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Author Topic: Moving from the uno to programming AVRs. Please recommend  (Read 4252 times)
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I'm about to go from programming an UNO to programming ATmega chips (not sure which yet, but probably 4-8k variety up to 20MHz) to use in some prototypes.  I am not at all sure how to program chips outside of the one that is installed on the UNO.  Can someone make some recommendations?  Do I need to purchase something from ATMEL?  Can I use the UNO board itself?  If I need to purchase something, my budget is $50 USD.

Thanks,
memotick
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You will need a programmer like the AVRisp Mk2 (ATmega chips don't come with bootloaders) and you should download the free AVRstudio from Atmel.  For help you can go to the AVRfreaks forums.  The programming will be similar to Arduino programming without the Arduino core and libraries (no digitalWrite, analogRead, millis, etc).
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I'm did exactly that and made a little tutorial up along the way to help others. It was actually easier then what I was expecting. That never happens: https://sites.google.com/site/0miker0/Designing-your-custom-Arduino-Board
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What are the "4-8K variety"?

I've used ATtiny85, ATTiny84, and ATMega328 and always with ArduinoISP. Never had any problems.
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You will need a programmer like the AVRisp Mk2 (ATmega chips don't come with bootloaders)
As you have a Arduino you can also use arduinoisp.
Best regards
Jantje
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 As others have said, you can certainly use your existing Uno board as a AVR programmer using the arduinoISP sketch. If you do want a standalone programmer here is one that works with AVRDUDE and also directly works with the arduino IDE and is quite affordable. Got one earlier in the week and it functions fine.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__21321__USBasp_AVR_Programming_Device_for_ATMEL_proccessors.html?strSearch=USBasp

Lefty
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As others have said, you can certainly use your existing Uno board as a AVR programmer using the arduinoISP sketch. If you do want a standalone programmer here is one that works with AVRDUDE and also directly works with the arduino IDE and is quite affordable. Got one earlier in the week and it functions fine.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__21321__USBasp_AVR_Programming_Device_for_ATMEL_proccessors.html?strSearch=USBasp

Lefty
Thanks for the link. I'm thinking about getting 1 (or more). To me (and you) they are quite affordable but it still is 10% of the budget of OP.  smiley-twist
Best regards
Jantje
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To me (and you) they are quite affordable but it still is 10% of the budget of OP.  smiley-twist
You can get them direct from Hong Kong for just under $4 (including free shipping).  Just search eBay for "USBasp".  Note that they usually come with only a 10-pin cable.  To use them with an Arduino you will need to adapt them to the 6-pin connector.  You can find 10-pin to 6-pin adapters on eBay but they will cost another $4 so someone on a tight budget might want to fabricate their own cable.
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To me (and you) they are quite affordable but it still is 10% of the budget of OP.  smiley-twist
You can get them direct from Hong Kong for just under $4 (including free shipping).  Just search eBay for "USBasp".  Note that they usually come with only a 10-pin cable.  To use them with an Arduino you will need to adapt them to the 6-pin connector.  You can find 10-pin to 6-pin adapters on eBay but they will cost another $4 so someone on a tight budget might want to fabricate their own cable.

Yes, that's why I bought the one I listed as it's cable has both 10 and 6 pin female connectors on it. Saved needing to buy the converter adapter.

Lefty
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To me (and you) they are quite affordable but it still is 10% of the budget of OP.  smiley-twist
You can get them direct from Hong Kong for just under $4 (including free shipping).  Just search eBay for "USBasp".  Note that they usually come with only a 10-pin cable.  To use them with an Arduino you will need to adapt them to the 6-pin connector.  You can find 10-pin to 6-pin adapters on eBay but they will cost another $4 so someone on a tight budget might want to fabricate their own cable.
4$ is 8% of 50$
With a tight budget like this you need to use what you have in house. So I advice start with arduino isp and a good breadboard.
That said; 50$ is really tight (in the western world) to learn a new technology so it probably will not be sufficient if there are no free resources around (like a school lab).

I don't know much from the hardware side.
From the software side : If you like/know eclipse the paths Arduino IDE -> arduino eclipse plugin -> avr eclipse  could be a good path and it is 100% free.
If you're not into eclipse you're probably best looking into the free AVRstudio from Atmel.
Best regards
Jantje
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Here is an awesome guide on how to program little Atmel chips:
http://hlt.media.mit.edu/?p=1695

Another Tutorial:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Program-an-ATtiny-with-Arduino/
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