Looking for programmer and correct IC's for begginner

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Ello! I have been into electronics for about 2 years. I have several breadboards and a plethora of led's and 7seg displays and all of those goodies. Now I am looking to get a AVR programmer and appropriate tools. I was looking around the net for a usb programmer. I was thinking of getting ladyada's usb programmer kit

http://www.ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/index.html

But obliviously I also kinda need a few AVR's. What ones would you recommend? I guess I would be looking for a wide variety of Sizes(all through hole though) like 8pin DIP and to like an ATMEGA168 or bigger.
Any other equipment that would be necessary please share. Also I am running Windows Vista 64bit on my computer and I am having some difficulty's with AVR studio(I created a topic in the avr studio section)

Thank you

David D

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Has anyone tried the programmer from spark fun

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce...

It look's okay....but than again I'm not much of an expert

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From looking at the SparkFun manual and schematics it is the same circuit design as the USBTinyISP ladyada.net

For Atmega168/328 breadboarding I like the BBB board from
modern devices: http://moderndevice.com/index.shtml

--- bill

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Thank you. Yeah I think I am going to get the USBTinyISP from ladyada. Can you recommend any ATiny or ATMEGA IC's that are recommended for beginners.

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Now if you had some pocket money to spend you should go for a STK500, it includes a few AVRs with it.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Well I would like to keep it under 100 bucks(Since I passed 9th grade I can get some electronic goodies...w00t!) Yeah I have found two different versions of the STK500 one from sparkfun electronics and the one from atmel's site

SparkFun:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce...

Atmel:
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/Product...

I'm not exactly looking for a compelete Dev. Board I guess I'm just looking for just a programmer. Or some sort of kit that includes a programmer and a wide variety of AVR's

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I kind of also need to have it be a USB programmer due to the lack of Serial/parallel ports on my 'puters

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I am just starting AVR myself.... I have good experience with the 8085 and just switching over. I understand ASM and registers... all the basics. I am not hugely savvy with embedded c though.

Why not consider teh "dragon"?
Since I will be experimenting with all kinds of chips (I figure, why not try them all, the best way to understand them [advantages/disadvantages] is to test them out yourself) SO, yeah the dragon is best to program all and debug.

Good luck (I need some) and keep us updated on info you find :)

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Quote:
I kind of also need to have it be a USB programmer
Even though people use homemade (did so myself when I first started with Atmel) with more or less success or cheaper clones, I'm suggesting REAL Atmel tools so that you can keep your hair at leat untill you get married. :? (no guarranties though)

The AVRISP Mk2 does all you want for now but the new Dragon is the next step up, even though the older Dragon may have contributed to severe hair loss.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Yeah, I was looking at the AVRISP Mk2. I'll probally get that. Now I just need some recommendations on what AVR's to get. What do you recommend? Any thing from 8 pin to 40 pin DIP is cool. Thank you. Please share any adivce

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Tiny13 8 pin DIP.
Tiny2313 20 pin DIP.
Mega48 or 88 or 168 or 328, all pin compatible 28 pin DIP.
Mega 164p or 324p or 644p or 1284p all pin compatible 40 DIP.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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I think the most common are:
ATtiny13
Atmega48
Atmega88
Atmega168
Atmega328

For starters just get a couple of the ATtiny13 and Atmega88 (IMO, thats what I will be doing atleast..)
They are not expensive, so you can always just move on from there.

Remember that protoboards, led's, resistors, and capacitors are always nice :)

ebay you can get MASSIVE amounts of leds for cheap, and there are resistor kits for engineers.
As for capacitors, just buy as you need. I have been stocking up slowly and I got a pretty collection now :)

I have a question for anyone:
1. How can you tell if the Dragon is the new one?

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On the Dragon, see my thread about this:
https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=79959

The easy way to tell is the older revision board doesn't have mounting holes.

--- bill

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Hey, Thanks a lot guys. Here is my cart from digikey.

ATAVRISP2-ND
ATTINY13-20PU-ND
ATMEGA48-20PU-ND
ATMEGA88PA-PU-ND
ATMEGA168-20PU-ND
ATMEGA16-16PU-ND

If there are any changes I should make before I order please yet me know. Also what would be a good LCD? Are there any that are widely used in this community?

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I would use a Mega164p rather than the older Mega16 (same pinout but 2 USARTs and newer peripherals). Also the middle 3 are the same except for different memory size, so perhaps just get a few Mega168, but it is up to you.

Character LCD are pretty much universal and use the HD44780 chip or compatible, so anyone that uses that chip should be fine.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Thanks js. Sound's good. I'll try to order it tomorrow. But I won't get it until early next week which I don't mind. Thank you.

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I suggest getting a plunger vacuum desoldering tool and pulling old stereos and electronics out of dumpsters. Then take the parts off with the solder-sucker. Resistors are straightforward. Capacitors are a little more difficult. ICs on stereos are almost always custom to the large company that made the unit.

With the digital changeover of television actually happening, there are going to be a lot of old televisions thrown away. They have lots of common parts and a lot of strange looking weird ones also. Avoid messing around with the big picture tube. They can be dangerous if they implode (glass goes everywhere) and they can hold a 20000v charge internally for a long time.
My introduction to digital electronics was finding a dumpster full of wire-wrapped prototype boards filled with TTL chips. They were going to be destroyed for the tiny amount of gold on the card-edge connector. I took about six boards and looked up every different chip in the fat yellow Texas Instruments TTL book. Then I got a wire-wrap tool and took all the sockets off the protoboards. That was 25 years ago and I still have one or two sockets left. Took a long time to realize that the machined sockets are worth much more than the TTL chips.

As for AVRs, search eBay for 'Atmel AVR'. There is is always someone in China or Thailand selling small amounts of Mega8 chips in small quantities. One company (possibly a student in a dorm room) is always selling 5 Mega8s for about $10-12 US including shipping. I bought 4 Mega32's for $20 and $2.70 shipping from some party in Bangkok recently. Took a month to receive them, though.

Consider buying 25 of a single type of AVR from DigiKey or Mouser (exactly the same prices) and selling the surplus in 5-chip lots on eBay. SOME AVR devices have 40% discount between the individual chip price quantity 1 and the price quantity 25. If you consider this, I suggest the Mega168. It sells for about $4.11 Quantity 1 and $2.68 Quantity 25. Another suggestion is the Tiny48. It sells for $1.36 each in quantity 25. It doesn't have a USART, but that can be implemented using software. It does have the I2C interface (renamed the TWI for copyright reasons) and ADC. It wouldn't be hard to buy 25 of these for $34, keep 10 and sell the remaining 15 for $25 on eBay.
For a USB programmer, I suggest the Pololu device for $20 recently listed in the new tools section here. I just got one and was able to get it working with AVRstudio 4.16. It is small, but it also includes a serial port and a limited-bandwidth PC storage oscilloscope program.
I plan to get grocery money by unloading some AVR chips on eBay in variety-pack lots. Say two each of Tiny13, Mega48, Tiny24, and one 'surprise' older device like a Mega161 or 90S2313 included for $12 Buy-It-Now ( and $2 shipping by USPS padded envelope). It might work.

It's the kind of item that I wish that I could buy myself so there must be others out there that would be willing to try some new marketing idea like that. I've been trying to get the IC makers like Intel and Atmel to adopt a serious small-unit marketing service like this for years, but they just say go to the distributors. The distributors will give you free chips if they believe that you will buy thousands of the same device once your prototype gets approved for production. But they are loath to handle retail sales of small quantities. They should just hire some high-school kids at min wage to run a store, take orders, and ship product. The kids learn a business, get free chips, and prototype makers get parts without having to beg or misrepresent their future purchase requirements. But electronic distributors aren't known for being bright or innovative. One more reason why Americans don't make anything anymore, can't get parts.

Anyway, I hope some of these ideas are useful.

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Woah. Thanks a lot man. Well I have plenty of extra parts I've already ripped out of stereo's and what not. I've been into digital electronics for a long time now so I already have a plethora of capacitors, LED's, Resistors, transistors and all of those goodies. Yeah I think I'll buy some AVR's in bulk because I like to do a lot of projects of perfbored and make some stuff that way. So I go through a lot of parts. Thank you. Hopefully I'll be ordering some of the parts tonight.

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Simonetta wrote:

I plan to get grocery money by unloading some AVR chips on eBay in variety-pack lots. Say two each of Tiny13, Mega48, Tiny24, and one 'surprise' older device like a Mega161 or 90S2313 included for $12 Buy-It-Now ( and $2 shipping by USPS padded envelope). It might work.

Yean man if you ever do that on ebay I'll totally buy a bunch. That would be great for everyone win win for you and the customers

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Quote:
Thanks a lot man....Yean man
Not too sure about the MAN bit with the spelling of the name Simonetta and the avatar. :)

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Quote:

Another suggestion is the Tiny48. It sells for $1.36 each in quantity 25. It doesn't have a USART, ...

We do a lot of Mega48/Mega889 designs. Some are quite simple, so the intro of the Tiny48 was exciting.

Only in very selected circumstances would I recommend the Tiny48. In listed quantities from distributors, the price difference isn't that extensive. [Perhaps it is more in large quantities, and of course in large quantities a price difference becomes more important.] Besides the "missing" USART (integral to us for many apps and I'm too old to fight with USI), carefully compare the datasheets for other differences. Besides being a "Tiny" and not "Mega", and having less resources, the limited pin drive was very rude to learn of--be very careful there.

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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DavidDee wrote:
Hey, Thanks a lot guys. Here is my cart from digikey.

ATAVRISP2-ND
ATTINY13-20PU-ND
ATMEGA48-20PU-ND
ATMEGA88PA-PU-ND
ATMEGA168-20PU-ND
ATMEGA16-16PU-ND

If there are any changes I should make before I order please yet me know. Also what would be a good LCD? Are there any that are widely used in this community?


1) Replace ATTINY13-20PU-ND with ATTINY13A-PU-ND
AVR520: Migrating from ATtiny13 to ATtiny13A http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resourc...
Quote:
In order to optimize the manufacturing process and to further reduce current consumption, an optimized version of ATtiny13 has been introduced.
The ATtiny13A is a functionally identical, drop-in replacement for the ATtiny13.

2) Drop ATMEGA48-20PU-ND and only buy ATMEGA88PA-PU-ND instead.
1 unit prices for both 48 and 88PA are exactly the same at Digi-Key ($2.69). This is because ATmega88PA use a newer manufacturing process that consumes less current and is cheaper to manufacture.
Until the ATMEGA48PA becomes available it's better to just buy ATMEGA88PA instead of ATmega48 or 48P -twice the falsh size and less current consumption at the same price.
AVR528: Migrating from ATmega48/88/168 and ATmega48P/88P/168P to ATmega48PA/88PA/168PA http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resourc...

Quote:
In order to optimize the manufacturing process and to further reduce current consumption, an optimized version of ATmega48P/88P/168P has been introduced.
The ATmega48PA/88PA/168PA is a functionally identical, drop-in replacement for the ATmega48P/88P/168P. All devices are subject to the same qualification process and same set of production tests, but as the manufacturing process is not the same some electrical characteristics differ.
ATmega48/88/168, ATmega48P/88P/168P and ATmega48PA/88PA/168PA have separate datasheets. Migration from ATmega48/88/168 to ATmega48P/88P/168P
is described in the application note AVR512: Migration from ATmega48/88/168 to ATmega48P/88P/168P.

3) Replace ATMEGA16-16PU-ND with ATMEGA164P-20PU-ND.
ATmega16 is becoming one of the oldest devices still in the ATmega lineup as you can see because it only runs at <=16 MHz, where all new ATmegas can run up to 20 MHz. Instead of ATmega16 buy the more modern and at the same time much cheaper ATMEGA164P.
AVR505: Migration between ATmega16/32 and ATmega164P/324P/644P http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resourc...

Quote:
The ATmega164P and the ATmega324P are new and enhanced versions of the ATmega16 and the ATmega32 respectively, and ATmega644P is a new 64kB device with the same features.

As a rule of thumb get the devices endning on 'PA' if avaiable, they are newer replacemnts for the 'P' devices and the 'P' devices are again newer than the ones without an extra letter after the model number.
But have a look at Atmel's AVR Migration Notes: http://www.atmel.com/dyn/product... Notes
This will give you a good idea of what new devices repalces other old devices and mention the changes between them.

But if it's just for learing how to program AVRs and do various experiments you really don't need all those different models. A single 40-pin device like ATMEGA164P/324P/644P should be fine. Everything you can program with a ATtiny13A or ATmega88PA you can also program with a ATMEGA164P.
But if you want to create a small stock for future real projects then go ahead and order a few different devices. Shipping can be more expensive than the devices themselves so often it makes sense to order some extra you don't need right now as this might save you shipping and wait time later.

But as mentioned earlier instead of buying say 10 x ATmega88PA and 10x ATmega168PA it's better to just order 25x of the larger of the two, the ATmega168PA and get a discount. But to begin with I don't thik you want to buy that many AVRs and maybe never as a hobbyist.

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js wrote:
Quote:
Thanks a lot man....Yean man
Not too sure about the MAN bit with the spelling of the name Simonetta and the avatar. :)

I should check before I say things like that....

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Woah thank you all very much. I'm ordering today its been prolonged for a little bit but I'm hoping to do it tonight. Can someone show me an LCD on digikey? I don't know exactly what I'm looking for

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DavidDee wrote:
Can someone show me an LCD on digikey? I don't know exactly what I'm looking for

I'd suggest a standard parallel interface LCD module, with a backlight. 16x2 is the smallest size I'd recommend. I've found that they can be gotten much cheaper on ebay if you ebay. Something like e.g.:

http://tinyurl.com/lb59uz

I'd also suggest you generally use the 4-bit interface mode rather than the 8-bit (you'll understand when you read the datasheet or a tutorial), because those 4 IO pins you will save can almost always be put to better use.

BTW, you'll need a current-limiting resistor for the backlight. The value depends on the LCD, but if you get a bag of 100 1/4W resistors say 22-33 Ohms you can series and parallel to get the correct value for your given LCD. Not sure how good Digikey's prices are on resistors, I usually go with Mouser.

And you'll also need a variable resistor for the bias voltage. Anything in the 10k to 20k range will do.

Mike

Mike

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Thank you very much. I placed my order on DigiKey on Saturday and payed for 2 day shipping(it was cheap and why not). I have one last question and that'll be all. Because I'm running Vista 64bit I can't run AVR Studio correctly. But I got the demo of Mikro C pro for AVR. It is only the demo version but it only limits you to having a .hex file of 2kb. Which for what I'm going to be doing right now will be fine. Or there is another C compiler that the demo allows you to a 4kb .hex file. I'm just wondering you're opinions on this program and how it will work the the AVRISP MK2.

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The Mikro C compiler was a bit strange in the past. You also have Codevision demo version and ImageCraft, the later gives you a fully working demo version for 30 days. Don't know if they work under the newest evil O/S from M$.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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js wrote:
The Mikro C compiler was a bit strange in the past. You also have Codevision demo version and ImageCraft, the later gives you a fully working demo version for 30 days. Don't know if they work under the newest evil O/S from M$.

Yeah I'll try them. I think I'll just install windows XP on my laptop and just use the regular AVR Studio 4. But if not I'll give both of those other demo's a shot. Yeah I've not once had trouble with vista 'till this day. And the only reason is because I have the 64bit version. Well digikey says my order was shipped today and I paid for 3 day shipping so it should be here by the end of the week.