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AVR Dragon’s at uCHobby

DigiKeyBoxWithDragonsWe purchased two Atmel AVR Dragons from Digi-Key (order page) to support a series of articles Jacob Woj is doing about developing and debugging with AVR Studio. His first article compared the various microcontroller options available for hobbyist. The second article described setting up for development with the free AVR Studio and AVR-GCC compilers to do single-step debugging with the simulator. The next article will deal with debugging real hardware using JTAG and the AVR Dragon. Stay tuned…

In this article we see the cool packaging that Atmel fashioned for the AVR Dragon. I was surprised that they put such style into this development product. I expect simple cardboard boxes and anti-static zip-lock bags for development parts. The AVR Dragon is different, it comes in a cool box and has a dragon tattoo! Come see the pictures.

Oh the other parts in the box… The AVR Dragon needs to be configured for the target microcontroller so there are a bunch of headers and sockets to get things setup. Jacob has sent instructions on what he needs setup so I plan to build up a board, test it, then send it on to him to play with. I may do an article about getting it configured but I don’t want to steal his steam…

OK here we go with a sequence of un-boxing pictures. I would not normally be so excited but I think Atmel deserves some attention for being so cool about the product packaging on this one. I was impressed…

DragonBox 

Look at the pretty box. Yes its just a simple cardboard box but the graphic….

 

DragonBoxOpen

Oh a bit more then a simple cardboard box. Its got some complex folds to add to that style.

 

DragonBoardTop

Well the board looks as expected, lots of surface mount parts and a large area for headers. I will be figuring out what to install there in the next day or so. I know Jacob is anxious to get one of these…

DragonBoardBottom 

Nice dragon tattoo on the bottom of the board. Also its very nice to see documentation on the back side of the board like this. It is more expensive to silk-screen the bottom and top of a PCB but in this case, the Atmel engineers felt that the configuration information and dragon tattoos were wort it. I agree!

Posted in Arduino, Development Tools, Microcontroller, Parts, Review.


7 Responses

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  1. Jon says

    The Dragon is absolutely wonderful. I’ve got one I’m using for an undergraduate senior project and I am very happy with it. After not doing things this way, I recommend:

    1) Soldering a DIP socket onto the large area on the right to support any chip
    2) Soldering female pin sockets, if possible, onto the interface area
    3) Creating a couple connectors for your favorite programming method. I’m a fan of JTAG. I’m not sure about all atmel chips, but the ones I use have the JTAG connectors right next to each other, so a simple 4-bin connector would work wonders.

  2. Jkx says

    I just wrote a little tuto about using AVR Dragon with GDB (and DDD) on Linux.

    Hope this will help some people (most people use the Dragon as a ISP, but you can use it as a JTAG too)

  3. Brian says

    More like, apostrophe abuse at uCHobby. But seriously, thanks for documenting this.

  4. Berni says

    That box sure looks good, my pickit 2 came in a plastic box like any other peice of electronics

  5. Gary says

    The Dragon is barebones as shipped. You might check out the Dragon Rider (http://www.ecrostech.com/AtmelAvr/DragonRider/index.htm) which makes an OK dragon board into a fantastic development environment.

  6. dfowler says

    I got some various kinds of pots to look at for breadboard adapters and a switching power supply chip to play with.

  7. Florin says

    Nice. I also like the nice packaging . What else did you got there? 🙂