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Is the Atmel STK500 worth using as a AVR programmer and Dev board? I am starting to get to into AVR programming with Atmel studio. I plan on purchasing the AVRDragon and also looking into purchasing the Atmel STK500. This might be too broad of a question, but are their any benefits in using the Atmel STK500?

Atmel STK500

Atmel STK500

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    From reports, no. Stick to the Dragon. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 2 '14 at 16:23
  • Realize you don't need any of this - any ATmega-based Arduino with it's existing bootloader will do, completely unmodified. – Chris Stratton Oct 2 '14 at 16:27
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    @ChrisStratton - yes of course, but the Arduino does not have debugging and its also a pain when switching from prototyping on the arduino to flashing the AVR. – PhillyNJ Oct 2 '14 at 16:32
  • Did you try connecting to the ISP header? – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 2 '14 at 16:58
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    It's pretty antique (doesn't even has usb). I'm not even sure if it does debug-wire. Stick to the Dragon. Maybe buy a cheap USBASP on eBay, for spare/convenience. They work great for ISCP programming. – Gerben Oct 2 '14 at 20:04
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Benefits of STK500? Sure:
- It has push buttons
- It has LEDs
- It has easy accessible connectors to any controller pin

Actually that's all. If you want/need to make use of this, buy both. Use the STK for "rapid prototyping" and the Dragon for debugging.
But if your budget allows it, have a look at the STK600 instead of 500. It's more expensive, but not so "old-fashioned", and it has much more features.

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