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Best beginner dev system for AVR studio
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Best beginner dev system for AVR studio

by zener on Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:16 pm

What is the best hardware for a beginner to use with AVR studio to develop a project? JTAGICE? Dragon?? STK600.... etc...

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Re: Best beginner dev system for AVR studio

by brucef on Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:00 pm

Depends on your budget and what MCUs you intend to use.

Check these AVR Freaks tutorial AVR programming methods and Atmel tool overview threads for a good overview of Atmel's official offerings. Nothing else is guaranteed to work with AVR studio. Note though that the first link claims the Dragon supports TPI, but that is almost certainly incorrect; only the STK600 and AVRISP mkII can program the 6-pin tinys from what I've read elsewhere on Atmel's site.

My understanding in a nutshell: the AVRISP mkII covers programming for all the tiny, mega and xmega MCUs, but has no high voltage (i.e. screwed fuse recovery) or debug support. The AVR Dragon does a ton of stuff, but as I said can't handle the 6-pin tiny MCUs - the 4, 5, 9 and 10. They look like a reasonable complementary pair, if you have the money for both.

Everything else was out of my budget, so I haven't really looked at them. But if you were to throw me an STK600 or AVR ONE! (who names this stuff?), I'd thank you very kindly.
- Bruce

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Re: Best beginner dev system for AVR studio

by chatham on Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:17 pm

I've got both a Dragon and an AVRISP mkII, and that's worked fine for me so far. I had my AVRISP for a while, then I finally got a dragon for the on-chip debugging. That said, the dragon is way slower for some reason when programming the AVR (I think maybe it rewrites the whole device, and maybe the AVRISP only writes up to the end of the new program?)

Anyhow, it may seem like a waste of money to some, but I'm really happy with having both. I don't use on-chip debugging much, so the speed and ease of the AVRISP makes it my go-to programmer, and then when I'm having big problems, I go to my dragon.

Anyhow, especially as a beginner, I'd recommend starting out with an AVRISP mkII. They're cheap, and the programming speed really makes it easy to re-flash your chips quickly to change your code a million times. And depending on your degree of low-level computer system knowledge, the on-chip debugging that a Dragon would give you might not even be particularly useful. Just my 2 cents~ - Open Source kits to let you play Guitar Hero with a real guitar, or build your own Wii/PS3/USB controllers.

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Re: Best beginner dev system for AVR studio

by scott_42 on Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:58 pm

I'll also chime in that I use the AVRISP mkII and a Dragon for all of the AVR work I've been doing. I can confirm what BruceF said that the Dragon with AVR Studio 5 will not do TPI to an ATtiny but you can easily do that with the AVRISP.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.