We love our AVR Dragon programmer. It is a small board with a lot of functionality: in-circuit serial programming, JTAG, debug wire, and high voltage serial programming. Unfortunately, out of the box it is not quite ready for action. The Dragon ships with an unpopulated prototyping area and missing a pin header for the HVSP. For most people this means soldering on pin headers and a ZIF socket then jumpering between the various programming headers and the header for the socket. Tired of working with jumper wires, [Jussi] designed a small PCB to make the connections (original link in Finnish).
Above you can see the Dragon as it ships, with pin headers and ZIF socket added, and with jumper wires for prototyping. It’s easy to see why there is demand for an alternative. We have a Dragon Rider 500 prototyping board that we use with our Dragon, but [Jussi] feels that board is a bit too much for him.
His design uses header sockets to make the connections between pin headers on the AVR Dragon’s prototyping area. It also connects a crystal and has a jumper for selecting USB power. This solution requires a different adapter board for each different size of chip (8-pin, 20-pin, 28-pin, etc) and doesn’t facilitate connecting external circuits. But if you just need to program a lot of chips, this reduces the setup time to mere seconds.