On the last AVR project I did, I got tired of the difficulty of ripping AVRs out of the STK500 programmer. Especially with the 40-pin chips, it seems I can't really do it without bunging up the socket beneath the chip ,slightly prying the chip up enough so my IC puller will work, and in any case it has always been very difficult getting the chips in and out.
I fashioned a 6 pin header on my latest circuit, so that of course cuts down somewhat on the need to pry, but I though to myself:
why struggle? I can easily make an add-on daughter card like the stk501 that has a couple really nice Aries ZIF sockets on it. I can use the EXPAND connectors. I can fit two of the 48-ping ZIFs on the board, and I should be able to support with one socket the "A3" chips like the 8535, m16, m323, m8535, m32 (using the first 20 rows of a 48-pin socket), and the "D1" series like 2343, T12, T22, T11, T45 et all (using the other 4 rows), and with the other socket, in a similar fashion the 2313 (my favorite), and the m8 (which I have never used). I could post the resulting ExpressPCB SCH and PCB files here on Avr Freaks for everyone to use.
What do you think of my idea?
Would you find it useful to have ZIF sockets for the STK500?
If you could download the layout and all for free, would you spring the 19 bucks apiece for 2 ZIF sockets for your board, as well as the perhaps $20 per board?
Is the STK500 going to be around for a while?
Am I planning on supporting the right AVR chips? I could probably make the layout handle the other chips too in the same board run by combining two entirely separate layouts on the same PCB.
Any other ideas for me? Do you want the SPROG headers on the daughter? (I was planning on making the board as big only as the target section itself).
Typing to you from my Sun keyboard plugged through an AVR board I made into my PC,
Todd Cromwell III