STK-200 vs. 200+

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Hi,
I'm a teacher adn want to build a balance described in Scientific American magazine using a STK-200 kit. I wanted to know where I can get one, whether the 200 or 200+ can be hooked to a computer printer or serial port and whether the commands for the two are the same. Thanks for any help!

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Hi Jon,

I investigated that question and here is, what I found out:

A company called KANDA (located in Wales, U.K., www.kanda.com) built the STK200 and 300 kits earlier on and distributed them "on behalf of Atmel".

Now, a new starter kit has arrived. It is the STK500 (see home page of this site!). It was developed directly by ATMEL (in Norway) and has got nothing to do with KANDA. It's a product of it's own, no links with Kanda.

Kanda moved on and now offers a kit called STK200+. It is virtually the same as the STK200 but now includes a tool called "Workshop", As far as I remember, Workshop is sort of an application wizard, that delivers C or ASM files with an initial setup for your chip according to your choices. it can be compared to the STK300 Application Builder. Files can be regarded as the starting point for your developement, but preferably you will have to use IAR compilers (the generated code is for them, but it's easy to convert... :-)) ).

Pros for STK500:
* Most advanced starter kit today
* supports the new 163/161 chips
* supports high voltage programming (which prob. doesn't bother you?)
* Programming done via SERIAL port of your PC (check, if there is one left on yours...)

Pros for STK200(+):
* Very easy to start with especially when you start from the scratch
* Very good support by KANDA, I allways received excelent support when I called or mailed KANDA
* Programming done via PARALLEL port of your PC

To answer your original question:
I would not expect any differences between STK200 and 200+, the hardware seems to be the same. But check, if the STK500 might be the better choice in your case. I use all three (STK200/300/500).

Yes, you will be able to send data from the controller to the printer. Protocoll stuff etc. must be handled by your program.

Note, that all boards use a MAX232 chip to drive a serial interface, that supports RX, TX and "GND" only. If you need more electrical signals (DSR DTR ...) to control the printer, you must add a hardware solution to the board.

Apart from that it is probably ONLY a matter of programmimg your chip. It doesn't matter, which of the boards you will use.

Regards
Chris

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Hi,

I think Chris has given a very good description of the differences between the kits. I'll just supply the answer to your other question: Where to buy:

For STK200+, contact the Kanda webshop at
www.kanda.com

For STK500, contact your local Atmel distributor, a list of which can be obtained at
www.atmel.com/atmel/contacts

Morten, AVR tech. support