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Author Topic: What is the difference between using arduino as isp and a purpose-built isp?  (Read 934 times)
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Hello,

What is the difference between using arduino as isp and a purpose-built isp such as the usbtinyisp?  I have had some problems trying to burn bootloaders on new atmega328p chips, and I am ready to give up and buy something that is made to do this.  Of course, I'm not sure if this will solve my problem.  Also, is there such a thing as a 'chip copier'?  That is, a device that would have two dip sockets, one for the source and one for the destination?

Thanks,
-shane
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The USBTiny is effectively an Arduino with a smaller Atmega processor.  I have one that ceased functioning and now use another Arduino.  If you're trying to use a Uno as an ISP, you'll probably need to disable autoreset for it to work.  (10uF capacitor between reset and Gnd works well).  A Duemilanove just works. Clocking the target 328 at 16Mhz is a big help too.  (putting it in a second arduino is a good way)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 01:54:25 pm by pluggy » Logged


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Quote
I have had some problems trying to burn bootloaders on new atmega328p chips, and I am ready to give up and buy something that is made to do this

If all you need to do is burn the bootloader then connect your new chip(s) to your Arduino like the bottom-right picture here:

http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoISP

and run this program on your Arduino:

https://github.com/WestfW/OptiLoader

Very simple, reliable, and unbelievably fast.
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I have not had a problem burning bootloaders or loading a hex file with AVRDude. I use ArduinoISP from verion 0.22 rather than from V1.0 as something was changed in 1.0. 1.0 does work at 9600 baud with AVRDude, where 0.22 works at 19200.
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I have not had a problem burning bootloaders or loading a hex file with AVRDude. I use ArduinoISP from verion 0.22 rather than from V1.0 as something was changed in 1.0. 1.0 does work at 9600 baud with AVRDude, where 0.22 works at 19200.

The problem in 1.0 seems to be the smaller serial buffer.  Increasing the buffer or slowing the baud rate allows it to work again.
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A real ISP programmer will have a convenient connection to "standard" "targets to be programmed."  six-pin connector, ten-pin connector, socket or sockets, ZIF socket (perhaps able to accept more than one size of chip), etc.  No hunting for jumpers or trying to get wires to work reliably in connectors designed to accept square pins.

A real ISP programmer will be supported by a vendor whom you can yell at if and when it fails to work.  (Note that there are lots of "not so real, but more official-looking than ArduinoISP" programmers out there.  You're not likely to get much support for one of those $4 AVRASP programmers from eBay.)  (Also note that having an identified vendor (like, say, Atmel) doesn't mean that you'll actually GET better support than you get for ArduinoISP from the Arduino community.  It just means that you have someone "official" to be mad at.)
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Thanks all,

Well, I purchased the USBTinyISP kit and it seems to have solved whatever problem I was having.  I just put a chip in an arduino and used the ide to burn the bootloader.

-shane
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I've owned a USBtiny for over two years now and it does work great with the IDE or standalone with AVRDUDE on all the mega8,168, and 328p chips I have used it on. However I've been told here that the USBtiny will not program mega1280/2560 chips properly as it can't deal with the larger flash memory address sizes those chips have. I haven't tried it personally but if I was in the market for a ISP programmer today I would want one that works with the arduino IDE and that can support larger flash memory addresses.

Lefty
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