This is a preview of an inexpensive, medium-speed AVR/PIC/CPLD/Arduino programmer. It’s designed for people who don’t own a programmer and just want to rescue a bricked PIC or AVR.
The programmer uses the bitbang mode of a FT232R FTDI USB->serial converter chip. The same one used on the Bus Pirate and Arduino. There’s existing apps to program AVRs with the FT232, and PIC programming will be supported by piratePICprog. There’s a serial output header that can be used to program USB-less Arduino boards. The final version will also probably program CPLDs.
The FT232 chip has internal voltage level translation, so the programmer can run at any voltage without an extra buffer chip. It can also supply a few mA of power from the internal 3.3volt regulator.
As always, name suggestions are welcome.