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I had a Sparkfun Redboard for some time and I liked playing with it, blinking LEDs and writing to an LCD and such. Now I want to design my own similar development board for similar set of applications. I am comfortable with everything except the bootloader. Following are my questions, most of my questions may be very basic but this will be my first electronics project so kindly bear with me.

  1. If I will purchase new Atmega32 from local store will it come with a bootloader?
  2. If no, Is it compulsory to install a bootloader on it?
  3. If not compulsory then why people sometimes install a bootloader? I read somewhere that a bootloader is installed for field programming but I am not sure what that means.
  4. What hardware will I need to install a bootloader? I can see USBasp can be used for programming but can I use it for installing a bootloader also? This is what I'm planning to purchase.
  5. If USBasp can load a bootloader as well as program a microcontroller, why do people sometimes use Atmel ISP MKII or Atmel AVR ISP which are so costly? I don't need to purchase these right?
  6. If I need to install a bootloader where can I find one for my Atmega32? Is these any standard basic bootloader?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ a little help here, will be ordering parts tomorrow so need to fix components soon. \$\endgroup\$ – nikee May 24 '14 at 22:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related if you have trouble using the USBasp: shannonstrutz.com/?p=629 \$\endgroup\$ – Funkyguy Aug 14 '14 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisStratton Reason for edit rollback? There are consistent grammatical errors in revision one. \$\endgroup\$ – Funkyguy Aug 14 '14 at 16:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, there are differences of style. The OP is allowed to state the question in their perfectly valid style, without having it arbitrarily replaced by your personal preference. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Aug 14 '14 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisStratton How is the incorrect use of bootloader a personal preference? It is not a proper noun and should not be capitalized, nor is the grammar before the use of it correct. Bootloader is not a program, its a configuration that can vary. You can't load Bootloader, you load a bootloader. This roll-back should be rolled back \$\endgroup\$ – Funkyguy Aug 14 '14 at 16:34
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If I will purchase new Atmega32 from local store will it come with Bootloader?

No

If no, Is it compulsory to install Bootloader on it?

No

If not compulsory then why people sometimes install Bootloader? I read somewhere that Bootloader is installed for field programming but I am not sure what that means.

Example: Arduino bootloader: When the bootloader starts it wait a while to receive serial communication with program code from the Arduino IDE. If no sericode is received via the serial interface it starts to load the code from a preset position in the flash memory.

What hardware will I need to Install Bootloader? I can see USBasp can be used for programming but can I use it for installing Bootloader also? This is what I'm planning to purchase.

USBasp supports the Atmega32

If USBasp can load Bootloader as well as program a microcontroller why people sometimes use Atmel ISP MKII or Atmel AVR ISP which are so costly? I dont need to purchase these right???

I don't know why people buy them. And a USBasp is enought for your task.

If I need to install Bootloader where can I find one for my Atmega32? Is these any standard basic Bootloader?

Please use a search engine and use "Atmega32 bootloader" as search words and from there you can select one that suits your needs.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you MatsK, that was really helpful. Though I have already made some Atmega32A (and Atmega8L) boards but I was not very sure it will work (though it did) but your answer cleared many doubts. Thanks again. \$\endgroup\$ – nikee Aug 14 '14 at 5:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm happy that I could be of assistance and thanks for your kind comments. And please press the up arrow to give me points/creds. \$\endgroup\$ – MatsK Aug 14 '14 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, nevermind, the question concerns an ATmega32, not an ATmega328 \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Aug 14 '14 at 16:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry MatsK I don't have the necessary reputation so cant up-vote, but I really appreciate and will up-vote when I'm able to. \$\endgroup\$ – nikee Aug 16 '14 at 5:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Amusingly, this page is the first result in google for "atmega32 bootloader" \$\endgroup\$ – Zv_oDD Nov 5 '14 at 8:55

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