AVR 10-pin/6-pin Header Converter

I’ve been using a parallel port programmer (Printer Port) to program my AVRs since I started using them. I’ve had to keep a slow old computer around just to program my AVRs since most new computers don’t even have parallel ports on them anymore. I finally buckled and ordered a AVRISP mkII which promptly arrived! Slight problem, however it was fully expected, the new programmer uses the new 6-pin programming header standard, all of my previous projects use the old 10-pin programming header since my parallel port programmer used it.

This is my super simple solution to this problem. I figured I could make it a bit more useful. This tiny circuit serves the following purposes:

  1. 6-pin programmer cable extension
  2. 10-pin programmer cable extension
  3. 6-pin to 10-pin programmer header converter
  4. 10-pin to 6-pin programmer header converter

A pretty sweet added bonus is that this requires 0 active components. It simply takes 2 3×2 pin headers, and 2 5×2 pin headers. I choose to use shrouded headers to keep me from putting the cable in the wrong way.

Here is my circuit board etching preparation setup. I’ve got another post on that laminator and the whole process I go through.


I always try to maximize my usage of the Pulsar Toner Transfer paper since it doesn’t really allow you to print on it multiple times. Pulsar recommends turning your print density up as high as you can when printing on their paper. I’ve found this makes the transfers come out smeared.


This is the circuit I am using for this post:


After it has been ran through the laminator a couple times:


Quickly dropped into hot water:


After etching and cleaning:


Oops… My first run doesn’t have enough room for shrouded headers. So I just stuck on 1 of each so I can at least start using it. I’ll update the Eagle files with a board that properly handles all 4 headers. The current design handles non-shrouded headers just fine.


Non-Shrouded Board File

Non-Shrouded Schematic File

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