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Atmel AVR STK600 complete starter kit
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Atmel AVR STK600 complete starter kit

by toddfun on Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:17 pm

Ladyada,

I just wanted to share a great find.

I read that the stk600 can program and debug any Atmel 8bit and 32bit microcontroller and is basically the USB replacement version of the serial stk500, but the stk600 costs over $200 :(. The great find is that I found a link to a promo at Arrow Electronics for $99. The description of the promo was for a stk600 kit, but when you add it to your cart the discretion changes to an “STK600 ADAPTER FOR SOIC DEVICE”. I called and they assured me it was the stk600 full starter kit. I ordered it and got it last week. It was the full kit, nice. :D
(I will included some links for your convenience)

Atmel AVR STK600 is a complete starter kit:
Data sheet:
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?tool_id=4254

Image

Buy at Arrow with promo $99
http://app.arrownac.com/aws/pg_webc/0,1086,,00.html?application=SEARCH&event=1009&search_token=ATSTK600%20-%20PROMO&search_criteria=match_begins_with&match_in_stock_only=NO&=&rows_to_display=10&limit=10&full_domain_name=app.arrownac.com&super_neda=&start_index=0&search_type=click_through

You do have to purchase separate socket boards as well as routing boards to support all the possible package configurations. The routing boards are just simple pin routing boards that sandwich between the socket board and the stk600 motherboard and gives you the correct wire mapping for the chip you are working with. The extra boards are not that bad being I only use DIP chips and you need just one kit "stk600-DIP". The "stk600-DIP" adapter kit comes with one DIP socket board with a ZIF and 7 routing boards.
STK600-RC008T-2
STK600-RC014T-8
STK600-RC020T-1
STK600-RC020T-8
STK600-RC028M-6
STK600-RC040M-4
STK600-RC040M-5
This DIP kit will support every Atmel DIP microcontroller except the ATtiny28 which requires one extra routing board not included "STK600-RC028T-3".

When I orded my stk600 I knew I needed the stk600-DIP kit, but Arrow wanted too much so I ordered the stk600-DIP adapter kit from Dig-Key for $99. This kit came with one ATmega32L, for testing I guess. I haven’t used the included ATmega32L for anything yet.

ATSTK600-DIP for programming DIP chips in the stk600
Data sheet:
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?tool_id=4283

Buy at dig-key for $99
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=ATSTK600-DIP40-ND

Image

So for just a little over $200 I have a great programmer, development and testing kit to use when I’m having issues. Frankly I was doing ok with my homemade PP cable for ICSP programming but it acted up sometimes, was flaky once and I just wanted to be able to program any Atmel microcontroller for testing smaller projects and for HV programming some bad chips in order to save them.

I read the stk600 manual cover to cover which was well written but the software that you use with it “AVR Studio 4” has a bad user’s guild really.

Download AVR Studio 5.16 free after registering:
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?tool_id=2725

So far I love the ability to pop a chip in the ZIF and see a quick description of the fuses (without going to the fuse calc site) as well as read and write the fuses. Of course it can program the chip in the ZIF as well as directly in your external project board like an Arduino using the 6pin or 10pin ICSP cable that comes in the kit. It’s super FAST too.

When working with a chip on the stk600 dev board you can set your exact vcc voltage from "AVR Studio 4" making working with different voltage IC's easy.

Another nice feature on the stk600 (like there wasn’t enough) is a switch you can use to select:
1) Programmable frequency set from within "AVR Studio 4"
2) Physical resonator or Crystal you connect to a couple of pins on the stk600 dev board
3) The chip’s internal clock
4) Physical resonator or crystal connect directly to the chip on your project board when programming externally.
After setting your fuses correctly to support your switch selection, this feature makes testing a raw chip easy and fast with different frequency configurations. Although I wouldn’t recommend doing a lot of high speed stuff with the chip in the ZIF do to all the wiring and routing going on.

I would say the stk600 is a great dev tool to test from being it includes lots of pin outs, test switches and on board LEDs as well as usable serial port, USB port and a CAN port if you get into those types of chip communications. The feature list could go on and on, but that’s what the manual is for right? Ha. I don’t yet know how to use all of the stk600 features and truthfully I'm still mostly using the Arduino IDE with my PP ICSP cable to load my sketches.

Not sure you wanted to get one of the promos while they last. I hope you do because I get in over my head sometimes with electronic projects and it would be great to turn to somebody like yourself for help using the stk600. You may even end up posting some of your nice “HOW TO” videos and blogs using it which would steer me down the clearer path.

In closing here is a question for you:
Is there a simple way to setup "AVR Studio 4" to let me code, compile and upload directly from its great editor yet still be using Arduino wiring language? That would be best being I currently code and compile from Arduino IDE and then load the HEX from "AVR Studio 4" through the stk600.

Todd Harrison
My fun project site: http://www.toddfun.com/

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Re: Atmel AVR STK600 complete starter kit

by toddfun on Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:16 pm

Ladyada,
Did you have any response or didn't you read my post yet?
Todd
My fun project site: http://www.toddfun.com/

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Re: Atmel AVR STK600 complete starter kit

by adafruit on Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:14 pm

can you sum up your question in 2 sentences?

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Re: Atmel AVR STK600 complete starter kit

by toddfun on Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:33 pm

Sorry about that. My post was mostly meant for your information and for your readers, but my question is:

Currently I code and compile from "Arduino" IDE and then load the HEX to the chip from "AVR Studio 4" IDE using my stk600.
If it is possible, can you help me setup "AVR Studio 4" IDE so I can code, compile and upload using Arduino wiring language but from within "AVR Studio 4" IDE instead of the "Arduino" IDE?
My fun project site: http://www.toddfun.com/

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Re: Atmel AVR STK600 complete starter kit

by adafruit on Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:56 pm

that is not possible
BUT you can have arduino ide program your chip thru the stk600
im sure someone has a tutorial, you just need to set the right baud rate, com port and programmer name

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Re: Atmel AVR STK600 complete starter kit

by charliex on Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:04 pm

Thanks for the tip, it's cheaper for me to buy a stk600+adapter than just to buy the TQFP64 adapter for my eprom programmer!
http://032.la - Null Space Labs.
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Re: Atmel AVR STK600 complete starter kit

by SuperMiguel on Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:34 pm

is there a big difference between the stk600 and the 500?? beside usb support?
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Re: Atmel AVR STK600 complete starter kit

by toddfun on Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:10 pm

For general use once you have the routing cards and sockets you need there is not much difference.
My fun project site: http://www.toddfun.com/

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Re: Atmel AVR STK600 complete starter kit

by chuckm on Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:48 pm

SuperMiguel wrote:is there a big difference between the stk600 and the 500?? beside usb support?

Actually there are several differences. The clock generator goes to 20Mhz, there are more switches and LEDs, there are many more breakout connectors, the power supply is remotely adjustable (for 3.3v vs 5v AVR chips) its compatible with the Xmega and AVR32 series (with appropriate adapters) and as you note it connects via USB.

It is a bit over $325 for both the STK600 and the DIP adapter kit (which has boards for all types of Dual inline chips). The one I got (as part of the Atmel seminar series) included the AVR2560 (same chip as the MegaArduino has).

--Chuck

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