Author Topic: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key  (Read 4800 times)

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Offline slateraptor

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"Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« on: December 07, 2014, 09:21:18 pm »
Accidentally stumbled upon this:

Arduino A000048 vs. Atmel ATmega328P-PU

Special 46.7% markup for select customers. :-X
 

Offline rob77

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2014, 09:36:28 pm »
the arduino is an arduino because it has the boot loader flashed already.... the atmega 328 is empty - bare MCU.
no one will flash the bootloader for free - that's why the "Arduino A000048" is more expensive - it's the price of the atmega328 + the time & material needed to flash the loader.
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2014, 10:24:38 pm »
Reminds me of the old days of the likes of Verbatim Datalife (and other EXPENSIVE brands) 5.25" floppy disks. You could buy a pack of 10 normal, or 10 formatted disks for double the price. It always made me  :palm:
The distributors had no problem knocking them out to daft corporate/educational/government purchasing departments though. It's always easy to spend money that's not yours, especially when you have to meet your budget this year or lose it for next. |O

I would always full format new disks whether pre-formatted or not. I guess it would be silly to reflash the Arduino bootloader though, unless there is a new version.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 10:26:19 pm by Macbeth »
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2014, 10:44:30 pm »
Formatting disks took significant time, and very in convenient if you suddenly ran out of formatted ones in the middle of a multi-disk copy operation, so preformatted disks were a convenience that many people found to be worth the money. So much so that once PC disk formats stabilised to the 1.44M, preformatting became pretty much standard.

Reminds me of a long time ago, before PCs were commonplace, a colleague was using an old word processor system (Olivetti?) that could only use specially formatted disks that you had to buy, at great expense,  from the manufacturer.
I wrote some software (on a BBC Micro) to replicate the format - made a nice few quid selling him disks at 75% of the manufacturer's price  ;D
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 11:15:39 pm by mikeselectricstuff »
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Offline dannyf

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2014, 11:55:50 pm »
This is the beauty of a market economy - no one dictates to you what you can or can not buy, and you don't have to dictate to others either.

A ripoff to you maybe a god-send for others, and vice versa.

I love it.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2014, 12:01:44 am »
Oh look, it's another "hmm, why is that price so high?" "screw you they can sell it as expensive as they want" thread.

* c4757p marks off a square on this week's EEVblog bingo
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Offline Macbeth

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2014, 12:05:42 am »
Formatting disks took significant time, and very in convenient if you suddenly ran out of formatted ones in the middle of a multi-disk copy operation.

Reminds me of a long time ago, before PCs were commonplace, a colleague was using an old word processor system (Olivetti?) that could only use specially formatted disks that you had to buy, at great expense,  from the manufacturer.
I wrote some software (on a BBC Micro) to replicate the format - made a nice few quid selling him disks at 75% of the manufacturer's price  ;D
Oh, I don't blame you for taking advantage, but the "considerable" time and absolutely no skill to format 10 floppies and pack them back in the box and charge double on an already expensive raw disk takes the biscuit, especially as it was the distributors that did this with there own crappy PC with an unknown alignment drive and a kid on pocket money, or the office girl on fingernail filing time. :-DD

Now, Mike, talking about BBC disk formats, what about tape formats too?

OK - TL:DR; STOP READING NOW IF NOT INTERESTED AS GOING A BIT OFF TOPIC - BBC MICRO NOSTALGIA ONLY

Tape formats (and copy protection) - I'm sure you remember the proper BBC tape format, with "Filename.00" to "Filename.99" etc. blocks with gaps between each data burst. There were many copy protection mechanisms introduced to stop people copying tapes using *LOAD and *SAVE along with deliberately degrading the audio on the tape so a tape to tape copy would fail.

Lots of pirate-copying software was available in the classifieds of BBC Micro mags at the time that could defeat those protections.

But the genius of Ian Bell and David Braben was to actually alter the PWM of the bytes on the tape, and NOTHING could copy it.

That is until my fiendish, but totally skint £1 pocket money a week can't afford a Mars bar, 13 year old brain went to work. Yes I tried copying my best mates launch day tape of Elite using tape-tape and any of the pirating tools (obviously themselves pirated) out there to no success.

Very disappointing, but I noticed that a lot of disk copying software (like used by school and my very few rich mates who had a floppy drive) has an "Insert source disk..." and "Insert destination disk..." thing going on, as clearly it all couldn't be held in RAM when copying on a single drive.

BINGO! I knocked up a method to copy any tape using a bit of assembler to hit the hardware, read in a time domain of highs-lows (logic analyser), and use the tape control stop/start MIC switch jack lead for the "Insert source tape... destination tape". I had to have a "Slightly rewind tape..." bit in there too and use it to synch the old buffer with the new one coming in... After the "Insert destination tape (press REC/PLAY)", I would enable the motor and write out the HI/LO bits in the time domain then. Ad nauseam.

It only bloody worked! I was quite proud as a spotty teen and enjoyed cracking the protection more than playing the best game ever, ever! I never got around to selling my copy software though - far to busy trying to become Elite - maybe I could have bought a floppy drive and a legit copy of the superior BBC Disk Elite if I did sell it :(

However, I did eventually purchase Frontier First Encounters on the Amiga, and will certainly get Elite: Dangerous and pay for it too, now I can just afford it! (But, all the bloody hardware upgrades I will need!  :phew:)
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2014, 12:26:02 am »
enjoyed cracking the protection more than playing the best game ever, ever!
Me too - wasn't interested in playing games, just breaking the protection for the challenge of it.  I didn't get into it until disk drives got cheap enough that nobody bothered with tapes.
ISTR a couple of neat tricks - one was where they altered sector gap times on a disk when formatting , so the disk appeared normal and you could copy all the files, but the new disk just didn't work. Took a few people some time to figure out what was going on, but a special formatter got written..
Another interesting trick was as part of a decryption routine, they Xored the code with values from a hardware timer, so any change to the decrypt code, or attempt to breakpoint with an interrupt would make it give the wrong answer & fail.

 
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Offline nitro2k01

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2014, 12:40:12 am »
That pricing is perfectly fine. Notice how there's no price break on the A000048 item. That's because it's intended for one off purchases when the DIP microcontroller on an Arduino has failed. Keep in mind that the Arduino board is designed such that the bootloader allows the chip to be flashed using only serial rx, tx, and MCU reset which is mapped to one of the serial control lines. Reprogramming the bootloader on the other hand must be done through the ICSP interface. This would require one of the following:
1) External hardware, such as a dedicated AVR programmer, or a second, working, Arduino board which can be used for bootstrapping.
2) Connecting the ICSP pins to the IO pins on the FT232 chip and using bitbang programming. This takes an extra effort, both in terms of the need to solder (the horror!) and the need to get avrdude to work in bitbang mode, which is sometimes non-trivial.
A $1.75 markup for this service seems perfectly reasonable, though I pity the foo that would buy more than a few of these because they can't figure out how to flash the bootloader themselves.
Whoa! How the hell did Dave know that Bob is my uncle? Amazing!
 

Offline tom66

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2014, 12:56:10 am »
Free market. Seller can set the price, buyer can decide. Not a perfect market, but good enough. I've usually found Digikey to be reasonably priced. Especially compared to the rip-off that is Premier Farnell, in low quantities. Need more UK competition!

FWIW, Microchip offers very low cost programming on their PIC devices that you can order in low quantities.

These Arduino chips are probably programmed by Atmel, but I don't think Atmel exposes that service to low quantity buyers. The sale will be through Arduino people too.

 

Offline westfw

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2014, 04:56:40 am »
Quote
unless there is a new version.
Of COURSE there is a new version!  Optiboot is now at version 6.2, compared to 4.4 shipped with Arduinos.  (https://code.google.com/p/optiboot/source/browse/optiboot/bootloaders/optiboot/optiboot.c#150 )  I'm not sure why you would want the new version; most of the changes have been adding additional platforms (to the bootloader code) and improving the build infrastructure.  In addition to the Arduino team being very slow to adopt new 3rd party code, there hasn't been any compelling reason to ask them to start using the newer bootloader.  (Hmm.  It does now pass the reset reason to the sketch, and no longer overwrites FLASH when you tell it to write EEPROM...)
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2014, 02:18:56 am »
I'm new to this stuff... but I always figured that the Arduino software flashed the Atmel chip directly when you write code and commit it?  Or is there still a section of the chip that has to be flashed a certain way for it to work as an Arduino?

ex: if I bought a matching bare Atmega chip and put it in an Arduino board's socket, would it still work? 
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2014, 02:32:06 am »
An arduino chip is an AVr chip with a proprietary bootloader. When the chip is powered up, it executes the bootloader first. The bootloader looks to see if there is communication on the UART. If there is, it communicates with the host (your pc) and burns the user code onto the chip and executes the user code; If not, it executes the user code already stored on board.

Most bare avr chips you will buy have no bootloaders from the factory. Putting it into an arduino board does nothing.

Many avr chips, however, do come with a bootloader from the factory.
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Offline westfw

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2014, 02:35:35 am »
Quote
An arduino chip is an AVr chip with a proprietary bootloader.
It's not "proprietary"; it's fully open source like the rest of the Arduino code.   "3rd party", perhaps.  (yes, all of them.)

Quote
Many avr chips, however, do come with a bootloader from the factory.
I don't think that ANY of the arduino chips come with a serial bootloader.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2014, 06:17:06 am »
Many avr chips, however, do come with a bootloader from the factory.

Is this bootloader compatible with the Arduino IDE?
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Offline nitro2k01

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2014, 09:00:44 am »
Many avr chips, however, do come with a bootloader from the factory.
Can you qualify this better? Which chips and when? Eg, ARM only? By default or only when you ask for it?
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Offline westfw

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Re: "Arduino A000048" on Digi-Key
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2014, 09:42:20 am »
Many of the AVRs with native USB capability come with a factory-loaded USB bootloader:
http://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/are-xmega-u-shipped-preloaded-bootloader
 


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