What is an AVR?
An AVR is a relatively inexpensive user-programmable microprocessor that can be integrated into just about any project that needs a brain. Unlike most computer/electronics terms, decoding the AVR acronym is tricky. While some Atmel AVR devotees will claim that it doesn't have a definition others will state with a straight face that it isn't even an acronym. Some microcontroller programmers think that AVR is derived from the initials of the engineers who designed the AVR--Alf & Vegard + RISC. After extensive research, however, the most believable definition could be: AVR = Advanced Virtual RISC.
Enter the AVR Dragon
Whether it's a marketing lapse or a brilliant design configuration feature, beginners should be aware that Atmel Corporation does not include several vital pieces of equipment in the AVR Dragon box.
Yes, the AVR Dragon is USB-powered and yes, there is a free programming application that can be used with the AVR Dragon; but, you will need to provide your own USB cable and you will have to download the latest version of AVR Studio from the Atmel Web site.
Furthermore, you will be required to solder several components to the AVR Dragon to enable it to work with the widest variety of 8-bit AVR products. These components enable the budding AVR user to program and emulate many of the products in the AVR device family. A properly configured AVR Dragon offers these programming interfaces:
- In-System Programming
- High Voltage Serial Programming
- Parallel Programming
- JTAG Programming
Step 1: How to Prepare the AVR Dragon for AVR Programming
- AVR Dragon (Digi-Key; ATAVRDRAGON-ND $49)
- (1) AMP 6-Position, 2-Row, .100 Connector Housing (Digi-Key; A3032-ND $1.30)
- (32) AMP 1-Position, .100 Connector Housing (Digi-Key; A26962-ND $11.12)
- (38) AMP 15 Au, Crimp 27-32 AWG, Connector Socket (Digi-Key; A25955-ND $25.02)
- (1) IDC Multi-Color 20-Position Ribbon Cable with 20-Position, 2-Row Socket (Digi-Key; M1AXA-2036R-ND $4.39)
- (1) AMP 20-Position, 2-Row .100 Straight Breakaway Header Connector (Digi-Key; A26525-10-ND $1.21)
- (1) AMP 40-Position, 2-Row, .100 Straight Breakaway Header Connector (Digi-Key; A26525-20-ND $1.61)
- (1) ARES 40-Pin ZIF Socket (Digi-Key; A306-ND $12.02)