AVR Dragon or something else?

Hello! I've been looking to buy an AVR Dragon as I want to start writing C. But, it's pretty hard to find.
Has it been discounted from production? Or I just had bad luck? If it's not being produced anymore, is there a successor to it, and what is its name? If it does not have a successor, what are the alternatives in the same price range and with the same functions?
Thanks!

I researched more and I found out that it was discounted in 2018. But I'd still like to buy it. I've looked into AVR ICE but it has no headers and has no place where I can solder a ZIF socket.
Am I going to run into any compatibility issues with AVR Dragon? Or is it going to work just fine?

Unfortunately, there are compatibility issues:

I created a workaround for that, but the feature my workaround relied on was removed in the Arduino IDE 1.8.13 release.

A couple options for ZIF programmers I use:

"ATmega8 minimum system development boards" (Also works for DIP-28 ATmega328/168/P)
"ATmega16 minimum system development boards" (Also works for ATmega1284/644/P)

I would pair these with the 10 pin USBasp programmer. Probably worth getting a 10 to 6 pin adapter to go with the USBasp, since all the Arduino boards use 6 pin ICSP headers. It's unfortunate that those ZIF boards use the 10 pin ICSP, but the USBasp is so cheap that I just bought a 6 pin and a 10 pin model so I don't need to deal with the bulkier cable and adapter when using my USBasp 99% of the time with the 6 pin header.


"Arduino ISP Shield"

These are intended to be plugged on top of an Arduino Uno/Mega/Leonardo, which is running the ArduinoISP sketch. It does have an ICSP header so you could use it with a separate dedicated ISP programmer if you wanted

I want to start writing C.

Why do you think you want a programmer with a ZIF socket? An ISP connection is 6 wires, which is pretty easy to connect up to ... anything. AFAIK, Dragon doesn't support UPDI (ATmega4809, etc) or ANY ARM debugging.
The number of "current" programmers that support HVPP seems to be quite small. But then, the number of chips/situations that are likely to NEED HVPP are very few.
I'd be looking a a SNAP or PICKit4, adding a ZIF socket manually if really needed. And maybe sticking to modern UPDI chips (3 wires!)

The other comments covered some important topics but the biggest question is why do you think you need a Dragon? Whatever the reason, you are probably not understanding several key things.

  1. Programming in C in what environment? Arduino, Atmel Studio or MPLAB?
  2. Which chips are you planning on using?
  3. What to do want to accomplish that you cannot do in the Arduino IDE?

I have an as new Dragon I’d be happy to sell. But I don’t think I’d be doing you any favors by selling it to you. Never been used. There’s a reason for that. Care to know why?

I would not recommend the AVR Dragon at all. I have one, and it's broken.

It's known to be very fragile, and can/will easily break if you draw too much current from the 5V line. Its IO lines are also susceptible to this as well.

If you really need a board where you can just insert any chip and then program it, I'll recommend getting a used STK500 kit. They can be had for quite cheap nowadays and supports pretty much all "classic" AVRs, those without a UPDI interface.

The PICkit4 or MPLAB SNAP are also good options.

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