a computer with only USB, look no further! The PICAXE USB programming cable allows PICAXE micros to be programmed from any platform (Windows and Linux). The cable has the FT232R embedded into the USB connector and will show up on your computer as a new COM port. If you’re using Windows you’ll need to install some drivers, which can be found on the PICAXE download page below, it’s really easy!
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    1 from local stock, 1 supplier stock; your order will dispatch between Dec 1 to Dec 10. And yes, stock levels and lead times are accurate!

    Delivered by Jul 5th

Other

For more complex projects, what you need is a good debugger. These allow you to step through your code line-by-line, add breaks, and access the heart of your chip.

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