New to AVR, want to learn

Go To Last Post
18 posts / 0 new
Author
Message
#1
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

OK, I have read the "Newbie? Start here" sticky and feel very worried now that I am about to be shot down in flames as this could be in the wrong forum or a stupid question, so I will apologise now if I have. :oops:

Anyway, I have been playing around with PICs for a while and they never seem to be powerful enough, most projects seem to be using the AVR these days (well for the more interesting projects anyway!). I want to learn C for it and from the newbie post I was thinking of the Absolute Beginners Guide to C for my C training and also getting the XGS AVR Dev station, although have considered building my own board which may fit my own dev needs better.

Am I heading in the right direction before I part with any hard earned cash?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

If you are not absolutely sure download avr-gcc (winavr) and AVRStudio. You can start learning without any hardware because of build-in simulator. Later you can build your own ISP programmer, and start to work with real hardware.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

I love my stk500. Programms all DIPs via all programming methods. You prolly need a usb/rs232 converter for it, though. 10eu is expensive for on of these.
If you get one, this link is important.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

The Absolute Beginners Guide to C is a good starting book for C syntax on the PC. If you get that you could also get the Pelles C compiler that runs on a PC and you can then run the examples on a PC in a DOS window.http://www.christian-heffner.de/index.php?page=start&lang=en While it is good for learning C syntax, it doesn't have anything to do with microcontrollers so you will need to learn to use something like the WinAVR toolset that now works under AVRStudio. I also think that the XGS AVR Dev Station could require a big leap, but I've not used it so I can't be sure. I'd personally recommend the Butterfly or Arduino or the Dragon or an STK500 for folks just starting out.

Smiley

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

From the XGS site:

Quote:
Atmel MEGA AVR 644 processor with 64K FLASH, 4K SRAM, and running at 28+ MIPs.

The mega644 is rated to only 20MHz, so this is severely overclocked. I would be very cautious about a product that is 40+% over spec.

Regards,
Steve A.

The Board helps those that help themselves.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

I think you should dl the imagecraft avr c compiler and read the chapter in the help file called 'c in 16 pages'. The upside of the stk500 is it has sockets for a dozen different sizes of avr. This is great if you plan on designing dozens of products, each with a different size avr. Otherwise, you could get a ready to program avr board like the mega32 board from ere.co.th. Sort of depends on the project you have in mind. I like the ere 'system' of ribbon cables with screw terminal for the io ports. Very flexible. Good for fast prototyping.

Imagecraft compiler user

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Thanks all, I am mainly looking at experimenting and learning. I have a few projects in mind to do eventually. I like the stk500 (although hard to find in the UK it seems!) as it has multiple sizes and all the bits to play with. bobgardner, is this the one you mean? :)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

smartroad wrote:
I like the stk500 (although hard to find in the UK it seems!) as it has multiple sizes and all the bits to play with.

Here's a couple of UK online shops selling STK500:
http://www.rapidonline.com/Elect...
http://uk.farnell.com/atmel/stk5...

STK500 is a great programmer/development board, I have one myself and am I'm gald I got one as the first thing when I started out with AVRs.

Here's some good guides to read for a start: http://www.fourwalledcubicle.com...
You should start out by reading "Atmel Tools Overview": https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Thanks for all the advice guys.

Hopefully I have found a solution with this kit which seems to have everything i need to at least begin with AVRs.

Again thanks!

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Quote:

this kit

Personally I'd have thought an STK500 from Atmel together with a $10 USB-RS232 converter might be a better (more widely supported - especially on this board) kit to get started with:

http://www.rapidonline.com/Elect...

(with the USB-RS232 it brings you to about the same price overall)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

I vote for the STK 500, it rocks, I have had mine for 6 years, and it still supports all the new chips and is going strong. Comes with 8 spiffy leds and buttons for your programming pleasure. You can connect anything to it too. You can do a lot development on it before having to break out the bread board.

Just a noob in this crazy world trying to get some electrons to obey me.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

clawson wrote:
Quote:

this kit

Personally I'd have thought an STK500 from Atmel together with a $10 USB-RS232 converter might be a better (more widely supported - especially on this board) kit to get started with:

http://www.rapidonline.com/Elect...

(with the USB-RS232 it brings you to about the same price overall)

I was looking at that kit as it also came with the two books on CD to help me start up. I like that as it gives me a reference and a starting point. No one seems to sell the SKT500 with any form of tuition. At least with this I can start to learn the basics then move on to a more comprehensive board.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Chuck Baird has a book on the STK-500:

http://www.lulu.com/content/1358014

Quote:
This brief glance or summary (aperçu) of Atmel AVR microcontrollers introduces the newbie to the world of AVRs. It uses the Atmel STK500 Starter Kit (an $80 development board) and the ImageCraft AVR C compiler (demo and limited version sufficient for this book may be downloaded for free).

It is assumed the reader has some C language and microcontroller and/or electronics experience. This book does not teach C, although the subset of the language used here is very simple and should be accessible to anyone with programming experience.

This is a brief introduction and limited overview, and is meant to help the beginner get started. It skips over several important topics and focuses on project oriented details to the exclusion of general discussions. This approach is meant to help instill the confidence and foundation needed for the reader to continue his or her own educational exploration of AVRs.


Smiley

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

OK, so I started doing AVR's with my own hardware and an AVR ISP MKII, so it's certainly doable. Later I got an STK-500 and discovered the "easy road". The STK-500 really is a good value.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Well, I'd have thought a $20 US Butterfly a better option.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVR...

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

badpacket wrote:
Well, I'd have thought a $20 US Butterfly a better option.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVR...

Butterfly is a bit fragile/flakey, yes?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

stevech wrote:
badpacket wrote:
Well, I'd have thought a $20 US Butterfly a better option.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVR...

Butterfly is a bit fragile/flakey, yes?

Some its users are.

But the Butterfly itself is very robust:
http://www.smileymicros.com/inde...

The problem is that right now it is in short supply and I'm only selling it in support of the book.

Smiley

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Smileymicros, Thaks a lot for your book !