Arduino ISP-max uploads

Hi, I want to use my arduino uno r3 as ISP programmer to upload sketches without bootloader to my atmega8 controllers. Each time I want to upload sketch to my atmega8 on a breadboard I need to compile and upload ArduinoISP. Somewhere I red that when using File-->Upload Using Programmer I will upload the sketch to my target controller and my arduino controller. So If I understand correctly If I want to program many controllers-for my system (I will need huge amount of atmega8's 1000+) I will have to upload the arduinoISP sketch 1000+ times. The arduino should use some EEPROM inside to keep the sketches and there should be a limit about the max number of uploads(cycles) that I can make. Does anybody knows what is the limit? Also is there a way I can upload sketches to my controllers without uploading the same sketch on my arduino? Taking out the chip from my arduino is not a good option because I am learning now and I use my arduino every day and so many insert/remove operations will damage my board or the pins of the controller.

thanks in advance

Tonko

"Also is there a way I can upload sketches to my controllers without uploading the same sketch on my arduino?"

Get a standalone AVR ISP. The programmer only passes the code from the PC to the device being programmed.

tonko_lonko:
If I want to program many controllers-for my system (I will need huge amount of atmega8’s 1000+) I will have to upload the arduinoISP sketch 1000+ times.

No, you don’t. Just upload Arduino as ISP once.

I think Adafruit have a programmer shield you can pop on top of the Arduino, and that has a ZIF socket. I think they also have a variation of their software where you upload the sketch once, hit a button, it programs the chip, you remove the chip and put another one in, hit the button again, and so on. That would be a lot quicker to do 1000 chips.

What CrossRoads said, is a commercial version of the same idea.

Or you could adapt the idea on this page:

http://www.gammon.com.au/forum/?id=11635

That uploads a bootloader onto various chips. The bootloader is held in memory in the programmer chip, so you just hit “go” on the serial monitor and it programs it. Instead of the bootloader you would put your target sketch, and adjust a couple of things so it puts it into low memory, not bootloader memory.

[quote author=Nick Gammon link=topic=153293.msg1149899#msg1149899 date=1362875783] That would be a lot quicker to do 1000 chips. [/quote]

Even when it's reduced to plugging the chip in and pushing a button, doing it a thousand times would drive you mad. Is it possible to get the job done professionally? I'm sure there must be machines to do this job. If not, I'd rather spend the time making a machine to do it, than manually programming a thousand chips. Knowing my luck, I'd just finish the production run when the 'Rev B' software comes out.

If you're buying 1000 chips, you might be able to get the distributor to program them for you. Or talk a local high school kid into doing it for you.

Thanks guys, I will buy external programmer. Now I will browse the net and forum to find the best programmer I can use to program Atmega8,Atmega168 and Atmega328 with arduino IDE. What is the best one for you guys?

Also most times instead of double checking my code when I am doing some hobby projects with my arduino I just upload and test because its less time consuming then checking 100 lines of code.Is that a bad practice?Will I reach the EEPROM limit.Should I care and try to make less uploads as possible?Because if the limit is 10 000 cycles I will reach this limit soon. For my previous project -my robot I did maybe 1000 uploads

Atmel AVR ISP MKii Will handle All the AVR chips. I think mouser.com has the best price.

Your code is not being uploaded to EEPROM - it is uploaded to flash.

Write/Erase Cycles: 10,000 Flash/100,000 EEPROM

So, 10,000/365 = 27 uploads a day every day for a year before the Flash MIGHT start showing retention problems.

tonko_lonko: For my previous project -my robot I did maybe 1000 uploads

Personally I don't worry, although I probably do 5 or more uploads a day, to help on the forum. If the chip fails, and it hasn't yet, I'll replace it for $5.