STK500 vs AVRISP MKII

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by electronics wiz, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. electronics wiz

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Mar 15, 2007
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    I think that it is time for me to get a decent avr programmer that can be used with avr studio(currently have a parallel port stk200 programmer). I have a few questions about both the STK500 and the AVRISP MKII.


    1. Will the STK500 work with a usb-to-serial adapter and windows vista? I would like to use this on my laptop which has vista and no RS232 port.:(

    2. All of the documentation on the Atmel website for the STK500 is outdated and I am not sure what devices it supports. Does it support every device that avr studio supports?

    3. What do you guys reccomend for a begginer in AVRs?
     
  2. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    It is worth noting that the STK500 is a development board with sockets that permit you to develop code for most of the 8-bit AVRs while an AVRISP MKII is just a programmer.

    Here are my answers to your questions.

    I can't speak from personal experience about VISTA and the STK500 but I can speak to your question about the STK500. The STK500 connects to the host computer through an RS-232 port. I have successfully used a USB to RS-232 converter cable with my USB only laptop (running Windows XP) to interface to my STK500 board.

    I have not heard that the STK500 is outdated. It is still sold by Digikey the last time I looked. It is a great AVR program development tool as it has 8 user assignable pushbutton switches and 8 user assignable LEDs. It can even be used as a programmer once you decide to move your design over to your own breadboard.

    As for the devices supported, I think it is safe to say that the only 8-bit AVRs that it does not support are the 14-pin devices. That is only because the 14-pin parts were not around when the STK500 was design so it did not get a 14-pin socket. You can still use the STK500 to program 14-pin devices if you use them on a breadboard of your own design.
    I think an STK500 is a terrific starter board.

    There is the Arduino board which enjoys a large number of proponents.

    Hope this answers helps you.

    hgmjr
     
  3. electronics wiz

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Mar 15, 2007
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    0
    Thank you very much for your prompt reply. I did not mean that the STK500 was outdated, I meant that the documentation hasn't been revised in a while so the list of devices supported is outdated. I am 12 years old so money is hard to come by, but I want to make a good investment that will benefit me for years to come. The main reason I was considering the AVRISP MKII was because of the price. I think I will go with the STK500 after what you have said. The usb-to-serial adapter driver works in vista along with avr studio so I think that it should work with the STK500. I have considered the arduino, but I want to design projects with standalone avrs that dont require the arduino bootloader.
     
  4. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    You will also want to download the free C-language compiler called WINAVR. You can get it at www.sourceforge.net. You will need to buy a powersupply (wall-wart) to power your STK500.

    hgmjr
     
  5. electronics wiz

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Mar 15, 2007
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    How big of a power supply do you think I should get? Would 12 volts at 1 amp be enough? Also, does the STK500 still include the AT90S8515? Or does it include a newer avr?(I think that one is reasonably outdated)

    Thanks again for all of your help.
     
  6. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    The STK500 kit comes with an ATMEGA8515 and an ATMEGA16. The AT90S8515 has been discontinued. The ATMEGA8515 replaced it.

    12V at 1A should do just fine. Don't worry about what type of plug the power supply you buy has with it. The kit comes with a short cable with the correct mating connector on it. You can trim the connector off of the power supply and replace it with the cable provided.

    hgmjr
     
  7. electronics wiz

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Mar 15, 2007
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    Thanks, Luckily I have some old "wall-warts" laying around that should work. That's great that it include two micros!
    After looking at the manual some more I saw I chart that showed which avrs go into which socket, but it only shows a few avrs listed on that chart. How do I know which socket to insert it into?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  8. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    That is a very good question. Turns out that the users guide has a table that tells you which socket is used with each of the AVRs.

    hgmjr
     
  9. electronics wiz

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Mar 15, 2007
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    0
    I see the chart, but it only shows a few AVRs there. I know that I will be working with devices not listed on the chart (Such as the atmega328 and atmega32) So how will I know what socket to insert them into if they are not in the chart?
     
  10. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    If you look at the pinouts for the device you are interested in using and compare it to the devices that appear in the table, all you need to do is make sure that the reset, power, ground and AREF pins are the same. The digital IO lines are not connected to anything except the headers on the board. There is a schematic in the manual so you can see where all of the lines are connected.

    hgmjr
     
  11. nanovate

    Distinguished Member

    May 7, 2007
    665
    1
    Those devices are listed in the Help section. Look at the Target Socket Selection -> ISP Programming Section and you'll see them (red SCKT3100A3 and green SCKT3200A2
    sockets)
     
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