AVR Programmer Questions

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Hi, 

 

I'm very new to embedded systems, having been on the Arduino bandwagon for a while I am now finally getting my feet wet at the chip level. While reading Elliot Williams' "AVR Programming" book (among other resources) I'm methodically setting up my toolchain. I purchased SparkFun's AVR Pocket Programmer and it works great with AVRDUDE. I have been able to configure it to program a chip from both Windows and 'nix environments, it's a pretty great tool. But I am interested in following in the footsteps of those of you who do this for a living, that is, I would like to use the tools that are the standard in this community. With that said, I went and downloaded Atmel Studio and configured it to use the AVR Pocket Programmer through and External Tool, but it "feels" clunky as it just runs AVRDUDE after a build. It seems that using this programmer removes a bunch of capabilities that I may be interested in, for example, reading the fuses on the chip from the Device Programming windows (ctrl-shft-p)). So, two questions:

 

1) Are there other important things I can't do with Atmel Studio 7 in conjunction of a non-supported AVR programmer?

2) What programmer does the community use for professional work? Are there any that are affordable? Say, < $100?

 

Thanks for the help

This topic has a solution.
Last Edited: Mon. Jan 29, 2018 - 08:46 PM
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I use these...

 

https://www.pololu.com/product/3170

 

...cheap enough to keep several on the bench.

"This forum helps those that help themselves."

"How have you proved that your chip is running at xxMHz?" - Me

"If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand." - Heater's ex-boss

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I have three programmers that I use, Atmel ICE (replaced the once king AVRisp-mkii), AVRdragon, and a cheap Chinese USBASP.  

 

The first two are support native in AS7.

 

Jim

 

Mission: Improving the readiness of hams world wide : flinthillsradioinc.com

Interests: Ham Radio, Solar power, futures & currency trading - whats yours?

 

This reply has been marked as the solution. 
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redRiver wrote:
for professional work

For professional work: get an Atmel ICE - no question.

 

Even for a serious hobbyist.

Top Tips:

  1. How to properly post source code - see: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment... - also how to properly include images/pictures
  2. "Garbage" characters on a serial terminal are (almost?) invariably due to wrong baud rate - see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-communication
  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
  4. Difference between a crystal, and a crystal oscillatorhttps://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  5. When your question is resolved, mark the solution: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  6. Beginner's "Getting Started" tips: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
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Thanks for all the replies, everyone, thank you. Awneil, the Atmel ICE is likely what I need. I'm def. not a pro, but I would consider myself a serious hobbyist as my workshop at home is pretty intense. I just really like learning about this stuff (I'm a software guy by day). After looking around, it appears that this is the model you are referring to, is that correct? https://www.digikey.com/product-...

 

Thanks again to everyone who replied, dealing with us noobs isn't easy.

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Yes - although there are various "packages" with more/fewer "accessories" included.

 

The main point is that it's not just a programmer - it also gives you debugging.

 

EDIT

 

I should add that it's also not just for AVR - will also do SAM.

Top Tips:

  1. How to properly post source code - see: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment... - also how to properly include images/pictures
  2. "Garbage" characters on a serial terminal are (almost?) invariably due to wrong baud rate - see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-communication
  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
  4. Difference between a crystal, and a crystal oscillatorhttps://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  5. When your question is resolved, mark the solution: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  6. Beginner's "Getting Started" tips: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
Last Edited: Mon. Jan 29, 2018 - 11:45 PM
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Understood, thank you!

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I think that you could get a 40x2 LCD HD44780-based character display and have the program write register and variable values to it, or use the USART to send characters to a PC terminal.  The Arduino Software Serial library works up to 115200 baud.  You can get a whole screenful of debugging information quickly at that speed.  I use a cheap eBay USBasp programmer with AVRdude.exe to do ISP writing to the AVR.

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@Simonetta, that sounds great. But I think it's a bit of a stretch for my current skill level. Though I will have to learn how to use the ATATAMEL-ICE, it's likely that it will work out of the box, whereas if I implemented your solution I would never know if it were me that was screwing up! (and we all know it would be me....) But great idea, maybe I can try that once I get a few months under my belt. 

 

@awneil, I bought the ATATAMEL-ICE this evening, a bit pricer than I was looking to spend but thanks for the advice. It's exactly what I was looking for and I'm looking forward to it's arrival.

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Having a Debug probe (eg, Atmel ICE) does not preclude also using things like LCD, serial, LEDs, etc to give visibility of what your code is doing.

 

They are all valuable tools/techniques, and each has its place.

 

EDIT

 

See: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...

Top Tips:

  1. How to properly post source code - see: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment... - also how to properly include images/pictures
  2. "Garbage" characters on a serial terminal are (almost?) invariably due to wrong baud rate - see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-communication
  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
  4. Difference between a crystal, and a crystal oscillatorhttps://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  5. When your question is resolved, mark the solution: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  6. Beginner's "Getting Started" tips: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
Last Edited: Tue. Jan 30, 2018 - 01:47 AM
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Mister Potato Head! Mister Potato Head! Back doors are not secrets!

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"Read a lot.  Write a lot."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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joeymorin wrote:
Mister Potato Head! Mister Potato Head! Back doors are not secrets!

!?!  Starting your Super Bowl pre-game festivities a bit early?

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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!?!  Starting your Super Bowl pre-game festivities a bit early?

Nope.  I'm sure the OP will be along shortly to explain ;-)

 

Hint:  Look at his avatar.

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"Read a lot.  Write a lot."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]