The magic smoke escaped!

Whilst tinkering with a project on friday night, I smelled a funny smell. Knowing only too well what the smell was I quickly powered off everything.

Then I spotted it, the magic smoke that makes all electronic devices work was busy escaping from my AVR programmer! You can see the black mark on the chip where the smoke found it’s way out.

This wouldn’t have been such a bad thing, but I then discovered that this type of programmer was no longer available, so I’d have to buy one of the newer USB programmers for about 25 pounds. Not good, but bearable.

But then I discovered that my Compiler and programmer would need upgrading, there’s another 150 euros. Now this is getting silly.

Suddenyl I remember, I purchased an Elektor USB AVR programmer a while back, great… plug it in, and suprise suprise, windows doesn’t recognise it. So, I install the new version of the Atmel AVR Studio, and the driver works. Next the programmer, I gave the one in the AVR studio a go, and it reset my chip, but wouldn’t read the chip type, oh great, it’s friend a chip. pop in a new one, that doesn’t work, very odd. I tried a couple more and got the same result, WTF?

So I tried another board, and it worked fine. Ok so it’s not fried the controller it’s fried my diodes on the current project board. Replace the diodes, still no worky. Huh?

Then I had a thought, I used to have to use diodes with the old programmer as when it had finished programming it left the pins HIGH (i.e. at 5v). I wondered if this one was struggling to cope with the diodes? so I removed them, and bingo, the programmer works!

So, that’s saved me 25 pounds. I also took the chance to mail the people who make my compiler to ask about differences in the new version (mine was version 1.24, then new one was 2.08 and nearly 4 years newer!). Much to my suprise they say I can buy an upgrade for 75 euros instead of having to buy a full version, excellent, that’s what I call service.

Anyway, looks like I’m back on track with that project, more on that when I’ve got the last bug out of it.

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