Built a BiProg AVR programmer this afternoon...

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I got a shipment of parts in on Friday, including a ATMega8L that I had ordered specifically to build a BiProg programmer (seen here):

http://ruckl.wz.cz/biprog_en/bip...

I decided to solder it together this afternoon, in between some other projects and a BBQ I'm getting ready to start.

I used my AVRISP mk II to program in the bootloader code and configuration fuses into the ATMega8L before incorporating it into the circuit. Instead of making a circuit board, I hand soldered it all together with wires on plated-through-hole perfboard. I didn't follow the plans exactly, I did a "hybrid" design somewhere in between the V3.0 and V4.1 hardware... I used a Maxim MAX232 chip for RS232 level conversion, and powered the thing off a 9V wall supply with 7805 to provide 5V to the circuitry. I made a few other changes, including a jumper to selectively supply 5V to the programming connectors, or not (in order to allow ISP in circuits that supply power). I did not include any LEDs, I'll add them sometime down the road. I did solder on both the 6 pin (AVR) ISP header, and the 10 pin (89LP) ISP header, as I'm planning on using the programmer for both micro families.

Everything went perfectly... I followed the directions and had the bootloader and AVRProg write the code and EE data into the ATMega8L. I then hooked it up to my AVR socket adapter board (the same one I use with the AVRISP mk II) and programmed/erased/verified/etc. a few ATTiny85's to test functionality. Start to finish, the project construction and testing took a total of about 3 hours.

Why did I bother with this when I already have an AVRISP mk II programmer? A few reasons... I wanted a backup programmer just in case something fails in my AVRISP. I wanted to be able to ISP the excellent AT89LP2052 and 4052 single cycle core 8051 derivatives, and my AVRISP won't handle those (the BiProg does!). Also, I wanted to build the programmer from a purely creative entertainment standpoint.

Fun project... easy and rewarding! Nothing quite like the satisfaction of making and using your own development tools - reminds me of the "Heathkit" days! ;)

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Some photos of todays project.

Also, note that I made the power supply/RS232 converter section a detachable pinned module, so I can use it in other projects that require power/comm.

Enjoy!

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Looks like you had fun :)
Pretty good feeling when you build it all yourself and it works.
I finished my design for a 10 Amp switched relay board last night. Don't really need one, but want to try out the liquid tin method of plating a PCB. I post a pic here later, if you don't mind.
Scratch that, I've just remembered the thread where we discussed board plating... I'l post the pic there when it's done.

--greg
Still learning, don't shout at me, educate me.
Starting the fire is easy; the hardest part is learning how to keep the flame!

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I am very impressed by your success. I do not think that my construction efforts have ever worked first time!

I have never used the AT89S4051 or the AT89LP4052 chips.

Where do you buy them from?

I have written firmware for USBasp hardware that will do several AT89Sxx chips. If I found where to buy a LP4052, I would check to see if it works ok. Likewise, Chinese firmware claims to program AT89S4051 and possibly AT89LP4052.

David.

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david.prentice wrote:
I am very impressed by your success. I do not think that my construction efforts have ever worked first time!

I have never used the AT89S4051 or the AT89LP4052 chips.

Where do you buy them from?

I have written firmware for USBasp hardware that will do several AT89Sxx chips. If I found where to buy a LP4052, I would check to see if it works ok. Likewise, Chinese firmware claims to program AT89S4051 and possibly AT89LP4052.

David.

Trust me... my construction efforts have not always worked the first time! It took me close to 15 years of circuit design before I was confident that the first revision sent to the board house would work correctly... and even then, almost half the time I ended up making "corrections" and ordering revision X2! ;) Hand soldered stuff is somewhat of a rarity for me, although in my (broke) youth, it was much more common. I learned REALLY early in the game to PAY ATTENTION... de-soldering a bunch of connections and re-routing them is no fun!

I get my AT89LP2052 and AT89LP4052 from Digi-Key and Mouser, although lately Mouser seems to have better stock, delivery times, and pricing for both parts.

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Digikey and Mouser are a pain for the UK.

Unfortunately neither Farnell nor RS sell the AT89LP4052.

Since they are quite an attractive part, this surprises me.
All the same, a Tiny4313 does everything the LP can do. The SPI is probably better.

David.

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david.prentice wrote:
Digikey and Mouser are a pain for the UK.

Unfortunately neither Farnell nor RS sell the AT89LP4052.

Since they are quite an attractive part, this surprises me.
All the same, a Tiny4313 does everything the LP can do. The SPI is probably better.

David.

Yes... a clearly superior part in ALMOST every way...
Where it falls short:

* If you have extensive 8051 assembly language code libraries built up over a 10+ year stint using an 8051 variant as your main uCtrl of choice (as I do), a binary and pin compatible (with the AT89c2051/4051) single-cycle core is heaven sent.
* The AT89LP2052/4052 runs at full speed (20MHZ/MIPS) all the way down to 2.4V. The AVR is at half that (10MHZ/MIPS) at that voltage, if I remember correctly.
* The 8051 has a SLIGHT "edge" over the AVR when it comes to boolean "bit banging" code. The designers of the 8051 instruction set and internal processor design had that type of coding in mind when they designed it (say what you want about Intel, they had some GREAT engineers working for them!)
* The only other thing I can think of is that the 8051 architecture typically uses a single byte for most of its instructions, as opposed to the AVR's 2 bytes per instruction. Somewhat more compact code typically ensues.

P.S. I like the AVR better personally, but fortunately there's room for more than 1 micro architecture in this world! ;)

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I have just ordered a Futurlec LP4052 board. So I will have to get the programmer right !!

Yes. It will be interesting to compare the throughput compared to a Tiny2313 / 4313.

On the whole, AVR has better peripherals and memory.
The 8051 does the odd bit instruction better. I intend to compare the IRQ servicing.

David.

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Quote:
reminds me of the "Heathkit" days!

That brings back lots of memories.

I built the VTVM, audio sig gen, RF sig gen, a scope, a siren, others. When we moved back to the States from England we needed to buy a US compatible TV. I talked my parents into letting me build a Heathkit TV.

Great fun, and one learned as much building Heathkits, with their telephone book sized manuals, as one learned in school.

JC

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Ah "Heathkit":

http://www.heathkit-museum.com/

They used to have a shop in Tottenham Court Road somewhere near "Henry's". We used to look longingly at the equipment in their window like it was electronic porn ;-)

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For those that don't know, they are getting back into the kit business ...

http://www.heathkit.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=120&Itemid=233

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This is my take on biprog. Not that I needed it, but it would be weird not to build one, once involved, even if marginally... :-)

I adopted a board of an older product (which explains the strange parts, e.g. the big black relay), cut the unnecessary part of it and modify the rest. The chip in the front is an FT232B, so this is an USB version of biprog, it is also powered from USB, IIRC. I used what I had at hand at that moment, so I had to use a 14.7456MHz crystal, i.e. twice as fast as the original, for which I had to modify the firmware. I don't have the sources and didn't care to ask for them; I simply disassembled and tweaked it in the binary form (it was only one constant or so) in a true hacker fashion ;-)

I don't remember if I used it for a '51 (I had to google it - I did :-o ) - certainly not for a 'LP as I don't have any so far, although our local mailing parts shop stocks them...

JW

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wek -
RIGHT ON!!!
I thought I was the only one recycling old project boards for newer/different purposes! :)