On 07/19/2010 20:04, WA5BDU posted:
OK, I got the SparkFun programmer and since it wasn't instant success, I naturally have some questions ...

Installed AVRDude and the driver and things looked good. Also, it turns out that the version shipped has a cable with both 6 and 10 pin connectors, so I didn't need that extra cable.

I ran into an issue in that the connector wouldn't fit. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that at first and plugged in the thing offset by one pin (my vision isn't the greatest). I wound up adding another header connected to the installed one with wire-wrap wiring so now I can plug it in.

At this point I'm getting errors saying "initialization failed" which means it can't talk to the AVR chip. It's possible that I damaged the programmer with my initial incorrect connection, but I doubt it.

My question at this point is on powering the DDS board. I'm pretty sure the USB power can't or shouldn't supply that much power. So do I just power up the board normally and select "no power to target" on the programmer? Or do I need to open the Vcc jumper between the AVR side and DDS sides of the board and let the programmer power the AVR side?

Can / does the programmer interrupt the AVR while it's running and put it into the program mode?

Thanks for the info on the Dragon, but I'm already down this road and hope I can make it work.