Dragon hanging at boot with yellow LED

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I have an AVR Dragon, which I've been using to flash AVR chips. It "stopped working" recently; symptoms are diagnostics about being unable to talk to it in ISP mode from avrdude, and the LED staying yellow when it's plugged in, whether or not it's also plugged into a target board of any kind. I am not aware of anything that would have caused this, although it's totally possible that at some point I ended up with the ISP connector going to a target while the Dragon wasn't powered, or something? But nothing stood out as unusual, and I don't know exactly when anything would have changed. Linux sees the device, and lsusb shows it as present, although there's a cryptic message about a debug descriptor that I don't understand. (I don't know whether that message was present before, I had no reason to be checking that output.)

 

The manual says to check the manual for Atmel Studio, suggesting I might need to re-flash the firmware on the Dragon. But I'm a Linux user, so I don't have that. Also, when I tried to find it, all I found now was something called Microchip Studio which seems to have functionality similar to what I thought Atmel Studio did.

 

So, questions:

 

(1) Is Microchip Studio the same thing as Atmel studio? Does it cost money or licensing or something to get at whatever functionality I'd need to debug this?

(2) Is it actually likely to be relevant in any way? If so, what kind of thing could have caused this? I certainly don't know of anything I did that should have been in any way even similar to flashing anything on the Dragon, so I'd assume it should have the same firmware now it did two days ago.

(3) Do I need to actually find and hook up a Windows machine to do this?

(4) Or, alternatively: What else can I get that can be driven from avrdude and/or the Arduino IDE, under Linux, and programs AVR chips and ideally supports HV programming?

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Last Edited: Fri. Nov 27, 2020 - 08:53 PM
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Is Microchip Studio the same thing as Atmel studio?

Yes, rebranded by the new owners. Everything else is "free" as far as basic compilers, but now you need to get a MC pro license to get some advanced features as far as I understand.

Of course unless you MUST HAVE the latest chips then the last version of AVR Studio should do fine, that's what I have.

 

MPLAB runs under Linux I believe and it may support the Dragon but I don't really know.

 

Or you may have a fellow freak nearby that could try it out for you with a windows machine.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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I don't think I have nearby people, but heck, I can install a thing on the games laptop. The installer's been running for like half an hour and I think it's still going, but hey, progress. At some point it will finish and then I can see whether or not it can make the Dragon start working again.

 

UPDATE: It was able to see the Dragon, and had an option for "upgrade firmware". Doing this produced progress bars for "Updating main MCU" and "Updating slave MCU", then a message in that window saying "Firmware upgrade completed", but the window did not complete and the UI is still unavailable. The orange LED turned red at some point in this process. After a bit, it put up a message saying that an ongoing operation is taking longer than expected, and I can cancel that or wait one more minute.

 

I've seen some notes about a supposed problem with the Dragon and a voltage stabilization circuit: http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/D...

 

I'm not sure whether this could have happened to my system (I wouldn't think so, but who knows) or whether it would explain the symptoms observed, because people refer to the part failing but don't say what the failure looks like or what the symptoms are, I guess? But it looks like people were seeing a chip visibly fried, which I'm not.

Last Edited: Fri. Nov 27, 2020 - 08:44 PM
This reply has been marked as the solution. 
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Update: Microchip Studio did eventually report successfully flashing the Dragon, and now it works again, also with avrdude on Linux.

 

So: Given a Dragon that can be seen by USB, but is hanging at boot, Microchip Studio appears to be able to unbreak it. I'm not sure what it had to do or why, or how it was caused, so I'm not totally comfortable with this outcome, because "I don't know why it stopped working or why this fixed it" is never a good resolution, but I don't see much more I can do to debug it...

 

UPDATE: I can be an idiot, and this allows me to discover that if I forget to unplug the ISP header before plugging the target into something else, this can cause the Dragon to come up a little bit (because the target was also connected to the dragon's VCC pins, I suspect) and enter the "orange LED only" state. But if I don't do that it seems fine?

Last Edited: Fri. Nov 27, 2020 - 09:13 PM
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Keep on talking to yourself, you are doing very well and solving problems. winkcheeky

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Yeah, I try to make a point of coming back to post explanations even if I figure the thing out, because it's still likely useful if anyone else hits the same thing.