AVR Dragon vs AVR-ICE

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#1
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I only want to program and debug AVR devices (XMega and possibly ATMega). Which device would work best and simplest?

Heinrich

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ATMEL-ICE is faster and better in every respect.

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There is nothing to think about. The ATMEL-ICE is newer and mostly more sturdy [*].

 

The Dragon is $54 (at Digikey). The corresponding ATMEL-ICE (the "PCB only version") is $35. For $54 you get an ATMEL-ICE in a case.

 

[*] Atmels design procedures stipulate that there must always be one weak point or flaw designed into every programmer/debugger. For the ATMEL-ICE it is the USB connector - surface mounted and risks coming off if badly assembled and/or not handled gently.

"He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack, or sit beneath the tree by the railroad track. Oh the engineers would see him sitting in the shade, Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made. People passing by, they would stop and say, "Oh, my, what that little country boy could play!" [Chuck Berry]

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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Do NOT buy the pcb version of the ATMEL-ICE. It will cost you more to buy the ribbon cable and connectors separately.
The Basic version comes with a case and ribbon cable.

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Atmel ICE and buy the 'pro' that comes with the USB cable and the ribbon cable along with the adapters. The little more you pay now will save you the frustration of not having a part later when you need it.

Johan is correct that Atmel designs in a weak point in everything. IMO the ribbon cable/connector is just awful.

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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jgmdesign wrote:
buy the 'pro' that comes with the USB cable and the ribbon cable along with the adapters.  The little more you pay  [...]

That "little more" is $39 . From Atmels product page, here's what comes with the different versions:

 

  • ATATMEL-ICE: Encapsulated main unit, USB cable, 10-lead squid cable, flat cable (10-pin 50mil connector and 6-pin 100mil connector) and adapter board (20-pin 100mil connector, 6-pin 50mil connector and 10-pin 100mil connector)
  • ATATMEL-ICE-BASIC: Encapsulated main unit, USB cable and flat cable (10-pin 50mil connector and 6-pin 100mil connector)
  • ATATMEL-ICE-PCBA: PCB assembly of main unit only, no cables

 

The flat cable has 6-pin 100mil, and 10-pin 50-mil connectors and that should cover most ISP programming stuff. Most of us (?) have a bunch of USB cables lying around anyhow (or could likely buy one for a few $ if needed).

 

so... it's all about the adapter board. It caters a 20-pin connector (mostly JTAG) and 10-pin 100-mil and 6-pin 50mil. If you don't need that then the BASIC variant might be a viable choice.

 

Or maybe it's just me thinking it sux that Atmel in practice charges $40 for the adapter and the ubiquitous USB cable. (Once the "design in a hardware flaw/weakness" is checked off by thr design team it moves on to marketing that has it's own standing point: "Do something very weird, for no apparent reason, that anyway makes small customers and hobbyists pissed off". One of my conspiracy theories is that a competitor managed to sneak in a design lead and a senior marketeer into the payrolls of Atmel.

 

Anyway: The ATMEL-ICE BASIC @ $54 of the ATMEL-ICE @ $93 depending on if you want/need the adapter and the USB cable or not.

"He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack, or sit beneath the tree by the railroad track. Oh the engineers would see him sitting in the shade, Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made. People passing by, they would stop and say, "Oh, my, what that little country boy could play!" [Chuck Berry]

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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The Basic unit I purchased only came with the Squid cable so that's why I suggested the 'pro' model. 

 

JIm

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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I think the best choice is: Atmel ICE PCB plus this "3 USD" chinese adapter (https://world.taobao.com/item/53...).

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Cool!

Do you have an AliExpress URL for it?

Thanks!

 

Some more Atmel-ICE adapters :

http://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/ice-header-adapters#comment-1877541

http://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/atmelice-rats#comment-2026396

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Sorry, I didn't find this item neither aliexpress or ebay.

 

I bought it through "yoybuy" (http://www.yoybuy.com/en/), if you buy here it's better make a larger order to compensate shipping and handling costs.

 

Other cheap adapter valid for ATMEL ICE and more easy to buy in http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_...

 

I hope I have helped you.

 

 

 

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You have.

Thanks!

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Woo-hoo.   That Ebay "PinBoard 1.27mm to 2.54mm Cable Converter" is exactly what is needed.

i.e. standard ribbon cables that will not put a strain on the delicate ATMEL-ICE connectors.

 

And most importantly,  you can connect to the traditional 2.54mm 5x2 AVR JTAG header.

 

David.

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JohanEkdahl wrote:

[*] Atmels design procedures stipulate that there must always be one weak point or flaw designed into every programmer/debugger. For the ATMEL-ICE it is the USB connector - surface mounted and risks coming off if badly assembled and/or not handled gently.


This issue was fixed by replacing the SMD USB connector with a SMD/TH hybrid (4 TH points soldered to the USB shield), we did some tests with the new connector where we broke the USB cable before the PCB broke.
 

JohanEkdahl wrote:

Or maybe it's just me thinking it sux that Atmel in practice charges $40 for the adapter and the ubiquitous USB cable. (Once the "design in a hardware flaw/weakness" is checked off by thr design team it moves on to marketing that has it's own standing point: "Do something very weird, for no apparent reason, that anyway makes small customers and hobbyists pissed off". One of my conspiracy theories is that a competitor managed to sneak in a design lead and a senior marketeer into the payrolls of Atmel.


No comment :)

 

- a kit designer

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Correct, also "PinBoard 1.27mm to 2.54mm Cable Converter" is one-to-one relationship, attached picture for SPI.

 

Atmel-ICE - PinBoard 1.27mm to 2.54mm Cable Converter - SPI connections