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Re: [avr-gcc-list] Which USB programmer for Linux

From: Joerg Wunsch
Subject: Re: [avr-gcc-list] Which USB programmer for Linux
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 21:03:49 +0100 (MET)

Micah Carrick <address@hidden> wrote:

> I see there are several-- AvrUsb500, usBisp, avrisp, ISPAVRU1 --does
> anyone have any reccomendations?

I don't known what #1 and #4 are, so I can't tell.

USBisp is a do-it-yourself device designed by Matthias Wei├čer, using
the an open-source implementation of the STK500 protocol.  It even
features a bootloader that talks a stripped-down STK500 protocol, and
if you are looking for a cheap solution where you are willing to do
all the legwork of soldering yourself, I can recommend these.  (You
could even consider these boards a simple experimentation board for an
ATmega8/88 that connect to USB through an FT245BM, so they can be used
for more than just flashing another AVR.)

As it runs plain STK500 (v1 or now also v2) protocol, support in
AVRDUDE is quite well (though there are currently some flaws in
AVRDUDE with respect to the EEPROM handling of recent AVRs).

AVRISP mkII is the Atmel successor of their old, RS-232 based ISP
programming dongle.  On the USB end, it uses the same (IIRC Philips)
chip as is used in the JTAG ICE mkII (and is said to be used in the
STK600), though much to my surprise, they invented a different
protocol.  On the ISP side, they added a lot of features to detect
miscabling, shorts of any sort etc. so to not damage the device or the
target, and their ATmega128 certainly allows for a lot of features
potentially to be added to the firmware.  That's quite a difference to
the cheap programmers like USBisp, and given that, I think its price
(around USD 30 if I'm not mistaken) is justified.  Support for it has
recently been added to AVRDUDE, but my experience is that there are
perhaps some rough edges still.  Compared to other programmers (like
the plain STK500 over RS-232, or the JTAG ICE mkII that uses basically
the same libusb code to talk to the programmer), I feel it is fairly
slow.  Guess I have to analyze that some day.

Any other programmer that talks a decent protocol that fits well
enough into the USB packet-oriented datastream should work as well.
Stay away from dumb per-byte request-response type programmers like
the AVR910-style devices.  Though in theory, with an RS-232 to USB
converter, you could connect to them through USB, they will be dog
slow due to the USB data packeting.

cheers, J"org               .-.-.   --... ...--   -.. .  DL8DTL

http://www.sax.de/~joerg/                        NIC: JW11-RIPE
Never trust an operating system you don't have sources for. ;-)

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