I have one of the crappy AVRISP mkI programmers with a prolient usb-rs232 chips in it and it worked, then didn't, then did, and now its dead. The prolient chip is terrible so I will just rob the mcu off it for some random project.
Now im faced with how I am going to program my chip (mega146). I have seen the paralel port one with 4 resistors but im worried without any buffers it would be dangerous. Helpful for fuse resetting but since im using a laptop and pcmcia card im not even sure if my 9V will do HVPP properly.
Their is the serial/ICSP methods, I have seen one with two zeners and a transistor but im not sure of its quality. I have a max232 breakout board with rx/tx/cts/rts available but im not sure how to hook it up to the avr to program this way. (I know the max232 inverts its signals but ponyprog can compensate for that)
Alternative method is to use a bootloader and the max232 hooked up to the avr's usart. I have seen STKLoad http://hubbard.engr.scu.edu/embe... but it doesn't have a hex for my atmega164 is their another one I can use?
So can anyone recommend a good cheep solution for me? Im in school now and only have the parts at my local store so only 74 series cmos and zeners really.