Good Arduino programmer?

I am trying to find a good USB programmer that can be used with Arduino IDE, Atmel Studio 6 and if possible, Atmel Studio 7. Is there such a thing?

I don't know about other than Arduino IDE but USBasp is the best and cheapest programmer. My preference is the 6 pin version since the ICSP header on Arduinos is 6 pin and it's very unlikely you'd use the other pins for anything. You can get 10 to 6 pin adapters but once you do that you will have spent more than the price of the 6 pin model anyway. So do a little research (or wait for others to comment here) on whether there are any issues with USBasp and Atmel Studio, then order one (or a couple, they're cheap) ASAP because China shipping can be a little slow around Chinese New Year.

USBasp is not the best, Atmel AVRISP MKii is the best, it will do all Atmega AVR chips.

However, it is out of production.

6 pin versions of Atmega8a-based programmers are probably the next best choices, or a 10 pin version with adapter cable. Many can be found on Amazon.

Which AVR won't the USBasp program?

You can still get non-Atmel AVRISP clones. Olimex makes one and I've seen Chinese versions on eBay. I don't know if they're exactly the same as the Atmel AVRISP mkII.

I own an Atmel AVRISP mkII but I always use the USBasp instead. It is kind of nice how the mkII allows you to power the MCU separately and auto detects the logic levels but I've never found the need for that yet and it's also the main reason why I don't use it. It''s faster to plug in the USBasp and go. The mkII also had a problem with Arduino IDE's Burn Bootloader process on Windows. I found it to be fixed with the last avrdude upgrade but someone pretty in the know disagreed with me that it was fixed so I don't know what's going on there.

Yes, I was checking eBay and amazon and there seem to be some Atmel AVRISP MKii clones (?). I wonder if anyone has tried any of them and if they are really clones.

There is still one more thing that only AVR Dragon seems to have and that is high voltage programming to recover broken fused ICs but it doesn't seem to be well supported in Arduino IDE. A few people have problems using this programmer even with latest version of Arduino IDE v1.8.1.

pert:
I own an Atmel AVRISP mkII but I always use the USBasp instead. It is kind of nice how the mkII allows you to power the MCU separately and auto detects the logic levels but I've never found the need ...

I'm with you. :slight_smile: I also have AVRISP mkII but I use the USBasp. USBasp is handy, cheap and provide the power for the chip.

@Lefty
You will need high voltage programming once in blue moon (or never).

Budvar10:
@Lefty
You will need high voltage programming once in blue moon (or never).

Only if you want to enable the RSTDISBL fuse. Which for most people here, will be very close to "never" unless they do it by accident.

(Or disable SPIEN, though I don't know why you'd want to do that. There must be some reason since the feature exists)