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Radical AVR USB programmer design

You’ve probably seen many AVR ISP programmers that come with USB connection. Some of them use software based USB stack emulation, others use hardware USB or specialized chip like FTDI USB to serial. Anyway all of these are at some level quite complex and most of them require to be somehow programmed in order to operate. Well this one is different as it uses an USB hub for USB interface.

So this programmer doesn’t use any other USB chips but hub itself. The idea is brilliant: it uses four hub ports that can be enabled and disabled from PC software this way creating pulses on each hub output. Sending these pulses through simple logic Quad 2-input NAND gate you get all signals required to program AVR chip via ISP interface. Currently software works only with Linux, but who knows – the idea itself is great to move towards cheap and simple USB ISP programmer.

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4 Comments

  1. >the idea itself is great to move towards cheap and simple USB ISP programmer

    Not really. A cheap USB ICSP is like, what? $30? This programs at a fraction of a percent of the speed of such a device, requires a hub, too much setup, etc.

    Just get a damned programmer. They cost like nothing.

  2. If you say, you can buy everything, then why have hobbies and DIY stuff. Everything you can buy today. But as you know there are lots of people who is passionate rather to build programmers by themselves by using stuff laying around them instead of purchasing one – especially if you need it couple times. In other way buying a tool sometimes saves tons of time and nerves. Piece!

  3. >Currently software works only with Linux, but who knows – the idea itself is great to move towards cheap and simple USB ISP programmer.

    So if the software works only with Windows – it _is_ cheap and simple USB ISP programmer? Come on.

  4. Seems that this sentence raised a debates about simplicity and price. Simplicity there is that you could use a simple hub lying on table and so you don’t have to pay additional penny for it. Unfortunately software is another topic. It actually should be adapted to more operational systems in order to be simple to use. All this applies to DIY world. If don’t want any caveats you can always buy a normal programmer. Everyone has its own point of view an this is great.

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