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The J-Link line of JTAG programmers from Segger is well known for their top of the line debuggers. The J-Link EDU Mini is a great option for those getting started with JTAG/SWD programming and debugging. Each J-Link EDU Mini is a version of the J-Link EDU Base in a reduced form factor with identical functionality for Cortex-M based targets. It has been designed to allow students and educational facilities as well as hobbyists access to top of the line debug probe technology.
With a microB USB port on one end, and a 2x5 SWD connector on the other end, just plug in the included cable and connect to your favorite ARM board to get started.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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It s nice to see company allowing hobbyist to use professional tool for so cheap.