Interfacing a new microchip can be a hassle. Breadboarding a circuit, writing code, hauling out the programmer, or maybe even prototyping a PCB. We never seem to get it right on the first try.
The ‘Bus Pirate’ is a universal bus interface that talks to most chips from a PC serial terminal, eliminating a ton of early prototyping effort when working with new or unknown chips. Many serial protocols are supported at 0-5.5volts, more can be added.
Adafruit is the official US distributor of Ian Lesnet’s Bus Pirate, each purchase directly supports Dangerous Prototypes! You may also want to pick up a probe set.
Protocols: 1-Wire, I2C, SPI, JTAG, asynchronous serial (UART), MIDI, PC keyboard, HD44780 LCDs, and generic 2- and 3-wire libraries for custom protocols.
USB interface, USB powered
0-5.5volt tolerant pins
0-6volt measurement probe
1Hz-40MHz frequency measurement
1kHz — 4MHz pulse-width modulator, frequency generator
On-board multi-voltage pull-up resistors
On-board 3.3volt and 5volt power supplies with software reset
Macros for common operations
Bus traffic sniffers (SPI, I2C)
A bootloader for easy USB firmware updates
Transparent USB->serial bridge mode
10Hz-1MHz low-speed logic analyzer
Custom support in AVRDUDE, Flashrom
AVR STK500 v2 programmer clone
Scriptable from Perl, Python, etc.
Translations (currently Spanish and Italian)