new to avr - advice please

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haunaben wrote:
DrStein99 wrote:

Quote:
The butterfly looks nice, but I'm not interested in that; is that chip soldered in? I would like a programmer where I can remove the chips and use them in my applications.

Yes, it's an all-in-one package. It's a great demo unit and good for learning the basics (and a very cheap and tidy solution for someone that just wants to learn a bit about microcontrollers), but not really re-useable in building your own things.

I'm using one to control 16 relays in a test fixture a battery charger assembly line, and another to measure 4 test voltages used in calibrating the battery chargers. One guy here at AVRFreaks is using 23 Butterflies on an assembly line. There are MP3 players, automobile ignition contollers, Data Loggers and just all kinds of places these things are used in.

Smiley

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I have a few dev boards (for a variety of reasons) but the only one I definietely wouldn't want to lose is my STK500 :)

If all you want to do is dip your toes in the water, the butterfly is amazing value, and smiley (above) even gets you up and running without buying his entire book... there's an online chapter :)

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The price of an avr chip is like $2 or $3; so if whatever I buy doesnt come with the chips then I wont go broke ordering them separate.

I will however, not know if I will have a need or use for all the features on the stk500.

What I would like is a 20 pin programmer development board with possibly a header for testing, and whatever standard led's or relays or switches built into it; for at most - half the price of a stk500.

The pic programmer I use is 18 pins, and has just about nothing on it and I've gotten by with that by making my own test boards w/ header sockets.

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smileymicros wrote:
DrStein99 wrote:
I have bad habbits of burning and breaking stuff while I learn.

Smoke, fire, and shrapnel are excellent motivators to learning. Yesterday we blew up a 180 volt diode on a test fixture. "What's that smell?" followed immediately be a 'crack' and then me diving for the power switch. Just another day at the office.

Smiley

We've got a guy who likes to start jumpering out things when a piece of equipment goes down at work.

Eariler this week we had a $5,000,000.00 dough mixer go down. This guy started jumping things and something poped. Four days and, more then $100,000.00 later, we got to the original problem - an access door safety switch. I don't think this guy will be with us very long.

So Joe, do we nick-name you "Smokey" or "Sparkey":

Anyway, I think "Smokey Joe" sounds better then "Sparkey Joe"!

Matbe that should be "Smiley Smokey Joe"!

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

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We all know Smokey's name is Smokey. I've been using that for ages! Thankfully the internet doesn't give him the opportunity to come to my house and kick me in the junk in person.

Isn't internet tourmenting fun? :D

- Dean :twisted:

Make Atmel Studio better with my free extensions. Open source and feedback welcome!

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smileymicros wrote:
haunaben wrote:
DrStein99 wrote:

The butterfly looks nice, but I'm not interested in that; is that chip soldered in? I would like a programmer where I can remove the chips and use them in my applications.

Yes, it's an all-in-one package. It's a great demo unit and good for learning the basics (and a very cheap and tidy solution for someone that just wants to learn a bit about microcontrollers), but not really re-useable in building your own things.

I'm using one to control 16 relays in a test fixture a battery charger assembly line, and another to measure 4 test voltages used in calibrating the battery chargers. One guy here at AVRFreaks is using 23 Butterflies on an assembly line. There are MP3 players, automobile ignition contollers, Data Loggers and just all kinds of places these things are used in.

Smiley

Yes, I suppose you can interface it to whatever you want and thus it has more use than just a demo unit. What I was getting at though was that the AVR in the butterfly is not a DIP package and cannot be removed to use elsewhere.

It's still a good deal considering everything you get (just the LCD is worth it), if that's what you need ... but unless someone just wants to experiement for little investment or has a specific re-use need for the butterfly featuers I'd still reccomend starting out with the stk500 or some other programmer / dev board combo (or at least just a programmer, an AVR, and a prot board).

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haunaben wrote:
smileymicros wrote:
haunaben wrote:
DrStein99 wrote:

The butterfly looks nice, but I'm not interested in that; is that chip soldered in? I would like a programmer where I can remove the chips and use them in my applications.

Yes, it's an all-in-one package. It's a great demo unit and good for learning the basics (and a very cheap and tidy solution for someone that just wants to learn a bit about microcontrollers), but not really re-useable in building your own things.

I'm using one to control 16 relays in a test fixture a battery charger assembly line, and another to measure 4 test voltages used in calibrating the battery chargers. One guy here at AVRFreaks is using 23 Butterflies on an assembly line. There are MP3 players, automobile ignition contollers, Data Loggers and just all kinds of places these things are used in.

Smiley

Yes, I suppose you can interface it to whatever you want and thus it has more use than just a demo unit. What I was getting at though was that the AVR in the butterfly is not a DIP package and cannot be removed to use elsewhere.

It's still a good deal considering everything you get (just the LCD is worth it), if that's what you need ... but unless someone just wants to experiement for little investment or has a specific re-use need for the butterfly featuers I'd still reccomend starting out with the stk500 or some other programmer / dev board combo (or at least just a programmer, an AVR, and a prot board).

Nested quotes are fun.

The butterfly board is a cheap way to get started with AVRs, and examine their capabilities. You can always hack parts of it off (eg. the screen) and free up more IO ports than you could shake a PIC at (assuming you'd toch the thing in the first place :D). If you want to get serious with AVRs, get a STK500. Other brands may make nice gimmiky boards with LCDs and such onboard, but nothing beats the reliability, performance, features and quality of the real Atmel gear.

- Dean :twisted:

Make Atmel Studio better with my free extensions. Open source and feedback welcome!

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Quote:
What I would like is a 20 pin programmer development board with possibly a header for testing, and whatever standard led's or relays or switches built into it; for at most - half the price of a stk500.

Take a look at the Futurlec board $20. If you want a cheap and workable solution. This is a great buy if REALY only need 20 pin devices. All the input/output lines are brought out to pin headers. There LCD (about $14) plugs straight into the board. Might be just what you are looking for

http://www.futurlec.com/ATDevBoard.shtml

One word of warning though. They do take there time for delivery, mine took 7 days to process the order and 7 days for delivery. For items I would like that are not needed fast I will use them again.

Bad spellers of the world untie!

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#1. STK500 is the best don't have much to say.

#2. If you want cheap but pretty good try to get an STK200 board on ebay. If it doesn't come with the parrelell port programmer still buy it as that programmer is useless. Then build/buy some kind of newer serial port programmer that supports newer AVRs. The 200 it self has support for most new AVRs if you use a different programmer. I use an atmega16 in it programmed by an ATAVRISP that I got for $12 used. BTW, the stk200 was ~$40 but it was NOS (New Old Stock).

I'd say buy some proto-boards and a bunch of AVRs from digi-key with a super cheap homebuilt programmer and save up for an STK500. I love my STK500.


My AVR Site

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Looking at the chips, most of them are like 4 mhz and 8 mhz. I'm running my tests on the pic-chips at 20 mhz.

Is that the standard speed for most avr chips is 4 or 8? Is there any that run at 20 or 40 mhz?

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PIC@20MHz is roughly the same as an AVR@5MHz
---> AVR@8MHz is roughly the same as a PIC@32MHz ...

This page has a short comparison covering the "basic" differences :
http://www.dvanhorn.org/Micros/A...

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Quote:

Looking at the chips, most of them are like 4 mhz and 8 mhz. I'm running my tests on the pic-chips at 20 mhz.

Is that the standard speed for most avr chips is 4 or 8? Is there any that run at 20 or 40 mhz?

To some extent that is apples and oranges. Most AVR models can support rated clock speeds to 16MHz, some to 20MHz. But almost all AVR instructions are carried out in 1 or 2 clock cycles. How many cycles per instruction are there on your 20MHz PIC?

Even answering that question, it is still fruit salad as the dissimilar architectures make those numbers (max frequency divided by average cycles per instruction) relatively meaningless.

In a TI study (dig through http://www.maxim-ic.com/appnotes... ) a Mega8 completed the benchmark suite in 63% of the cycles that a PIC18F242 used, and the code size was 55%. Take benchmarks for what they are worth. :) It will depend on your application and the needs for crunch power. With our dozens of production industrial apps that I would consider true microCONTROLLER apps, we have yet to crank up a clock rate to over 7.3728MHz. Remember that when you don't have any fast clocks flying around on the boards the emissions are much easier to control.

Lee

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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Well, I can see lots of people use these to make their own mp3 players w/ lcd screens - so that right there takes ALOT of clock instructions to handle playing audio and refreshing an lcd. So I'm sure you're right about that speed; I was just a little nervous that I wouldnt be able to get enough frequency and calculations for my motion controllers.

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Perhaps you could try assembly as well, using avr studio, which is free. I think that for the kind of applications you are working on, assembly language might be a good choice

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I think I like the looks of this development board. onboard led's and pushbuttons? ya!

http://www.futurlec.com/ATMega8_...

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I would add that the latest version of AVR studio (free) is tightly integrated with the GCC compiler (WinAVR - free), providing an awesome integrated development environment. I would also second to positive comments on the STK500 and Butterfly.

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