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Old 27th December 2004, 09:22 PM   #1
nuppe is offline nuppe  Sweden
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Default usb-programmable micro?

Hi!

I'm soon going to dive into the world of microcontrollers (remote controlled preamp/XO), and i'm considering the Atmel at89c5131. Has anyone here tried it? The thing that caught my eye about this one is it can be programmed directly via USB.

As far as i can tell by the bootloader pdf-file, this little devil can be programmed via USB without any prior programming (provided some pins are set appropriately at power up). Would this mean a separate programmer is not necessary at all? That would be really cool!

Does anyone have experience with this(or similar) part? Does it need an external programmer? I'm not sure i interpret the pdf correctly, sometimes you read what you want to read, and not what is actually there...

/Andreas
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Old 28th December 2004, 04:21 PM   #2
nuppe is offline nuppe  Sweden
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Noone?

O well, i guess i'll take my chances and order one anyway. Worst case scenario is i'll have to bodge together a programmer or maybe buy one.

/Andreas
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Old 28th December 2004, 05:12 PM   #3
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As far as i can see the standard item is programmed with the serial ISP bootloader, in order to get USB programming done you'll have to reprogram the bootloader. The USB bootloader is available at request as i recall in the datasheet.

Anyway, i'm not sure in how many ways the bootloader is programmable, in the worst case it is only programmed by a parallel programmer for normal flash 8051 clones.

But it looks a very promising device so i sampled a couple and gonna find out if and what
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Old 28th December 2004, 05:33 PM   #4
ingrast is offline ingrast  Uruguay
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Default It works

Andreas:

It looks like it works, check starter kit software and related evaluation kit hardware.

It is fortunate you rised this issue, I have some applications from years back developed on the 87C51FA family from Intel. Though it is not within my current needs, the requirement for an updated microcontroller with flash capability comes handy. If it is MCS51 compatible much better.

Many thanks for bringing this up!!

Rodolfo
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Old 28th December 2004, 05:54 PM   #5
nuppe is offline nuppe  Sweden
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Thanks for the replies guys!

TriLithium:

I also saw the line about the bootloader being available on request. That's what made me think twice about if it would work just to hook the device with usb before programming it with a real programmer. I guess i'll have to find out the hard way if the bootloader is there or not.

ingrast:

I found the hardware kit manual just a couple of minutes before i saw your reply. Thanks for pointing it out to me anyway, i would have missed it if i hadn't made another search on google.

The usb implementation seems to be a piece of cake, three resistors and you're good to go! Too bad the only version i can get hold of easily is the reduced pin-count SO28. It greately reduces the flexibility, but it will have to do for now.

I'll post back after i've received the chip and tested programming.


/Andreas
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Old 28th December 2004, 06:00 PM   #6
jwb is offline jwb  United States
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If you will be programming the AVR series, it is worth the cost to get the STK500. It has headers for every pin on the micro, 8 switches, 8 LEDs, two RS-232 ports, clocks, and power supplies included.
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Old 6th January 2005, 01:36 PM   #7
macboy is offline macboy  Canada
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Microchip has a USB based In-Circuit Serial Programmer for their PIC microcontrollers. The micro can be installed in the circuit unprogrammed, then the ICSP unit is attached to a header to allow programming it. It costs $25, but I picked one up while they were on sale last week for $17.50. You can get them directly from Microchip or from just about any place that sells their MCUs.
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Old 6th January 2005, 04:32 PM   #8
nuppe is offline nuppe  Sweden
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Quote:
Originally posted by jwb
If you will be programming the AVR series, it is worth the cost to get the STK500. It has headers for every pin on the micro, 8 switches, 8 LEDs, two RS-232 ports, clocks, and power supplies included.
That kit looks like a good value, but this one is not an AVR, it's 8051-based, and the kit for it is about five times as expensive (at least at ELFA in sweden). I can probably manage without a kit anyway, it will just take a little more time.

Quote:
Originally posted by macboy
Microchip has a USB based In-Circuit Serial Programmer for their PIC microcontrollers. The micro can be installed in the circuit unprogrammed, then the ICSP unit is attached to a header to allow programming it. It costs $25, but I picked one up while they were on sale last week for $17.50. You can get them directly from Microchip or from just about any place that sells their MCUs.
That would be an option too. But this chip has the advantage of (probably) not needing any programmer at all, just a usb cable and computer. I won't know for sure(the docs are unclear on this point) until i get the chip and fool around with it, and that looks to be later this month. My shopping list keeps growing and i'll have to shift priorities. I'm gonna conentrate on getting a prototype XO going before i start with the controller end, and for that i need scope probes, precision resistors and caps (and LOTS of them, it's going to be switchable frequency), power supply etc etc...

Btw, anyone tried an OLED/PLED display?
They seem to deliver VFD-style performance(no backlight, great viewing angle) for a fraction of the price. I can get a 2X20 character OLED for about 24, a similar VFD goes for about 80!
They have limited lifetime, but in a preamp i'd put it to sleep anyway, so no problem.

/Andreas
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