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Microcontroller Programming » HV Programmer

October 08, 2013
by Noter
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My nerdkit is a high voltage programmer! Got this working and reset fuses on a couple of my otherwise dead chips. New chips are so cheap it's not really worth it but it was fun getting it to work. Only project I've done so far that uses all the pins on the atmega328.

http://i.imgur.com/VFY9bAyl.jpg

October 09, 2013
by Rick_S
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Wow, cool. That is an accomplishment. Looks like quite a bit going on, on that breadboard. I think I'm seeing an FTDI USB/Serial IC, a buck converter for pumping up the HV, as well as the programmer atmega and the target... Did I guess right??

Rick

October 09, 2013
by Noter
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Yep, you have it right. If I was to do it again I would make room on the breadboard for a zif socket for the target to make it easier to change chips but I haven't messed up fuses for a long time so really not much use for it anyway but it was good to get it working.

After thinking about Eric's post a while back, I'm going to order some Xmega's next. I am intrigued by the 32mhz clock and the on-board DAC. The ATxmega32E5 looks to be a good starting point but I'm also interested in the ATxmega128A4U because of the onboard USB and more memory is never a bad thing. The 128A4U may be a good chip for my ISP programmer too.

October 10, 2013
by Rick_S
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I really need to get onto a project, I haven't programmed a micro with something new in months. The XMega's do look interesting, and I'm with you, the USB based ones seem even more interesting, but for my needs, the ATMega's haven't fallen short yet. If I need USB, the 32U4 does pretty good for me.

October 11, 2013
by esoderberg
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Noter,

That's an impressive breadboard setup;despite my best efforts I've never been able to to get my wiring connections to look so neat or be laid out in such an organized fashion. While I concur that in most cases a new chip is cheap enough that worrying about fixing a chip with bad fuse settings isn't super important, I've had more than one occasion with PCB boards populated with multiple components attached and where I screwed up the fuses and sure would have liked to have been able to fix it without removing and re-soldering.

Saw your comment IRT Xmegas; looking forward to having someone else working with them. As I've gotten more familiar, the Event System has really shown its worth. I've got my drive by wire three wheeler code running at about 1.3 kHz, up from about 350 Hz on the 328. Some of that is due to the bump in clock speed to 32 MHz but even more due to running multiple elements in the background.

Eric

October 11, 2013
by Noter
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No choice for me, if I don't keep my wires organized and neat I have a lot of trouble getting my circuits to work. Especially when there's a lot of wires to deal with. I reuse wire as much as possible but for the most part I cut/make each jumper to fit every time.

Probably the HV programmer would not do the job without removing the mcu from the circuit anyway. Guess it depends on specific external circuitry but it doesn't take much to drop voltage or phase shift the signal just enough to prevent it from working. That's assuming the external circuitry could tolerate the programming signals too.

I've started reading about the Xmegas and have learned the ISP programmer can't be used, requires a PDI programmer instead. Looks like my first effort will be to modify one of my ISP programmers for PDI so I can download programs. Too bad the usb enabled xmegas don't come with the DFU or some other bootloader already installed but then that might take some of the fun out of it. :-)

October 12, 2013
by esoderberg
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Noter,

I guess I was just lucky in that I'd been using the AVR ISP mkII with Atmel Studio 6 for awhile to do my ISP programming on the 328 and it just so happens to do PDI as well, so when I added the XMegas to the tool kit I was good to go on the programmer side.

Eric

October 13, 2013
by Noter
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Sometimes I think maybe I'll take the easy way out and buy a programmer but I haven't bought one yet and I hate to start now. Turns out making a PDI programmer is not going to be so bad because the physical protocol is the same as TPI that is used for the Tiny10's and I've had my TPI programmer working for months. I think it's going to end up being relatively minor mod's to the TPI programmer command logic and I'll be downloading to the xmega's. After that is working maybe I'll implement a Nerdkit compatible bootloader and put it on the xmega. Make it download via the USB device if present otherwise use a serial port. One interesting feature of the xmega is baud rate is not dependent on the system clock so any baud rate will work perfectly no matter what mhz the chip is running at.

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