Simple Low cost programmer for flash and Fuse updates

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I am looking for a low cost field programmer to allow our tech support people to update the flash and enable the BOD fuses. We have ISP6PIN headers on the boards.
The less software that needs to be installed the better.
Any recommendations welcome.

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May I suggest building a standalone programmer with another AVR? It might be useful to hand the field techs a small hand-held device which they plug in, and push a button to program the target.

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Cheapest (USB connected) I know of is $11.97:

http://www.sureelectronics.net/g...

It even includes a USB A-B lead and a 10->6 pin converter lead.

Be warned that there will be $7.10 postage from HK on that order so total will be $19.07

It's vaguely possible you might be able to find an Arduino for $15..$16 that can be programmed to operate as an ISP but to that add a case, USB lead,6/10 pin programming header.

Even a supposedly "cheap" USBtinyISP from Lady Ada is $22:

http://www.adafruit.com/index.ph...

That has a case and both 6 and 10 pin headers but you need to add P&P and a USB A-B to it.

Cliff

PS I've been looking to see if it would be possible to sell a cased/cable USB connected ISP for no profit for less than $10/£5 but in small quantities I don't think it can be done. I just don't know how Sure Electronics do it AND make a profit?!?

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Cliff, Thanks for the links. I looked at the $22 one. Not sure if AVRDude would be good for our field guy to use. I guess AVR ChipBlaster and MKII would handle both firmware and fuse programming. The prices are amazingly low for the ones you posted the links to. I guess a dollar goes a long way in some locations.

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It's the Sure one I'd go for - it appears to be an STK500 (well it uses its protocol) so can be driven by the programming dialog in AVR Studio or stk500.exe for command line use (obviously avrdude.exe would be an alternative and especially if Linux may be involved)

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Hi,

The Sure V2 programmer is my everyday programmer. I get the STK500 out for prototyping, but for programming I always use the Sure V2.

I've made a little adapter I can add on to do 6 pins inline ISP which I find much easier to make a connection with by putting the 6 inline pins into a PCB with just 6 inline unpopulated pads.

Thanks,

Alan

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I like this one (although I have the previous version): http://www.micro4you.com/store/U...

$14 + $5.20 shipping

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Is the Sure V2 the one at http://www.sureelectronics.net/g... - doesn't seem to mention V2 anywhere.

Is it guaranteed to install on Windows Ultimate x64 - which needs signed drivers?

Can it program a 3V3 target?

Do you really need to install a 2006 version of WinAVR like the instruction manual says?

So many questions for something so cheap ... :)

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Quote:

$14 + $5.20 shipping

+ cost of a USB A-miniB cable (oh and a 10->6 pin adapter for OP's requirement)

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Hi,

The V2:

http://www.sureelectronics.net/g...

I use it with Windows 7 x86 and the latest version of Studio. Not sure about the 3.3V target.

Good luck,

Alan

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clawson wrote:
PS I've been looking to see if it would be possible to sell a cased/cable USB connected ISP for no profit for less than $10/£5 but in small quantities I don't think it can be done.
Ah, that was the reason for the search for a cheap AVR board ...

If you don't base it on an AVR, but on a cheap phone USB data cable, doing bit-banging directly from the cable's chip to the AVR's ISP interface?

[If this works out I'll regret this posting - having contributed to even more crap programmers in the world]

Stealing Proteus doesn't make you an engineer.

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I recommend the USB/AVR programmer from Pololu Robotics for $20. It has a programmer that interfaces to AVRstudio4 and also a TTL serial port and VeryLowFreq digital oscilloscope program.

If you have a parallel port on your PC, then I recommend using the free SP12 programmer with a 74HC126 buffer chip (called Ken's Dongle). This is a very versatile programmer. But it is not a quick as USB for burning large programs.

Both of these are ISP-based. As such, they can mess up the fuses so that the AVR device requires a high-voltage (+12v on reset) programming cycle to restore it to ISP-ready status. However, both programs and the SP12 especially take measures to avoid this problem.

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http://cgi.ebay.com/USBASP-USB-I...

That is currently $0.06 - sadly it's got a while to go and I guess it will rise but having said that I bought a USB A-B cable as an experiment earlier today for £0.12 and that includes shipping from HK !

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alank2 wrote:
I use it with Windows 7 x86 and the latest version of Studio
but is it 32-bit or 64 bit?

I have 64-bit which I installed on the basis of "bigger is best" but have had several (insurmountable) driver problems (due to the need for drivers to be signed by Microsoft - and the Interweb workarounds don't work/are stupidly prohibitive) and now wish I had done a 32-bit install instead.

I was hoping that installing the drivers and running the troublesome software in Virtual XP mode would have been OK - but I eventually found the small print that says you still needs Win 7 x64 drivers :(

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Quote:

If you don't base it on an AVR, but on a cheap phone USB data cable, doing bit-banging directly from the cable's chip to the AVR's ISP interface?

Great minds! I have three USB-RS232 cables on the way from ebay sellers - about £1.50 ($2.30) each. If they are FTDI based they should have four drivable IO, if PL2303 I think there are just two.

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clawson wrote:
if PL2303 I think there are just two.
I think the newer PL2303 versions (H, HX? No idea ...) have more, too. Or the TX, RX pins can be bit banged, too. Something like that.

Stealing Proteus doesn't make you an engineer.

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The silly thing is that on Digikey an FT232RL costs in the region of $3.5 to $4 whereas you can buy an 8bit micro with built in USB for sub-$2. Only one American distributor seemed to have PL2303HX and that was similar pricing.