How easy is to 'slay' the Dragon?

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Hi,

I made this account in order to see how easy is to damage my new AVR-Dragon and some hints to keep it safe.

Now i have played with it for a while and at some point i mirrored the connections for JTAG(what was supposed to come on the left header was on the right and vice versa).What are the possibilities to have crippled it considering it worked after redoing the wiring?(both JTAG and ISP worked fine after)

Also i have a smd rework station to replace parts ,but what are the parts that usually fail....someone said the analog switches (    NLAS2066USG) and the input boost regulator.Are there other exceptions? Does the Dragon have built-in protection resistors to defend against over current on some lines due to accidental short or what not?   

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You need a powered USB hub, and you should have no problems

Last Edited: Tue. Jan 22, 2019 - 06:10 PM
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So besides providing power ,no other vulnerabilities are present.I worry since i know i like to mess things up....especially wires :)

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santalklaus wrote:

So besides providing power ,no other vulnerabilities are present.I worry since i know i like to mess things up....especially wires :)

 

I have had no issues and have had mine for years. Only known issue I'm aware of is blowing a component with USB power too low, thus don't "play"with it without a powered hub. And I'm a master at "messing things up" to put it politely.  devil

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santalklaus wrote:
Does the Dragon have built-in protection resistors to defend against over current on some lines due to accidental short or what not?
DragonLair has those.

http://aplomb.nl/TechStuff/Dragon/Dragon.html

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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A common failure mode of the early dragons (10+ years ago?) was a small smps.

If the input could not deliver enough power, it just kept trying to increase current untill it blew.

Back then it was advised to always put the dragon on an externally powered hub to prevent this.

 

This is 11 year old now:

http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/Dragon/Dragon.html

 

You will also find more info when searching for "dragon liar" on AVRfreaks, or on the rest of the web:

https://duckduckgo.com/html?q=avr+dragon+liar

 

If you're interested in dragons, you should also watch 850 meters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cY5PHE4x_g

Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

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Paulvdh wrote:

A common failure mode of the early dragons (10+ years ago?) was a small smps.

If the input could not deliver enough power, it just kept trying to increase current untill it blew.

Back then it was advised to always put the dragon on an externally powered hub to prevent this.

 

This is 11 year old now:

http://www.aplomb.nl/TechStuff/Dragon/Dragon.html

 

You will also find more info when searching for "dragon liar" on AVRfreaks, or on the rest of the web:

https://duckduckgo.com/html?q=avr+dragon+liar

 

If you're interested in dragons, you should also watch 850 meters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cY5PHE4x_g

 

The Dragon User guide less than 3 years old (4/16) says "

Note:

The Atmel AVR Dragon requires a USB port that can deliver up to 500mA. (Self-powered USB hub.)"

 

I suggest taking good care of it as Mouser and Digikey have it listed as obsolete and zero stock

 

Last Edited: Tue. Jan 22, 2019 - 10:14 PM
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Grannus wrote:
The Dragon User guide less than 3 years old (4/16) says " Note: The Atmel AVR Dragon requires a USB port that can deliver up to 500mA. (Self-powered USB hub.)"
I find it a pretty silly idea to update the user manual instead of fixing the problem itself.

How hard could it have been to change that little SMPS circuit in the last 10 years?

 

A programmer like the dragon should not need more than 50mA to 100mA (when it is not powering the target circuit.

This is one of the main reasons that I did not buy the dragon.

 

If you look at Octopart you can still find them:

https://octopart.com/search?q=atavrdragon

Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

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Thx for the answers.When i toyed with it i powered it from my usb port directly from pc witch can give like 400mA....
Strange tough when i powered my target from the Dragon(an Arduino mega2560) it could not power it well so i switched to an external power.
As far as i know now nothing blew of from my Dragon ,but i'm still afraid i might have done some damage despite the fact that all programing modes still work and test out.
Also i bought it this week from farnell and they had like a +1000 stock(or some huge number).
I don't know the hardwere version but it has mounting holes and yellow tantalum caps only.
Is it out of production or something like that since i like the 3 in 1 interface functionality(especialy HVPP and jtag) for 50 bucks.
Should i grab another ?

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Personally I'd rather have a few USD 4 ST-Link V2 clones from China than an ATAVRDRAGON.

About (half?) a year ago I posted a link from MicrochipDirect for a much more modern programmer for AVR's which was then a discount and sold for about the same price as the Dragon. Atmel (microchip) used to invent new programming protocols every year and the Dragon probably is not up to date with a bunch of them.

But when it comes down to it, only you can decide if the Dragon is the right tool for you.

Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

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santalklaus wrote:
T. Should i grab another ?

 

Yes you should !!!! And I'll PM you my address to have it sent too!  cheeky    Guess if stock is still plentiful don't worry for now. Maybe something even more cool will come out in the near future, who knows

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If you are talking about the Atmel ICE i have one but it doesn't do HVPP(need it sometimes ) and it has really expensive and thin wires.
I'd like a rugged tool for programing and debuging that would survive in any condition and any circumstance at a decent price point.
If i'm gonna burn something at least be cheap.....
I plan to use the dragon for prototype debuginng(aka sacrificial go to tool and keep the ice for more delicate stuff considering the wires for programing are bound to break and go bad) and quick chip programing (especialy tiny85 for some projects that also need the pb0 active).

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Grannus wrote:

santalklaus wrote:
T. Should i grab another ?

 

Yes you should !!!! And I'll PM you my address to have it sent too!  cheeky    Guess if stock is still plentiful don't worry for now. Maybe something even more cool will come out in the near future, who knows

I gave away a bunch of those a while back....for what they are charging I would go with a bare board Atmel ICE for the same price.

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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OT: I wonder how a dragon blows out his birthday candles?

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Paulvdh wrote:
I find it a pretty silly idea to update the user manual instead of fixing the problem itself. How hard could it have been to change that little SMPS circuit in the last 10 years?
They did, didn't they? There's been two issue of Dragon. The later ones have mounting holes in the PCB - Atmel took onboard criticism over the original power supply and improved it in the later design - however it's still not perfect (and hence need for powered hub).

 

In 2019 I wonder why anyone would buy a Dragon when the Atmel-ICE is available?

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Well it does hvpp and comes with sane connectors not the ICE blasphemy(+ that proto space is nice.)

I mainly use it for programing chips that need the reset fuse disabled.....I wonder if someone made  an open source design for a programmer that does HVPP,JTAG,PDI,debugWire,and SWD + ISP? I mean the Dragon uses a Mega2560 so should be possible.

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I bought a Dragon many years ago.   I sandwiched it between two sheets of polycarbonate.   Slots for access to JTAG, ISP,  5V.

I use it for debugWIRE, PDI, JTAG.   It works fine but is rather SLOW.    The best feature is that you can use straight ribbon cables for JTAG or PDI.

 

Nowadays,  I will use ATMEL-ICE or PICKIT4.   These support more protocols.

 

If you want a CHEAP solution,   the £10.50 Microchip SNAP supports all protocols.   (I have never used a SNAP)

 

I have always preferred a ready-made Evaluation kit with onboard debugger e.g. XPRO or XMINI

Or to use an external ATMEL-ICE with a regular pcb.

 

I can see little point in mounting an AVR on the Dragon e.g. with a ZIF socket.

You will never use HVPP or HVSP.

 

David.

 

Edit.   I see from your OP that you have already bought the Dragon.    So the best advice is simply make a plastic (or cardboard) case to protect the bare pcb.

Last Edited: Wed. Jan 23, 2019 - 11:20 AM
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clawson wrote:
In 2019 I wonder why anyone would buy a Dragon when the Atmel-ICE is available?

 

Must you make us old dudes feel old?  crying

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clawson wrote:
In 2019 I wonder why anyone would buy a Dragon when the Atmel-ICE is available?
Might be for the same reason that the L298 is still a popular chip in the hobby world. Someone browses through a shop inventory, reads a description, and think it is applicable to what they want to do, without having any clue it's a 30 year old obsolete part with much better substitutions available.

 

Also:

If Atmel updated the Dragon because of a known bad power supply design and then still have to print a warning about using powered hubs they just make a fool of themselves.

The dragon should have been happy with 100mA from a 4V USB port or similar (Vcc spec of USB is pretty wide), and if the input power is not sufficient then the power led should not turn on or something without any damage to the thing.

Just wondering: has there ever been a recall of the first batch of those faulty Dragons? Probably not.

Doing magic with a USD 7 Logic Analyser: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment/2421756#comment-2421756

Bunch of old projects with AVR's: http://www.hoevendesign.com

Last Edited: Wed. Jan 23, 2019 - 04:52 PM
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Paulvdh wrote:
Just wondering: has there ever been a recall of the first batch of those faulty Dragons? Probably not.
No - the original fault was hardly life threatening - but I do remember when "V2" (with the holes) came out everyone who bought one around that era was praying to get "new stock" delivered and not one of the old V1's. But the way some suppliers operate stock control meant that there was quite an overlap period where it was a bit of a gamble as to which one you might receive.

 

But I suppose it's a bit like when Coke come out with a "great new taste". For while, if you go into a shop and ask for a Coke it's a gamble as to which one you might get. Also I don't think Coke ever operated a scheme where if you brought an old bottle back you could exchange oit for a new one even if they do consider the new one to be "better".

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My Dragon is v1.    It works fine.    It is just SLOWER than a modern debugger.    (but faster than a debugWIRE XMINI-328P)

 

In practice you can't power and debug a debugWIRE target with a Dragon.     The "dW enable/disable" sequences mean you must externally power the AVR.

 

You can power and debug a JTAG target.    But seriously most prototype pcbs have their own power arrangements.

 

Has anyone used a SNAP or POWER debugger?

The SNAP looks attractive if you make protective case.

 

David.

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david.prentice wrote:
Has anyone used a SNAP or POWER debugger?

The SNAP looks attractive if you make protective case.

David.

 

The Snap has limited support for old devices if at all, for AVR and Pic's, they are concentrating on new/newish devices. If you work with new parts then it would be OK. The Snap is  a stripped out version of the PICkit4 if I'm not mistaken. I looked for the devices supported very quickly but did not find the list. Microchip docs can be a pain in the ass.

 

The Pickit4 would be a smarter purchase in the long run. or the ICE.  But for folks like me who are hobbyist the Dragon is wonderful. Just checked my dragon does not have mounting holes so must be v1 and it's still ticking after at least a decade, and I'm pretty hard on my toys, truth be known

Last Edited: Wed. Jan 23, 2019 - 07:25 PM
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Grannus wrote:
I looked for the devices supported very quickly but did not find the list.
attached, file dated 2-Nov-2018 from MPLAB X v5.10 release notes

Grannus wrote:
The Pickit4 would be a smarter purchase in the long run. or the ICE.
MPLAB PICkit 4 is less expensive than Atmel-ICE and has Vpp (not in Atmel-ICE, Power Debugger has 12V)

 


MPLAB- X IDE | Microchip Technology

https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/come-join-us-mplab-now-supports-avrs?page=5#comment-2617856

 

Attachment(s): 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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SNAP appears to do LVSP (ISP), PDI, TPI, UPDI, JTAG, AWIRE, debugWIRE, SWD.

 

So it should keep all Atmel AVR users happy.   Except for HV PDI and HV UPDI.

 

Surely some members must have bought a SNAP by now.

It would be interesting to hear their experience.

Especially since it is supposed to do debugWIRE, PDI, UPDI, JTAG at a proper speed.   Apparently at Pickit4 / ATMEL-ICE speed.

 

If so,   this will put the Dragon in the shade.

 

It does not seem to do HVPP.   But nor does an ATMEL-ICE or Pickit4.

Be realistic.   It is cheaper to not point a gun at your feet (RSTDISBL).   Even wiser to not pull the trigger.

If you do want to shoot,   just buy a new chip.

 

David.

Last Edited: Wed. Jan 23, 2019 - 08:12 PM
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david.prentice wrote:

Surely some members must have bought a SNAP by now..

 

For 15 bucks, certainly I "bought" one, a few months ago in fact. Though I did not need it, I will get to it someday.   cheeky