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Support Forum » Fried my chip, now I'm stuck.

February 07, 2011
by Pew446
Pew446's Avatar

I built an LED array the other day, it was really fun and I learned a lot. I think I may have either pumped in too much electricity or I programmed the chip too much, because now all it does is display 2 red bars. The computer won't even detect it anymore.

I found out you can somehow program a bootloader onto a new 168-20pu chip, but I have no idea how this is done. I'd rather have a programmer than just buy a new chip with it preloaded for 2 reasons:

  1. The skill.

  2. In case I screw up again.

If anyone knows what I need to program a new chip (My local electronics supply store sells them) please let me know. Thanks! :)

February 08, 2011
by Rick_S
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  1. I really doubt you've "programmed the chip too much" as the flash has about 10,000 write cycles before failure according to the datasheet.
  2. These micro's are quite resiliant, and while if you "pumped in too much electricity" you could have damaged it, you may not have as well.
  3. Any ISP programmer designed for these chips can program a blank ATMEGA168 or ATMEGA328P. Search the web, you'll find a bunch, research them, if in doubt, buy a dev kit like an AVRDragon, or STK500 from Atmel. Just know this, it is MUCH more difficult to render a chip useless through programming via a bootloader than it is programming via ISP --- Especially if you start messing around with fuse settings, which you will most likely want to do on a new chip since they are factory set to run on a 1Mhz internal oscillator.
  4. If you don't want to buy an ISP programmer, you can build one yourself as long as your computer has a REAL parallel port. Search the web for DAPA programmer and you'll find info on these. Just beware, if you "pump in too much electricity" with one of those programmers attached to your computer you could damage your computer.

My recommendation for what it's worth, would be to:

  1. Describe in detail what happened or why you think your micro is shot.
  2. Post photo's of your setup.
  3. Post screen shot's of the error you get when trying to program the chip.
  4. If it is determined that your micro is most likely bad, get another and learn how to use it before delving into the world of other programming methods.

You'll find there are a host of people here more than willing to talk you through problems and help you out, but you have to provide the info we need to be able to do that.


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