Atmel AVR Dragon can be used with an external target board. However, the onboard prototype area allows simple programming and debugging without any additional hardware besides strapping cables. See the Using the Atmel AVR Prototype Area section for a description on how to use this.

AVR Dragon is powered by the USB cable, and can also source an external target with up to 300mA (from the VCC connector, 5V) when programming or debugging. For more information on technical details, read the AVR Dragon Requirements section. If the target is already powered by an external power source, the AVR Dragon will adapt and level convert all signals between the target and the AVR Dragon.


If the target board is powered by an external power source, no connection should be made between the VCC connector and the external board.

AVR Dragon is fully supported by Atmel Studio (hereafter called the software front-end). This allows the AVR Dragon firmware to be easily updated to support new devices and protocols. When connecting the AVR Dragon, the software front-end will automatically check the firmware and prompt the user if an updated firmware is available.