STK500, STK600 or something else

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Hey all the clued up guys.

For the past 5 or so months, I've been working with a M8, loaded with a bootloader. Now this works fine as the programmer cost me next to nothing to build.

Now, the only problem is, is that I am dependant on my supplier to supply me with AVRs with a bootloader on them.

But I am limited to only a few types and only when he is available as he is very busy and out of town alot.

So, now I would like to know, stk500, stk600 or something else?

I prefer DIP pakages as most of the projects I build I build on vero board ( don't feel etching PCB's everytime).

So in that case, is the STK500 a better option than the STK600?

O yes, I won't be trying 32bit any time soon. First want to know the 8bit quite well.

I've tried to do a search on freaks, but can't find anything.

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is it a programmer you are looking for? without the need for an AVR with a preloaded bootloader?

http://www.speedy-bl.com/avr-pro...

If I have got you right, thish might help. However STK500 is a real good choice. It supports High Voltagr Programming that can salvage locked AVRS.

Bharath Bhushan Lohray
M.Sc.

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Just get a STK500. You can prototype with it very easily. I would prefer this to a parallel port programmer.

Alternatively I am sure that some Freak can burn bootloaders for you.

David.

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STK500

Jim

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If you are doing rapid prototyping (updating your programs a lot) then go for the AVRISPMKII. The STK500 is great for beginners, but it's a pain having to pop out your micro off the breadboard and into the socket just to program it for small changes, when you can just leave it as is and use a nice small USB programmer directly wired to the breadboard. (and it's only $35 vs. $100) I love both, but prefer AVRISPMKII once I start getting into a programming session.

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STK500

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You can use the STK500 for target system ISP as well, as it has both 6 pin and 10 pin ISP headers.

A STK500 is a nice piece of kit, I can well recommend it.

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Can I access the Port pins of the AVR dirrectly from the STK500? Lets say I'm driving a LCD, with cables from the STK to the breadboard. It seems so or am I wrong?

I do program alot and does alot of small changes all the time.

Its only my current supplier that can do this bootloader. Our electronics stores doesn't do this and they are a bit slow and don't keep stock of everything, so it will be a BIG hassle to get that done.

I prob will have to order a STK from US if I decide to go with that.

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PORT A/B/C/D are available on 10 pin headers with GND and VCC pins.

Why not read the STK500 manual, it's in the AVR studio helpfile.

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If you want to do bread-boarding, the STK500 is the best possible choice. You have access to all available I/O ports that the STK500 can support.

If you have a target board, or even if you are prototyping on one or two of those White breadboards, you can use the STK500 programmer there, as well. You just need to wire up a 6-pin or 10-pin programming header on the breadboard and plug the STK500 programming cable into your breadboard, just as easily. In addition, the STK500 can program your target boards in the same manor.

The STK600 is a good choice, as well. But the main board is more expensive. In addition, if you want to use something other then a 40 pin DIP or a TQFP64, you have to buy the appropriate adapter cards - at a cost of US$99.00 each.

If you just want to program your target PCB, or something on a White breadboard, the ATAVRISP-MK2 is an excellent choice, at about US$35.00.

While I have a couple of STK500's, an STK600 and three ATAVRISP-MK2 programmers, I find that the STK600 is displacing the STK500 because of the USB connection to the host PC computer. But I can only program 40 pin DIP and TQFP64 controllers. I just can't justify US$99.00 for each additional device package I want to use.

I use the STK500 for a lot of design & program proving. But my target boards see the ATAVRISP-MK2, almost exclusively, because it's so small and it seems to program considerably faster then the STK500.

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

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Quote:
I use the STK500 for a lot of design & program proving. But my target boards see the ATAVRISP-MK2, almost exclusively, because it's so small and it seems to program considerably faster then the STK500.

Carl,

Since you have both AVRISP-2 and a STK500, it would be interesting to compare different programming speeds. You just need to program a target board via the 6-way cable.

I seem to remember timing a 16MHz Mega128 at about 9 seconds for the full 128kB with a STK500. Surely most people of our age can live with that.

For equal ISP clock settings, the only difference could be due to a slow UART connection baud rate.

David.

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Carl

Thank you for that great explenation. It looks like I either will go for the MK2 or the STK500. Both are pretty expensive in South Africa.

Thank you for the information.

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Quote:

If you are doing rapid prototyping (updating your programs a lot) then go for the AVRISPMKII. The STK500 is great for beginners, but it's a pain having to pop out your micro off the breadboard and into the socket just to program it for small changes, when you can just leave it as is and use a nice small USB programmedirectly wired to the breadboard.

The STK500 can do programming on a breadboard just as fine as the ISP mkII can. No need to move the AVR around. STK500 has both 6- and 10-pin ISP headers that can be connected to the breadboard.

Another strategy also available is to leave the AVR in the STK500 all the time, and connect its pins to the project on the breadboard via the STK500 breakout headers.

Another advantage of the STK500 is the clock generating system.

Another advantage of the STK500 is the 8 LEDs and 8 switches, ready for a quick experiment or a mockup, anytime.

Another advantage of the STK500 is the aux RS232.

One advantage with the ISP mkII: It connects to the PC via USB. The STK500 is RS232 (so you need a RS232-to-USB converter if your PC has no serial port).

My vote: STK-500. If I'd have to get a AVR development/programming system I'd probably go for the STK500. Again.. And again.. And again.. (I have three STK-500s :wink: )

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JohanEkdahl wrote:

(I have three STK-500s :wink: )

How about you send me one of those STK's? Just kidding.

Thank you Johan. All this help on AVR freaks is really helping me alot.

I think my decision will be the STK500, what is a second or two when programming a MCU in any case?

As long as I can leave the AVR in the STK or on a breadboard and just use wires from the headers I will enjoy it. AS LONG AS I don't have to take out the AVR, program it, replace it, test it, Take it out, progr............. I will enjoy it.

When I used the 80C31 with EPROM it was such a big nuscence to program the EPROM everytime. Take out, program, replace, take out program replace.....never again.

Now it is just a case of coming up with the cash and finding a local distributer.

O yes, I already have an USB to RS232 cable that I am currently using, so that is no big deal.

Last Edited: Wed. Jun 11, 2008 - 11:41 AM
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O yes, everybody is talking about the STK500 and the MKII, but is there anything alse available on the market? Just curious.

Bharath, thanx for the link, but I would prefer serial or USB.

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Quote:
When I used the 80C51 with EPROM it was such a big nuscence to program the EPROM everytime. Take out, program, replace, take out program replace.....never again.

Don't forget the UV erasure process, that seems to take forever when you've just ran out of erased ones :)

Back in '94 or so I did a lot with STs ST6 series, I had about 7 or 8 EPROM versions which were hugely expensive and erasing them took 20 to 30 minutes. No ISP, no debug interface, no C compiler; strange instruction set. Development compared to AVRs took forever.

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Dragon could be another choice. Interesting enough since it can debug any new uC with 32KB of flash or less, but is quite fragile, and don't have the breadboardable/rapido prototyping facilites than STK500.

If you plan to debug your programs (I would encourage you to do so), then it is a cheap way. There are better and expensive options, like JTAGICE MkII.

Anyway, I would use STK500, but that is because I have some JTAGICE's already.

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.

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O sorry, my bad. Luckaly it was EEPROM not EPROM.

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Quote:

Dragon [...] don't have the breadboardable/rapido prototyping facilities[...]

Uh? AFAIK the Dragon has a header that is breaking out all 40 pins of the target socket. No switches or LEDs though.

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Neither the 10 pin headers, and less connectivity interfaces (many not mounted also) but at least it has some sort of external connectivity.

Anyway, JTAG/DebugWire facility is more important to me than switches or led's, that makes DRAGON a nice platform for many hobbysts, from my humble point of view.

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.

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omw, ok.....is jtag neccasery? what will it help me with? I know its some sort of debugging thingy tool thingy or something like that.

This is going to take time. But it is ok, I need to do research before I buy, that I don't go and spend another grand on something like the damn rabbit I baught that I'm not using or don't like.

Thank you guys, please keep posting and help me to make the right choice. For now, i think it is the STK500, but things might change....way in the begining it was the MKII, so maybe next it will be the AVR2000, RVA 10 or who knows what might pop up here.

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It depends on how you do things. As long as you can keep a permanent ISP connection of some form, the a program - run - edit - program - run cycle is fine.

With JTAG, the run section can be single-stepped or breakpoints can be set on your real hardware. This can really help debugging.

However for a lot of code, you see the logical error, edit and re-compile. Judicious use of printf() debug statements and / or LEDs can help to make debugging effective.

It all depends on you and your applications. I would choose STK500, printf(), and pencil and paper. You can always develop with a larger Mega, then transfer to a Tiny. Even if you are using USI on your eventual target, the main program logic can be run on a Mega.

David.

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Another intesresting point for JTAG is when you have to debug serial comms with other things. In this case, printf() is not so useful.

Also, since you can watch internal variables, internal registers, you can switch them with the mouse, and you can iteract with interal hardware from the PC, something that you can't do with printf(), then you can refine more things without having to modify/rewrite and add printf() functions that eat RAM and FLASH.

It also allows you to run into ISR's, something that printf() are recommended not to do.

In short, the effort to debug with printf() is not worth the difference in price to buy a Dragon and use JTAG/DW.

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.

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Quote:
O yes, everybody is talking about the STK500 and the MKII, but is there anything alse available on the market? Just curious.

I'm on the STK500 bandwagon, but to answer your question:

If you have an Atmel Butterfly Demo Board then you already have a $21 (USA) ISP programmer. Add a header, and a couple of resistors, and optional LEDs and use Dean's Buttload program. FourWalled Cube .

JC

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The Dragon Rider 500 by ECROS also expands the functionality of the Dragon for an extra couple bucks.

http://www.ecrostech.com/AtmelAvr/DragonRider/index.htm

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Has anyone used or seen the system maarek posted the link to? Seems alot cheaper than the STK500, but function wise, I'm not to sure. Maybe the expertz can have a look and post their thoughts?

Is the fragon a good option? I've read somewhere that it is very fragile and I think it was mentioned in here as well.

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But if you go with mareek's option you are actually looking at $49 for a Dragon, $28.95 for Dragon rider complete, $4.95 for serial add-on, $3.95 for LED/switch add-on. When you add all that up you are looking at more than the STK500 I think though admittedly you have the intense joy of added JTAG and debugWire

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Quote:

Is the fragon a good option? I've read somewhere that it is very fragile and I think it was mentioned in here as well.

"fragon" :D Is that "fragile dragon"?

If you use the search function you will find the posts about the fragility of the Dragon. The abridged version, out of memory, goes:
- Never touch the parts of the Dragon while powered.
- Never do any attaching/detaching of anything while the Dragon or the target system is powered (apart from the USB cable, of course).
- Use a good, separately powered USB hub (never use the Dragon attached directly to a PC or a USB hub that draws it power from the PC).

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oops spelling errorrrrrr. But i think that is a good new name though don;t you think? Can't be powered directly from USB, not tinterested. Back to the STK.

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Quote:

Can't be powered directly from USB, not tinterested. Back to the STK.

You did get that the STK connection to the PC is serial? So in lack of serial port on PC you'll need a USB-to-Serial converter instead of the powered hub that the Dragon wants. Between a rock and a hard place?

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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External powered USB hub means extra wall outlet needed = extra wires = not my style = I am full of crap.

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Quote:

I am full of crap

:shock:

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

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"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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yeah, I can be full of it sometimes.

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mtlost wrote:
External powered USB hub means extra wall outlet needed = extra wires...

And isolation from potential disaster.

Just ask anyone who has slain a Dragon. It is USB too, after all.

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

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Don't forget that anyways you should power your STK500 externally, so you need an external power supply anyway. Only a USB hub more, to be safe.

Take a look at Plons threads about Dragons and modifications to increase safety.

As we say in our office, about the first law of any SAT: 'a device, when plugged, works better'. ;)

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.