[TUT] [HARD] Parallel Port Programmer STK200 STK300, alikes

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Edited February 5, 2008

I just received a newsletter where Kanda says that the AVRISP-software for STK200, 300 and alike, is now free to download, and can be used as plug-in in AVR-Studio.
http://www.kanda.com/avr-isp-software.html
Good news ! Enjoy.

Edited November 16, 2007

This tutorial thread has grown too long for easy use. You can find the latest info on my website: http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/PPPD/PPPD%20English.html
There is also a dutch version: http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/PPPD/PPPD%20Nederlands.html

And please read the information that's given there.

End of Edit

Newbies on AVR rarely start off with a fully equipped programming environment. For them the Parallel Port Programming Dongle (PPPD in the rest of this topic) is an easy to build and cheap programming-tool. On the internet schematic diagrams can be found easily. But even commercial products, like the STK200 come with a PPPD and they are ready-built available as well.

Note: An other name used for PPPD's is: AVR ISP. A confusing name, as In System Programming ( ISP ) is a common feature of AVR Microcontrollers. And AVR-ISP is used by Atmel and on AVRFreaks for the RS232-programmer with a 90S1200

These PPPD's can cause a lot of headaches and confusion, as there is a problem with these programmers, causing it to fail or function unreliably.

This topic will give you some insight ...... and solutions of course :wink:

March 14, 2006: I posted this topic in the AVR Forum some time ago and as questions about PPPD's keep popping-up, the Moderator of this Tutorial Forum (abcminiuser) invited me to re-post here.

I implemented the suggested improvements as done in the original thread http://www.avrfreaks.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=33265

Solutions to problems with Parallel Port Programming Dongles, STK200/300-programming dongles and alikes.

This time not a Question, just Answers

In the past there have been quite some articles about programming-problems with these dongles and other dongles with a simular design. I am talking about the AVR-programmers with a 74HC244 buffer, on the printer- (or parallel) port of the PC.

Two types of problems:
1 from: "does not recognize chip", ID="some rubbish",
to: it does not work, pls help ....
2 from: It damaged the printerport on my PC
to: it works on one printerport but not on an another

Good suggestions so far:
- Increase the programming-delay
- In BIOS: set printerport to EPP or ECP
- Use a shielded printercable
and other suggestions:
- Buy yourself a better programmer ... it is unreliable
- and some confusing suggestions ... that really do not help.

The story:

A few months ago, I purchased a STK200 with Kanda (UK). The board came with this programming dongle and it worked fine. Until the parallel port on the motherboard of my PC was damaged by the dongle.... Luckily I could fall back on a PCI-card which gave me another parallel port. But I was worried ..., and not pleased ...

For a new project with two Atmel uC's, I needed a second programmer. So I built one. The famous design with the 74HC244. And to suit my needs, I made it with another type of connector for the target-board. IT DID NOT WORK ! Why? Did I make a mistake? No, I did not ...

Hmmm.

In order to program the new targetboard (with the new connector), I made an adapter for the existing and working STK200-programming dongle. And with the new connector it DID NOT WORK EITHER !! Can a connector make the difference?

I was confused .... for a moment. I started searching on the Forums and discovered that I was not the only one ... But suggestions for a solution did not do the trick so far ... I do use a shielded cable, the BIOS-settings are OK, I increased the programming-dalay, etc

I decided to sort this out. And dig it out, .... to the bottom !

To start: I like the design with the HC244. It looks good. Well done, designer! The 74HC244 buffers the signals between PC and targetboard, and isolates the two when the programming is done.
Many people use this interface as it is cheap and easy to build. And is comfortable to use in combination with Bascom AVR.
Note: although some Forum-members claim that it is not supported in AVR-Studio-4 (the beautiful programming-environment from Atmel): sorry guys, that is not true! Kanda supplies a plug-in for AVR-Studio with the STK200 and it works fine! And comfortable.

Edit: From time to time I receive requests via PM, to share the Kanda-plug-in. I will not do that. It's licenced software. Contact Kanda to get your own licence, or use PonyProg to program your AVR's
Plons, May 14, 2006

Back to business:

Q. What makes this dongle unreliable?
A. LONG LINES, my friends!
Fourier, La Place, thank you for the insight. And thanks to my teachers! Although that's some time ago ...
The combination of short rise- and falltimes (high slewrate) on the signals and the (relative) long lines for these frequency-domains (using Fourier and La Place), that is what's making these dongles unreliable.

What I did:
I hooked up an oscilloscope to the SCK-line on the targetboard and it was obvious: RINGING, i.e. oscillations right after a fast transition of the SCK-line.

Q. What happens during programming in the original design?
A. The uC on the targetboard looses synchronization with the programmer. It sees more than one SCK-edge due to the ringing. And that's what I read some time before ... an Application Note from Atmel. AHA. Now things fall in place. The puzzle is complete, and the picture well visible.

I needed to get rid of the high-frequency-components generated by the edges. The trick: a small RC-filter of 0.1 us, made up with a resistor of 1 Kohm and 100 pF capacitor. That's all it takes: one small filter in the SCK-line. I built it into the STK200-dongle and ran some tests: problem solved. No longer dependant of connector/cable.
Built it into the second programming-dongle: works.
Hooked them up to another PC: works.

Let's go to the second problem:
Q. Why did the dongle blow the printerport on the motherboard?
A. I was not carefull enough.

Some explanation is needed here. The dongle is connected to targetboard and PC. Suppose both are powered down. When the targetboard is switched on, and the PC is not, the dongle will force current into the printerport's /Ack-line.
Q. Can that do any harm?
A. Yes!
To understand this, some historical facts about the printerport.
In the original IBM-design, the printerport was made up with a 74LS374 and a 74LS244. To blow that port you really needed to use brute-force. Hook it up to 24 VDC f.i. Wink It was a very rugged design.
Nowadays, the printerport on a motherboard is built-in an ASIC, which has far more functions, but is not as rugged as the original design. The 74HC244 in the dongle can supply 25 mA (guaranteed) on an output-pin, and I am afraid that was too much for the ASIC. The good news is that the rest of the printerport still works OK. But it can no longer be used for this dongle.

So: limit the current in the /Ack-line by inserting a resistor. The other lines are all inputs on the 74HC244 and therefor , basically, need no limiters. However, I do think it's better to insert current-limiters there as well. Why?
Of course we all know that the parallel port and RS232-port are not hot-pluggable .... :wink: , but most of the time I treat them as such. I know, ... bad habbit.
By taking some extra measures, the dongle can be made such, that it will probably not do any harm to plug it in while the PC and/or the target-board are powered (although NOT recommended)

Some FAQ's

Q. Is it necessary to add the filter to MISO and MOSI as well?
A. No. The data on these lines are set-up before the SCK-edge occurs. So even if there is ringing on these lines (and there is !!), it has no effect on the transmission. But: it's a good idea to filter these lines as well.

Q. Is this the ultimate solution?
A. Depends how you look at it. Adding a filter (an analog circuit) to a digital clock-line is something I preferably do not do, .... usually.
But in this case it's the best I could think of, ... in getting a simple solution.
The good thing is that it is not acting as a delay for the clock-pulse: that's a designer's nightmare. All it does is reducing the slewrate of the clock-signal. The best solution .... I'll give it some thought

Q. Could this apply to other programmers as well?
A. I think it does.
- Looking at the design of f.i. the AVR-ISP: the 90S1200 connects to the targetboard with no slewrate limiters at all. And if the cable between programmer and target is short, that will work fine. But Atmel's uC's are PDQ-things and have very short rise- and fall-times on their I/O-pins. So if you're using a longer cable, the same problem might occur.
- Looking at the serial programmer (SI-PROG) from PonyProg: here the problem will NOT occur as in the RS232-specification provisions were made for slewrate-limiting. Clever guys at that time, huh?
- The programmer ZL2PRG on the MCS-site: it looks like it is lacking this filter as well.

Quite some text huh?

As attachments you'll find an ImprovedVersion and an EvenBetter version, in case you're gonna build a new one. I also added a picture of my modified STK200 PPPD

I hope this solves many problems ... in my case it did. Have fun and happy computing .... eh, programming.

Plons

Some additional suggestions and/or recommendations:

1 Do not plug-in or unplug the PPPD from the PC when either PC or targetAVR are powered-on
2 For PPPD to work properly, Vcc of your targetAVR must be 5V
3 If you use the STK200 as target, 3.3V for the AVR is OK as the STK200 has some additionally circuitry to take care of the different levels
4 If you need to disconnect the programmer from your targetAVR, first turn AVR's power down
5 Leave the PPPD connected to the PC; there is no need to unplug it
6 If you're using a ParallelPort extension cable, make sure it's a shielded one, not longer than 1.8 mtr
7 Check your PC-BIOS for ParallelPort setting: EPP or ECP, not SPP
8 Be aware that in the original design of STK200 (and possibly more), the ribbon-cable between PPPD and the target-board is reverse-connected: pin no.1 on one side is NOT pin no.1 on the other side. I am not very fond of these "specials" but changing it NOW could cause even more trouble. So check the connections BEFORE applying power.

Links:
http://www.avrfreaks.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=35048 abcminiuser made a programmer from a Butterfly: he's a magician ...
http://www.lancos.com/prog.html PonyProg website
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/DOC0943.PDF Atmel AVR910 Application Note

Nard

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Although I have a USB-programming dongle (came in yesterday), this PPPD is still my favourite. It's fast, and as long as you stick to the "recommendations", it's a good programmer.

There was one thing though that bothered me: I had to lower the resistor in the /Ack-line from 1 kOhm to 180 Ohm because of the pull-up in the PC's Parallel Port.
I've come up with the following solution: replace the 180 Ohm with a BC547 and 3 resistors of 10 kOhm. (choice of transistor-type not critical, almost any general purpose small signal NPN-transistor will do)
The circuit might look a bit weird at first glance, but it works. :roll:

I'll be honest with you: I didn't test it. I simply stick to the rule: don't plug / unplug from PC when powered-up.

I have two requests:
1. If you're in the process of building an Even Better PPPD, go for the version of March 30 2006, and let us know the outcome
2. If you are an experienced user of a schematic-entry program, please be so kind to redraw the schematic.

Plons

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Additional info: I spoke with KKP about this (in an other thread), and he recommended the use of 330 ohms / 330 pF for the anti-ringing. That is IMO a good improvement because of this: if there is some more capacitive load on the ISP-lines (target-side), f.i. an LCD sharing the same lines, the 1 kOhm might be too high for reliable operation.

It would be nice if the schematic was redrawn ..... so I repeat my requests:

1. If you're in the process of building an Even Better PPPD, go for the version of March 30 2006 with the 330 / 330, and let us know the outcome
2. If you are familiar with some schematic-entry program, please be so kind to redraw the schematic and post it here.

I could do al this myself of course, but doing things together is much nicer.

Regards

Plons

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hi guys, this is my first scheme so if there is anything wrong about it please report to me, I will use this to create an autorouted PCB, thanks in advance[/img]

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For now , autorouted PCB looks like this, I couldn't get less jumpers so I added some pads and traces to be able to work with jumpers at "74hc244" and "pin header" leads

does it look ok to you?

thanks again

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Thanks for your work here ! What program did you use ? Eagle, ExpressSch ?

I had a look at it, and here are some recommendations:
Schematic: R17 R18 and R19 : should be 330 ohm as well. Schematic is a bit hard to read; the vertical lines are very close together.
For the ISP-connector: have another look in the library of your program, and see if you can find a better one. Adding signal-names would help as well. But heh, for a first time .... well done !

Layout: in single-layer layouts, jumpers are not unusual; the one on the right will be difficult to put in, as the connector is occupying the pin. And the auto-router didn't know what to do with R12 to shield of the subD

Keep up the good work

Plons

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Plons wrote:
Thanks for your work here ! What program did you use ? Eagle, ExpressSch ?

I had a look at it, and here are some recommendations:
Schematic: R17 R18 and R19 : should be 330 ohm as well. Schematic is a bit hard to read; the vertical lines are very close together.
For the ISP-connector: have another look in the library of your program, and see if you can find a better one. Adding signal-names would help as well. But heh, for a first time .... well done !

Layout: in single-layer layouts, jumpers are not unusual; the one on the right will be difficult to put in, as the connector is occupying the pin. And the auto-router didn't know what to do with R12 to shield of the subD

Keep up the good work

Plons

thanks for the comments, I'm working on a better one now, when it's finished I'll post it here...

I used a program called diptrace for this, I tried eagle but I couldn't find a 25 pin connector in library so I switched... anyway diptrace seems good enough for now, if you have any suggestions for software, I can try because like I said it's my first time and since I'm learning it's better to start with a recommended software ;)

thanks again

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Many folks on AVRfreaks use Eagle. So from compatibility point of view that's a good idea.
I prefer ExpressSch, as it is far more intuitive to use (IMO, guys !!)
Can be found at expresspcb.com

Plons

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In Eagle, the D connectors are in the library 'con-subd'.

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Plons wrote:
1. If you're in the process of building an Even Better PPPD, go for the version of March 30 2006, and let us know the outcome

I built one!... and out of all the dongles I've put together.. this one works. Tested with avrdude. Used it to re-flash my AVR Butterfly.

I wipped it together on a piece of stripboard...

I've got a couple of suggestions if someone is going to put together an application note on building this:

1. Don't assume the builder knows they have to power the Target AVR for it to work.. I didn't. It took me a while to figure it out (I'm a newbie).

2. Also.. I had a few basic problems with GND. I popped an LDO 5v regulator on my board to drive the VDD line (to the buffer and the AVR). The 5v reg was driven by an external wall-supply.. Originally the circuit GND for the dongle ended at the parallel port, and the GND for the target AVR ended at the Voltage Reg, both seperate. Obviously this didn't work ( you can tell I'm a newbie :) ). I soon realised that I needed to common all the grounds to the parallel port. After which everything sprung into life. It would be nice for a few instruction to this effect in an app. note.

Thanks for the design guys.. I used to play around with PIC chips (urgh.) and ended up buying a £100 programmer for them (it was a while ago!) and you've saved me having to buy one for AVR's... Most appreciated.

Phil.

"If they did that in Manchester, they'd be chinned"

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Quote:
I soon realised that I needed to common all the grounds to the parallel port. After which everything sprung into life. It would be nice for a few instruction to this effect in an app. note.

what do you mean by that, (yes I'm a newbie too :D)

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Phil, if I understand you correctly, you built the one with the extra transistor ?!
Good to hear that it works. Thanks for letting it know.

Being a newbie, you'll encounter more newbie-problems. Don't be alarmed .... it's SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) ... it's part of the game.

Happy computing you both

Plons
(building a new programmer based on a Butterfly and Dean's ButtLoad)

Dragon broken ? Or problems with the Parallel Port Programmer ? Scroll down on my projects-page http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/TechStuff.html for tips

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Plons wrote:
Phil, if I understand you correctly, you built the one with the extra transistor ?!
Good to hear that it works. Thanks for letting it know.

Yep, the one with the extra transistor, and I added a V.Reg as well. I also used the 330/300 combination with the resistor/capacitors.

Cheers.

Phil.

"If they did that in Manchester, they'd be chinned"

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Wait... you added a V.Reg? Are you powering the dongle and supplying ISP port power "to" the programming board?

pw

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pwillard wrote:
Wait... you added a V.Reg? Are you powering the dongle and supplying ISP port power "to" the programming board?

The V.Reg drives the dongle AND the Target AVR, yes.

Phil.

"If they did that in Manchester, they'd be chinned"

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Quote:
The V.Reg drives the dongle AND the Target AVR, yes.

How do you power the target AVR after you disconnect the dongle?

IMO, the correct way is that the dongle should be powered by the target AVR circuit.

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Russel wrote:
Quote:
The V.Reg drives the dongle AND the Target AVR, yes.

How do you power the target AVR after you disconnect the dongle?

IMO, the correct way is that the dongle should be powered by the target AVR circuit.

OK.. maybe I'm not explaining this quite right..
The 5v output from the V.REG goes to the VDD line to the 'right' of the diode on the dongle circuit. So power is applied to both the buffer and the target AVR. The VDD to the target AVR is sent down the 'cable'.. so when I've finished programming, the removal of the 'cable' disconnects the VDD from the AVR.

Does this make more sense?

Cheers.
Phil.

"If they did that in Manchester, they'd be chinned"

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I'm sorry if this is out of topic.
it's too bad I don't read this thread before, cause now my parallel port is damaged. maybe its because I often plug and unplug my dongle when pc is on. now I decided to use serial port to continue my work with avr and I found si-prog from ponyprog. There is one ic lm2936 on that circuit but in my region that ic is not available, and there's notes that this ic shouldn't be replaced by lm7805, why is that? It's possible to substitute lm2936 with lm2931? cause only lm2931 is available in my region. And its more expensive than lm7805. Thanks for help. Sorry for my language, i don't used to with english.

There's no such as destiny, there are only different choices.

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denidoank wrote:
There is one ic lm2936 on that circuit but in my region that ic is not available, and there's notes that this ic shouldn't be replaced by lm7805, why is that?

The LM2936 is an LDO (Low Dropout) Regulator and Surface mount. LDO's are excellent for battery operated solutions as they the can regulate very close to the input voltage.. standard regulators need a few volts difference.. ie.. 8-9V input for a 5V output. Where as an LDO can go to about .2/.5v from the input.. ie.. 5.5V input for a 5V output..

Well that's the way I understand it..

I don't see why you couldn't use a different regulator as long as it'll do the job, supply sufficient current (don't as me how much, I don't know), and has minimal ripple.

Anyone else have any other reasons?

Cheers.
Phil.

"If they did that in Manchester, they'd be chinned"

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pquinton wrote:
I don't see why you couldn't use a different regulator as long as it'll do the job, supply sufficient current (don't as me how much, I don't know), and has minimal ripple.

Anyone else have any other reasons?

Cheers.
Phil.


As long as its a LDO it should be fine. Another reason is less bias current, a 7805 uses 10's of mA while a LDO is usually uA's.

and I believe the serial port can source 20mA of current.

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japroach wrote:
As long as its a LDO it should be fine. Another reason is less bias current, a 7805 uses 10's of mA while a LDO is usually uA's.

and I believe the serial port can source 20mA of current.

Ah, that explains it then. If you source the the supply from the serial port, you are going to need an LDO.

Cheers. Phil.

"If they did that in Manchester, they'd be chinned"

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I did a programmer for my atmega8 based on http://www.lancos.com/e2p/betterSTK200.gif and the programmer didn´t work. I got the "Device missing or unknow device (-24)" error.

My parallel port is ECP and I can´t figure out why this can´t work!

Maybe I´m wrong with some capacitors.
Please somebody can give me some ideas?

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Goredaimon, pls read back in this thread; Lancos.com copied the suggested circuit as published here, and did not look back. Some components were changed to cope with different types of parallel ports

Plons

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I'm part way into designing my board to replace my STK200.

Here's a sample of my board so far. It still needs to be double checked for accuracy.

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Pwillard, I had a quick look at the board: 33 pF should be 330 pF ( 3 times )
I'm missing 1k from Gnd to shield of the subD 25 pole connector.

Nice job.

Plons

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Quote:
Goredaimon, pls read back in this thread; Lancos.com copied the suggested circuit as published here, and did not look back. Some components were changed to cope with different types of parallel ports

Plons

Plons, where I can find a great circuit for AVR ATMEGA programming? Do you know where my project lacks?

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Quote:
Plons, where I can find a great circuit for AVR ATMEGA programming? Do you know where my project lacks?

Please be more specific

Plons

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Hi, I think that I have same problem as Goredaimon, and I will be very thankfull if you wrote me exactly which schematic would I to use, because I'm misoriented in it.
Thank you very much, and please excuse my bad english :D

The working of integrated circuits is based on smoke -- when smoke flow out, they stop working :)

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Quote:
I will be very thankfull if you wrote me exactly which schematic

How about reading this thread first, and then ask a specific question if something is unclear.

Plons

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Hi Plons... it's sounds easy "read this thread first"... but my english skills is not enought to understand everything about these technical problems... but I keep trying :) ... I decided to make version from cb951303 (posted Aug 09, 2006 - 09:52 PM) and I believe that it will be okey.
If you want, I post there my circuit board design when it will be done.

see you soon :D

The working of integrated circuits is based on smoke -- when smoke flow out, they stop working :)

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I'd like to report about successful dongle building.

Schematics is like pwillard posted Sep 17, 2006 - 10:30 PM with Plons notes posted Sep 17, 2006 - 10:44 PM.

Works fine with my laptop through 1.8 shielded cable from laptop to dongle and ~30cm cable from dongle to test board.

BIG THANKS to everyone, who helped newbies like me to build nice dongle :)

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i'm totally confused. i built one pppd using a 74ls245. initially it did work but now its not working. i'm a newbie and am totally confused.i'm unable debug my pppd. so i'm planning to build a new one.but here too there are lots of schematics and am not sure which to build.

any suggestions.

am using cv avr for programming and pony prog to write the program. which are the fuse bits needed to be programmed for a 4MHz crystal,using pony prog. :?

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my mc is an ATmega16L.

also can anyone suggest how to connect and program a wheel encoder.

plz reply quickly.

my parallel port seems to be ok and is set at ecp. :?

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just build the improved_pppd_mod_march_4_2006 it works best on my computers (32 bit ones).

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sarvoavr wrote:

Quote:
i'm totally confused. i built one pppd using a 74ls245
And what if you use the 74HC244 like it says in the schematic ?

Dragon broken ? Or problems with the Parallel Port Programmer ? Scroll down on my projects-page http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/TechStuff.html for tips

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i did build the even better schematic and that too isn't working.

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and were you using 74HC244?
It WILL work! where did you connect the RC filters? they must be before the wires to the AVR not after; must be between AVR and 74HC244.

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Quote:

am using cv avr for programming and pony prog to write the program. which are the fuse bits needed to be programmed for a 4MHz crystal,using pony prog. Confused

Have you attempted to use cvavr's inbuilt programming interface which supports the stk200/300/500 lpt/serial programmers and many more ,this will give you a better picture of fuse settings etc etc.

Good Luck
Stephen

Codevisionavr & Avrstudio 4.18
Easyavr5A-Jtagicemk1

Call me Pedantic, But not after 9.

if Milk_Brilliant
else Codevision_Avrs==Better

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Well, my cable is one of the basic ones.
As you can see, the resistors are rather high. This puts a low limit on the programming speed, but adds a lot in protection. I also dimensioned them in order to tolerate an AVR powered at levels as low as 3.3V and, in fact, I do a lot of programming of AVR's powered as low as 2.4V. All lines have resistors for protection.
My latest addition was the capacitor, which provides top reliability as already described in this thread.
The cable as it is in the schematics currently provides me total reliability, although it programs slowly (I'm using around 512bytes/s). Looking at the wave in the scope I would say it could be used up to ~200Kbit/s.
The cable is a DB25 conector and 60cm of flat ribbon-cable.
I hot-plug the cable PC all the time, but since it has big resistors and is totally passive, I guess no big problems...

Attachment(s): 

Embedded Dreams
One day, knowledge will replace money.

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Hello folks,

I've also built last version of the improved PPPD (with 330 Ohm-330pF RC filter), it works great for me! For anyone interested, I am attaching the Eagle .brd file (this extension being not allowed, you'll have to rename attached file), comments are welcome since this is the first time I use Eagle. I've added an extra LED to monitor the programmer activity. The only thing missing on the board is the 1k resistor from Gnd to shield of the subD 25 pole connector.

aleks

Plons wrote:
Phil, if I understand you correctly, you built the one with the extra transistor ?!
Good to hear that it works. Thanks for letting it know.

Being a newbie, you'll encounter more newbie-problems. Don't be alarmed .... it's SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) ... it's part of the game.

Happy computing you both

Plons
(building a new programmer based on a Butterfly and Dean's ButtLoad)

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Hi all,
I want to share my problem about PPPD.
About three years ago I built my own development board for AVR using ATMega8535 as core. Because I want to see ports condition so I attached led series with resistor to every pin in active low mode (i.e if pin is 0 then led will turn on). To download program to my dev board I use Ponyprog with paralel dongle like in this thread but without protection. At first down load, it work well, and I used this board to make same project. After that I never used this board again until yesterday I need to use this board to support my project. So I make some program in AVR Studio an try to down load it with Ponyprog. But then some message appear indicate that my board is not known. I check my dongle and its fine but my parallel port is broken. So I do search about parallel dongle and find this thread from Lancos site. I regret that I'm not read this thread before. I loaned my board to my friend and it seem that he used my board not carefully and made my parallel port damaged. Because there no other parallel port so I built serial dongle as shown in Lancos site. I try this but it is not work. Then I made modification as suggested in this thread to my old parallel dongle. But the result is the same, its not work. Lucky me there is oscilloscope in my lab. I look at MOSI pin and SCK pin and it seem its fine since there are signals out from this pin but then i see that SCK signal is different from MOSI signal. SCK signal never get to zero voltage meanwhile MOSI signal in 0 to 5 Volt. Then I cut the Led in SCK pin and after I try again I found that SCK signal is like MOSI signal in 0 to 5 Volt. And the good news is my board can be used again. There's no device unknown message again.
Well its all that I can share, I hope other member not make the same mistake like I do. Don't put Led like I do in sck pin, maybe this make some pull up in this line, so the signal is never get to zero voltage.
Btw, I made modification like in improved_pppd_mod_march_4_2006.jpg. With this dongle, it is safe to unplug the dongle while the PC is on?
Thanks to Nard for this tutorial

Deni

ps: sorry for my bad english, I always confuse about using past tense, present tense and other tense.
:oops: :roll:

There's no such as destiny, there are only different choices.

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Hi, denidoank

Quote:
Btw, I made modification like in improved_pppd_mod_march_4_2006.jpg. With this dongle, it is safe to unplug the dongle while the PC is on?
It is never safe to plug/unplug the dongle. The Parallel Port is not designed for that. The version you mention (March 4) has no protection for the PC.
If you want to keep using the PPPD, I recommend you build or modify the one you have to the "Even Better PPPD mod March 30 2006.jpg". That one is pretty safe for the PC. And has all the other features.

Nard

Dragon broken ? Or problems with the Parallel Port Programmer ? Scroll down on my projects-page http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/TechStuff.html for tips

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Ok then, I'll build that PPPD.
Ok, how about unplug the board but not the dongle? It is still dangerous?

There's no such as destiny, there are only different choices.

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Unplugging the board ? I do that all the time. And never found a problem with that. And I see no technical reason for a possible damage.

Short: yes, it's safe :)

Dragon broken ? Or problems with the Parallel Port Programmer ? Scroll down on my projects-page http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/TechStuff.html for tips

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Plons wrote:
Newbies on AVR rarely start off with a fully equipped programming environment. For them the Parallel Port Programming Dongle (PPPD in the rest of this topic) is an easy to build and cheap programming-tool. On the internet schematic diagrams can be found easily. But even commercial products, like the STK200 come with a PPPD and they are ready-built available as well.

Note: An other name used for PPPD's is: AVR ISP. A confusing name, as In System Programming ( ISP ) is a common feature of AVR Microcontrollers. And AVR-ISP is used by Atmel and on AVRFreaks for the RS232-programmer with a 90S1200

These PPPD's can cause a lot of headaches and confusion, as there is a problem with these programmers, causing it to fail or function unreliably.

This topic will give you some insight ...... and solutions of course :wink:

March 14, 2006: I posted this topic in the AVR Forum some time ago and as questions about PPPD's keep popping-up, the Moderator of this Tutorial Forum (abcminiuser) invited me to re-post here.

I implemented the suggested improvements as done in the original thread http://www.avrfreaks.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=33265

Solutions to problems with Parallel Port Programming Dongles, STK200/300-programming dongles and alikes.

This time not a Question, just Answers

In the past there have been quite some articles about programming-problems with these dongles and other dongles with a simular design. I am talking about the AVR-programmers with a 74HC244 buffer, on the printer- (or parallel) port of the PC.

Two types of problems:
1 from: "does not recognize chip", ID="some rubbish",
to: it does not work, pls help ....
2 from: It damaged the printerport on my PC
to: it works on one printerport but not on an another

Good suggestions so far:
- Increase the programming-delay
- In BIOS: set printerport to EPP or ECP
- Use a shielded printercable
and other suggestions:
- Buy yourself a better programmer ... it is unreliable
- and some confusing suggestions ... that really do not help.

The story:

A few months ago, I purchased a STK200 with Kanda (UK). The board came with this programming dongle and it worked fine. Until the parallel port on the motherboard of my PC was damaged by the dongle.... Luckily I could fall back on a PCI-card which gave me another parallel port. But I was worried ..., and not pleased ...

For a new project with two Atmel uC's, I needed a second programmer. So I built one. The famous design with the 74HC244. And to suit my needs, I made it with another type of connector for the target-board. IT DID NOT WORK ! Why? Did I make a mistake? No, I did not ...

Hmmm.

In order to program the new targetboard (with the new connector), I made an adapter for the existing and working STK200-programming dongle. And with the new connector it DID NOT WORK EITHER !! Can a connector make the difference?

I was confused .... for a moment. I started searching on the Forums and discovered that I was not the only one ... But suggestions for a solution did not do the trick so far ... I do use a shielded cable, the BIOS-settings are OK, I increased the programming-dalay, etc

I decided to sort this out. And dig it out, .... to the bottom !

To start: I like the design with the HC244. It looks good. Well done, designer! The 74HC244 buffers the signals between PC and targetboard, and isolates the two when the programming is done.
Many people use this interface as it is cheap and easy to build. And is comfortable to use in combination with Bascom AVR.
Note: although some Forum-members claim that it is not supported in AVR-Studio-4 (the beautiful programming-environment from Atmel): sorry guys, that is not true! Kanda supplies a plug-in for AVR-Studio with the STK200 and it works fine! And comfortable.

Edit: From time to time I receive requests via PM, to share the Kanda-plug-in. I will not do that. It's licenced software. Contact Kanda to get your own licence, or use PonyProg to program your AVR's
Plons, May 14, 2006

Back to business:

Q. What makes this dongle unreliable?
A. LONG LINES, my friends!
Fourier, La Place, thank you for the insight. And thanks to my teachers! Although that's some time ago ...
The combination of short rise- and falltimes (high slewrate) on the signals and the (relative) long lines for these frequency-domains (using Fourier and La Place), that is what's making these dongles unreliable.

What I did:
I hooked up an oscilloscope to the SCK-line on the targetboard and it was obvious: RINGING, i.e. oscillations right after a fast transition of the SCK-line.

Q. What happens during programming in the original design?
A. The uC on the targetboard looses synchronization with the programmer. It sees more than one SCK-edge due to the ringing. And that's what I read some time before ... an Application Note from Atmel. AHA. Now things fall in place. The puzzle is complete, and the picture well visible.

I needed to get rid of the high-frequency-components generated by the edges. The trick: a small RC-filter of 0.1 us, made up with a resistor of 1 Kohm and 100 pF capacitor. That's all it takes: one small filter in the SCK-line. I built it into the STK200-dongle and ran some tests: problem solved. No longer dependant of connector/cable.
Built it into the second programming-dongle: works.
Hooked them up to another PC: works.

Let's go to the second problem:
Q. Why did the dongle blow the printerport on the motherboard?
A. I was not carefull enough.

Some explanation is needed here. The dongle is connected to targetboard and PC. Suppose both are powered down. When the targetboard is switched on, and the PC is not, the dongle will force current into the printerport's /Ack-line.
Q. Can that do any harm?
A. Yes!
To understand this, some historical facts about the printerport.
In the original IBM-design, the printerport was made up with a 74LS374 and a 74LS244. To blow that port you really needed to use brute-force. Hook it up to 24 VDC f.i. Wink It was a very rugged design.
Nowadays, the printerport on a motherboard is built-in an ASIC, which has far more functions, but is not as rugged as the original design. The 74HC244 in the dongle can supply 25 mA (guaranteed) on an output-pin, and I am afraid that was too much for the ASIC. The good news is that the rest of the printerport still works OK. But it can no longer be used for this dongle.

So: limit the current in the /Ack-line by inserting a resistor. The other lines are all inputs on the 74HC244 and therefor , basically, need no limiters. However, I do think it's better to insert current-limiters there as well. Why?
Of course we all know that the parallel port and RS232-port are not hot-pluggable .... :wink: , but most of the time I treat them as such. I know, ... bad habbit.
By taking some extra measures, the dongle can be made such, that it will probably not do any harm to plug it in while the PC and/or the target-board are powered (although NOT recommended)

Some FAQ's

Q. Is it necessary to add the filter to MISO and MOSI as well?
A. No. The data on these lines are set-up before the SCK-edge occurs. So even if there is ringing on these lines (and there is !!), it has no effect on the transmission. But: it's a good idea to filter these lines as well.

Q. Is this the ultimate solution?
A. Depends how you look at it. Adding a filter (an analog circuit) to a digital clock-line is something I preferably do not do, .... usually.
But in this case it's the best I could think of, ... in getting a simple solution.
The good thing is that it is not acting as a delay for the clock-pulse: that's a designer's nightmare. All it does is reducing the slewrate of the clock-signal. The best solution .... I'll give it some thought

Q. Could this apply to other programmers as well?
A. I think it does.
- Looking at the design of f.i. the AVR-ISP: the 90S1200 connects to the targetboard with no slewrate limiters at all. And if the cable between programmer and target is short, that will work fine. But Atmel's uC's are PDQ-things and have very short rise- and fall-times on their I/O-pins. So if you're using a longer cable, the same problem might occur.
- Looking at the serial programmer (SI-PROG) from PonyProg: here the problem will NOT occur as in the RS232-specification provisions were made for slewrate-limiting. Clever guys at that time, huh?
- The programmer ZL2PRG on the MCS-site: it looks like it is lacking this filter as well.

Quite some text huh?

As attachments you'll find an ImprovedVersion and an EvenBetter version, in case you're gonna build a new one. I also added a picture of my modified STK200 PPPD

I hope this solves many problems ... in my case it did. Have fun and happy computing .... eh, programming.

Plons

Some additional suggestions and/or recommendations:

1 Do not plug-in or unplug the PPPD from the PC when either PC or targetAVR are powered-on
2 For PPPD to work properly, Vcc of your targetAVR must be 5V
3 If you use the STK200 as target, 3.3V for the AVR is OK as the STK200 has some additionally circuitry to take care of the different levels
4 If you need to disconnect the programmer from your targetAVR, first turn AVR's power down
5 Leave the PPPD connected to the PC; there is no need to unplug it
6 If you're using a ParallelPort extension cable, make sure it's a shielded one, not longer than 1.8 mtr
7 Check your PC-BIOS for ParallelPort setting: EPP or ECP, not SPP
8 Be aware that in the original design of STK200 (and possibly more), the ribbon-cable between PPPD and the target-board is reverse-connected: pin no.1 on one side is NOT pin no.1 on the other side. I am not very fond of these "specials" but changing it NOW could cause even more trouble. So check the connections BEFORE applying power.

Links:
http://www.avrfreaks.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=35048 abcminiuser made a programmer from a Butterfly: he's a magician ...
http://www.lancos.com/prog.html PonyProg website
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/DOC0943.PDF Atmel AVR910 Application Note

Nard

Hi, I'm new in this forum and also in "programming avr micros". I recently bought an atmega8 and i started doing a circuit. I use kicad (that i recommend) in linux, and also is for windows, and i manage to made a nice design and then build my pcb. I'm not an engenering, i'm a computer science student and electronics it's my hobby.

So, that was about me, and a little introduction to myself, to be polite. Now, the thing is, this schematic about the pppd would allow me to program my atmega8?

I've tried without succes, the parallel direct mode. The device is missing and i cannot program it (i use ponyprog). One thing that call my atention was that this circuit has an 12mhz crystal oscilator, isn't that much? Well, i'm really tired for searching and searching for a programmer. As you may already know, i'm not from USA or CANADA, and i'm my country (Argentina) i cannot find in stores all the things that you do. So to buy is too complicated and expensive! The sipping is a plus.

Thats why i decided to build my own programer. I dont want to bother anyone, with the repeated scene: "the n00b asking for help" and things like that. The truth is that i'm really tired of searching and DOING without any positive results!

Who can tell me what programmer really works with the atmega8? As i already said, i try an ISP standard, from here: http://www.bsdhome.com/avrdude and ponyprog report device missing and i cannot write. And maybe i should try a not ISP programmer, in that case, anyone can tell me on doing one?

Well, i apologizes myself for this request but i cannot find anything that really works (maybe my atmega8 is dead)

Thanks,

lapacho

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I think, if you build correctly the PPPD described in this thread there will be no problem. Read all the post carefully. If there's still a problem maybe you should check your AVR.

Deni

There's no such as destiny, there are only different choices.

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Hi Lapacho

Welcome here. Not many freaks from Argentina, so a double welcome :)
So far, all members here who built the PPPD and use Ponyprog or AVRdude, have managed to get positive results.

Quote:
I've tried without succes, the parallel direct mode. The device is missing and i cannot program it (i use ponyprog). One thing that call my atention was that this circuit has an 12mhz crystal oscilator, isn't that much?
Now it's my turn to be confused: the programmer doesn't have a crystal ! Your targetAVR (in your case the Mega8) may have that crystal.

Let's get things straight: you need some hardware to program the Mega8 (and many others ;) ), AND you need software: that can be either PonyProg OR AVRdude.

I suggest that you post here your Mega8 design, the schematic of the programmer-hardware, and a clear statement of the software you use. Then we can have a look at it, and give you appropriate advice.

Nard

Dragon broken ? Or problems with the Parallel Port Programmer ? Scroll down on my projects-page http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/TechStuff.html for tips

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Hi plons, and thanks to be welcomed :)

My poor english maybe get you confused, i was trying to say that my circuit has an 12 mhz crystal, not the programmer. To be straight the little "project" that i'm building is the mjoy8 (because de mjoy16 use an atmega that i cannot find in my country) by Mindaugas. I dont put his url because it's down, but you can find in flightsim at:

http://www.flightsim.com/cgi/kds?$=main/howto/mind.htm

I managed to make the design as i said, with kicad. The programmer in the article it's very simple. Only a few wires and 4 resistor, conected to the parallel port pins 6,7,9 and 10 (and obviosly gnd) to the SCK, MOSI, ¬RESET and MISO atmega's lines. What i'm learning is that this type of programmer is called an In-System Programmer (ISP) because you don't need to remove (in case if you have a socket) your micro and you can program it in situ. My remarks in the crystal came because my little knowledge about this topic make me thing in that the crystal is used for the timings when programming, and thats why you can do an ISP without a crystal (please, correct if i'm wrong).

So, if you want me to post my schematics and pcb board i'll do, but the schematic it's the same that the url page have. Also i can show a photo of my design :).

One last thing. Using a tester (multimeter) i test the pin 10 for voltage, and it's in high (with 5v), and the pin 10 is connected to the ¬RESET. I read the avr910 doc and it seems that it's ok to have 5v in the pin 10 because the reset it's inversed and, when it's active (low) the micro enters the Serial Programming mode.

Well, now i just made an order for building the pppd with 330/330. I think that the components will arrive in a few days, and then i'll try with this, but if it fails i surrender!, because i'm getting really tired to fail, it's dissapointing :(

thanks to you too denidoank,

lapacho

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Quote:
but if it fails i surrender!, because i'm getting really tired to fail, it's dissapointing
The start is the hardest. You'll get there ... it just takes some time. And once you have built your own multi-axis joystick you'll be proud and get a warm feeling each time you land the Boeing succesfully :)

For the programming the Xtal of 12 MHz is not important. Your new Mega8 will have the fuses set for internal RC oscillator 1 MHz. That's fine.

Two notes on Mindaugaus' schematic:
1. you'll need 22 pF capacitors from the Xtal-pins to ground. For some reason they are missing in the schematic.
2. Put a resistor of 10k from /Reset to Vcc. That's missing too.

Mindaugaus did a proper documentation of this joystick. You'll find that it's a great help as he describes the steps. The type of programmer with just a few wires and a few resistors is not my, hmmm, favorite. So many people got disappointed in the first steps of their AVR-adventure because of this. And the reason? I didn't write that tutorial just for fun .....

If this is your one and only AVR-project, the full-blown PPPD is still a very low-cost programming tool. It's protecting your PC as well.
If you plan to do some more serious AVR-work, I recommend a proper programmer.

ISP stands for In System Programming. And that's indeed what you wanna do here. During programming, /Reset is kept low by the programmer.

:?: Are you powering the Mega8 with 5V during programming ? Because that's a necessaty. I wouldn't recommend to use the USB yet .... things may get confusing for AVR and PC and you. OTOH, Mindaugaus did it succesfully :)

I hope you get it going.

No need btw, to post schematic or so anymore. The link and your answer were sufficient. But a nice picture of your working Mjoy is appreciated !
Just come back here if it doesn't work.

Nard

Dragon broken ? Or problems with the Parallel Port Programmer ? Scroll down on my projects-page http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/TechStuff.html for tips

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Before continue writting, i really appreciate your enthusiasm and you give the strong to continue, really, thanks!

Plons wrote:
Two notes on Mindaugaus' schematic:
1. you'll need 22 pF capacitors from the Xtal-pins to ground. For some reason they are missing in the schematic.
2. Put a resistor of 10k from /Reset to Vcc. That's missing too.

Well, the complete schematic isn't there in the page, i've just checked. When mindaugaus page was working i've downloaded the schematics, and he put two 15pf between the crystal. I dont have any page to upload the schematic and my design (i want to share because i also have a 3d view of it :-) )

Quote:

:?: Are you powering the Mega8 with 5V during programming ? Because that's a necessaty. I wouldn't recommend to use the USB yet .... things may get confusing for AVR and PC and you. OTOH, Mindaugaus did it succesfully :)

Well, i use the usb power, and i also test (with the multimeter) the voltage and it was fine, 4.7V-5V was the results.

Quote:

I hope you get it going.

Thanks!!

Quote:

No need btw, to post schematic or so anymore. The link and your answer were sufficient. But a nice picture of your working Mjoy is appreciated !
Just come back here if it doesn't work.

I'll show you when i finish the job!

Now, waiting for the components to arrive to build the programmer you share! Thanks a lot!

lapacho

edit: I discover that i can attach files! :) so here they are...

Attachment(s): 

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I had a close look at your layout. A few questions:
1. Is C1 is connected to ground ? Seems like not. The board needs at least 10uF
2. How gets the Mega8 its 5V power ? I see no track for that. Same for ground ...
3. Where is the inductor between Vcc and AVcc ?? AVcc needs to be within 0.2 V from Vcc
4. The PPPD needs power from this board to operate. Your current 5 pin connector doesn't supply Vcc.

Did you build the board already ?

The 15 pF cap's on the Xtal-pins will probably work fine. There is also some stray-capacitance to bring in the rest.
The internal pull-up is 50k IIRC. I strongly suggest to add 10k from /Reset to Vcc.

What is the length of the wires of your Mindaugas' programmer?

Nice pictures. The 3D rendering looks cool.

Nard

Edit: typo's and: Is the Mega8 a brandnew one or has it been used before ?

Dragon broken ? Or problems with the Parallel Port Programmer ? Scroll down on my projects-page http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/TechStuff.html for tips

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