Problems talking to AT32UC3 with AVRdude,USBtiny, and Bus Pirate

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Hi, I have some experience with programming microcontrollers in the Arduino environment, but I am attempting to branch out from Arduino with a new project and there's a lot that's unfamiliar to me.  New to AVRfreaks.

 

I have an AT32UC3(C0512C) that is on a custom PCB* and eventually I intend to program it with Atmel Studio 7, but first I am attempting some initial communication.  I've gotten through the surprisingly difficult task of manually building AVRdude 6.3 on my Windows 10 machine, using cygwin and the 1,000 packages required to do this.  The software side of that seems to be working and now I'm attempting to communicate with the AVR using 2 different pieces of hardware and I'm not having much luck.

 

I borrowed a Sparkfun AVR Pocket Programmer (USBtiny) and entered this in cygwin:

$ avrdude -c usbtiny  -p uc3a0512 -v

I get back: "Operation 11 not defined for this chip!  avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions".  Googling that "operation 11" error yields literally zero search results, so I don't even know what that means.  Yet the 2nd part sounds encouraging -- AVR initialized and ready to accept instructions, sounds great!  However I realized quickly that any information I was trying to get back from the board using avrdude was bogus or blank (e.g. from -t part) and I could not get a valid signature from the sig command.

 

So next I tried basically the same thing, but using a borrowed Bus Pirate:

$ avrdude -c buspirate -P com3 -p uc3a0512 -v -F

I get a similar result, which doesn't seem to really be communicating with the microcontroller:

"AVR Extended Commands not found.
program enable instruction not defined for part "AT32UC3A0512"
avrdude: initialization failed, rc=-1
avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions"

 

 

Also I realized I can get each of the same results as above by not even connecting the microcontroller to the programmers, so I am suspecting there is something wrong with the board.

*This brings me to the original asterisk above, it seems like maybe my board is bad and I just don't have connectivity.  Is there anything else I should try before redoing the PCB?  I am wondering if there is something that could be wrong with my installation, or if I should choose a different "<partno>" (-p, AVR device type) for avrdude.  

 

Please let me know if I can provide any other information to aid diagnosis.  Thanks for the help.

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Last Edited: Sat. Oct 15, 2016 - 04:01 AM
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Well I have basically fixed my problem -- I used a JTAGICE mkii in Atmel Studio to talk to and program my UC3 microchip, there was nothing wrong with my board.  

 

I still don't really know what I was doing wrong before though. It's a little dissatisfying because I think the other hardware should work, but it seems the issue is using avrdude the way I was (I think?).  It would be nice to figure this out because those other programmers are much cheaper than an Atmel JTAGICE mkii or JTAGICE3, so I think it would be helpful for someone just starting out.  

 

Also it's pretty disappointing that this post has been up for about 5 days and has zero replies. I'm just posting now in case this helps anyone in the future.  I would like to use the AVRfreaks forums as I learn the software and hardware I described originally, but maybe I need to find another place for that...

 

 

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this post has been up for about 5 days and has zero replies.

Very few people use the UC3 that I know of and I would guess they would use the Atmel programmer with Studio.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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js wrote:

Very few people use the UC3 that I know of and I would guess they would use the Atmel programmer with Studio.

 

Thanks js.  What microcontroller series with a more robust following would you recommend I explore?

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It seems that people needing more than an 8 bit AVR or Xmega are being shunted to ARM chips.

 

From what I understand the UC3 series is very good but it has been in "legacy" mode now for a while.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly