Tonight I had a meeting after dinner so I did not have much time for a project but I thought that my soldering iron was feeling lonely and neglected. I decided to put together an Arduino ISP shield from evilmadscientist.com that arrived in the mail a couple of days ago.
I had thought about making a board but this was too cheap to pass on. I might (or might not) have an AVR in-circuit-programmer sitting in my box of MCU parts (mainly PIC and ATMEL, and I have some Propeller parts too.) For $12 I figured that it was more important to have something on hand for when I need it vs. waiting for it when I need it. (It is just a matter of time.)
This board can be used to program Naked Arduino chips. (aka: AVR with the Arduino boot loader minus a circuit board or shield) or I can use it with the 6 pin or 10 pin break out as a standard AVR programmer.
It is a pretty simple project and should not take you more than 20-30 minutes to assemble and most of that is simply reading the instructions.
Here is a link to their wiki
Here is a link to how to use it.
Here is a nice article by Scott on how to use AVRDUDE to program AVR chips.
73 de NG0R