Friday, January 20, 2012

STK 200: Switching Microcontrollers

When I bought my Kanda STK 200, it was shipped with an ATmega8515 microcontroller. While the 8515 is a fine microcontroller, I wanted to replace it with an ATmega32 due to the latter's more robust features.  Namely, the ATmega32 has 32KB of flash memory compared to the 8515's 8KB. Also, the 8515 has no built-in analog to digital or digital to analog conversion while the 32 does. If you are also interested in switching the microcontroller on the STK 200, here is a quick guide:

Sockets on the development board: When you look at the board, you can see various sockets. Check out the following image to see the available sockets and what their name is:
STK 200: Sockets on the Development Board

Socket support: It took me a long time to find this extremely helpful documentation. I finally found it in the datasheet on the Kanda website. As you can see, it lists all the supported microcontrollers and which socket they should be placed in. Obviously, all of these are AVR microcontrollers from Atmel. For my microcontrollers, you can see that the ATmega8515 should be placed in socket "40D" while the ATmega32 should be placed in "40A."
STK 200: Socket Support

Label on microcontroller: What if you have a microcontroller and you are not sure what it is? Just look on the top of the chip and you should see a name:
Label on MCU

When I first got my ATmega32, I mistakenly put it in the 40D socket because I assumed it would go in the same socket as the ATmega8515. As you can tell from the socket support sheet, I was wrong. I was actually able to program the chip fine, but I kept getting very strange results from my programs. I finally tracked it down and realized it was an analog to digital conversion issue. That's when I realized the chip was in the incorrect socket. That was very frustrating but at least it did not damage the chip!



  1. nice blog Nick!

    What if I am using an atmega328?

    -Ben Lariviere

  2. Nevermind about the 328!

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  4. Your article was excellent—thank you for sharing such valuable insights.