1. bevi

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    12
    0
    I am a newbie (3 weeks) in digital electronic, but I want to start programming ATMEL processors. I would like to buy an AVRDRAGON - http://www.atmel.com/AVRDRAGON Is it a good choice, or is there any better programmer for a beginner.
     
  2. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    I have not had any experience with the AVRDRAGON development kit but I have extensive experience with the STK500 that is a bit more expensive but it has all the functionality that would serve a newbie well.

    You are aware that powerful code development software both in assembly and c-language is FREE, right? You can download it right now and start playing with it.

    hgmjr
     
  3. bevi

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    12
    0
    I would like to have an USB conncetion, that is why I prefer AVRDRAGON above the STK500.
    Free?
     
  4. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    FREE!!!!! FREE!!!! FREE!!!!!

    hgmjr
     
  5. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    425
    5
    I have the AVR Dragon, and works well, hasn't failed. Mostly I use the HV mode, only got ISP to work a couple of times, never tried Debug or Jtag, I'm just not that advanced, but for $50 and plugs into the USB... Oh, I've yet to get it to work with Vista. Not sure, only tried once. Downloaded the latest AVR Studio, which need to upgrade the firmware, and would recognize the target. Went back to the XP, which had an older version on AVR Studio, which needed the old firmware, which it fixed automatically. So just stayed with the XP.

    Should also mention that the box only contains the minimal. No cables, jumpers, documentation, headers, or sockets. Basically, you choose how and what you add to it. I installed all the headers, and a 40 pin ZIF socket. Documentation for the Dragon is found in AVR Studio. Jumpers are better bought, likely cheaper too, unless you are already into building cables.
     
  6. bevi

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    12
    0
    So, what exactly do I need to basic Atmel programming? I will buy an AVR-DRAGON, USB to USB cable and?
     
  7. mindmapper

    Active Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    34
    0
    On the Atmel page about Avr Dragon use the AVR Dragon online-help link and look into the prototyping area. Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what you can do with the prototyping area.

    If your goal with Atmel MCU programming is to get a better understanding of both hardware and software the Dragon is a good startingpoint. In case you are more into the programming piece of action, Arduino could be an option to concider. http://www.arduino.cc/
     
  8. bevi

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    12
    0
  9. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    425
    5
    You only need one programmer, the MKII is also a programmer. There are several other programmers available, if cost is a factor. Haven't tried any, I started with the AVR Dragon, and haven't had need of anything else. I only use a fraction of its potential.

    http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=16
    Low cost USB programmer that should get you started, $22.00 for the kit, shouldn't be to tough to assemble. Seems well documented and supported. The Dragon was $54.00 shipped, but spent another $20+ on the Zif socket, header pins, and jumpers.
     
  10. bevi

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    12
    0
    Hi HarveyH42, The price is important, but AVR DRAGON's price is in my budget. I would go with AVRISP MK2 http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?tool_id=3808 , but I am a beginner (less than a month in digital electronic from scratch, but years of experiences in IT). Therefore I am a beginner, I want to test ATMEL microcontrollers on the breadboard, so if I started with AVRISP MK2, I would have these problems described here: http://zovirl.com/2007/10/21/avr-isp-header-for-breadboards/ . That's why I want something like AVR DRAGON, where I can easily stick an ATMEL microcontroller and programm it. Than I put programmed microcontroller onto a breadboard and it will works! Just want to tell me please, what I need to buy with the AVR DRAGON? What cables and sockets? Just the bare minimum. Do I need a ZIF socket? Thanks, and sorry for my english.
     
  11. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    425
    5
    Yeah, the ZIF socket is a good idea, you won't bend and break pins prying the chip out. You'll need some header pins. Don't remember off hand how many to fill the board, their cheap though. Check the documentation online and see what it needs. The jumpers are single socket to fit on the headers you'll installed. I built some at first, big hassle, not so pretty work... Bought some off a Parallax Stamp site. You'll need a USB printer cable A-B type.
     
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