Uploading to Arduino Pro Mini fails with FTDI

  • Help 😮
    Before soldering and connecting the radio for MySensors i decided to run a sample program from the IDE examples with just the Arduino. However, I cannot upload to the board. And I don't understand what I am doing wrong. Some information:

  • Mod

    @Micke Judging from the left picture, GND on the ARduino seems to be connected to CTS on the FTDI adapter.
    That's certainly wrong...
    I don't think both boards are supposed to mate like that...

  • Plugin Developer

    Connection is good, maybe missing bootloader, or update the ftdi drivers? Maybe this link helps: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php/topic,156317.0.html

  • @Yveaux - thanks for you fast response. I would agree with you if it wasn't for this pic (http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/ArduinoProMini) (halfway down) on arduino.cc...

    @John, thanks for confirming the wiring. So on to the next steps: boot loader or ftdi drivers? I read the link you kindly suggested. The behavior of the board is identical and the blog refers to a long illustrated article on how to upload a new boot loader. That is a pretty complex project so I will start with the driver. A question, is the FTDI OSX/Windows/Linux driver different for each Arduino board? I know the driver is good for the Uno.

  • Plugin Developer

    The uno is just a regular (usb) serial interface with in all your mentioned OS's native supported (All though i'm no mac expert). The FTDI driver is only needed for older arduino prototype boards (integrated) because they have the FTDI chip, just as you are using, but now not integrated.

    So the driver is not different for every arduino board, the latest FTDI drivers should support (if i'm correct) all the arduino boards containing this FTDI chip.

    To summarize, Uno is not using FTDI drivers, your setup with the FTDI should. Have you followed this page: http://arduino.cc/en/guide/macOSX ?

  • Hero Member

    Before burning a bootloader, I would confirm that the FTDI is working.

    You could program your Arduino to echo data received on Serial back out to Serial, at say 9600 bps. Test that it works in Serial Monitor - it should send back what you type in (and SEND). Then disconnect the USB cable, and power the Uno from its power jack.

    Connect the FTDI cable's TX and RX to the Uno's RX and TX pins; also connect ground but not +5. Connect to the FTDI with Serial Monitor (it will have a different com port than the Uno did) configured to 9600 bps. See if the Uno will echo what you type, as it did when connected by USB.

    If so then your FTDI drivers are working, and then you might try reloading the APM's bootloader. If you cannot get serial data to/from the APM via FTDI, then you probably won't be able to send programs either.

    The above suggested test uses shared ground but separate 5V power supply for the Uno; you could instead power the Uno from the FTDI cable (no other power source), to make sure the FTDI's power is good.

  • Mod

    @Micke said:

    I would agree with you if it wasn't for this pic (http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/ArduinoProMini) (halfway down) on arduino.cc...

    I wouldn't be so sure about that... I've seen arduino pro minis with different pin layouts.
    The one on the picture is a sparkfun board, and your isn't.

  • @John @Zeph @Yveaux - Thanks guys, I got it to work and thought I better write it down for others with the same issue.

    When sending a sketch to the Arduino Pro Mini (328, 5V) the IDE gives an error, after the upload progress bar stops a while at around 90%: "avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding".

    The issue is the missing FTDI driver for OSX. Of course, all is in the installation instructions, but you need to select the correct driver. I think my problem was the wrong driver.

    This is how I did the successful installation of the required FTDI drivers for Arduino Pro Mini on a MBP 2010 with OSX 10.9.4:

    • Download and install the Arduino IDE (it is actually just a zipped download of the arduino.app) by moving it into the Application folder
    • Head over to the FTDI Driver page.
    • Select VCP Drivers->Mac OSX->x86 (32-bit) and download
    • mount the dmg and run the installer (there are two installers, select the one with the higher release number)
    • a nice installation script runs for a while, after it finished
    • restart your mac (don't know if this step is actually required).

    Voila! It works.

  • Mod

    @Micke Glad you fixed it!
    Still wondering about the strange silkscreen on either the Arduino, the FTDI adapter, or both though...

  • Plugin Developer

    @Micke Good you got it working!

  • @Yveaux said:> silkscreen

    Sorry, cannot explain that. However it is exactly as in the official pic on arduino.cc that i linked above: the CTS connects to the GND.

  • @Yveaux I've seen wiring diagrams for FTDI CTS either not connected at all or tied to GND. Sparkfun's tutorial on the pro mini 3.3V shows they tie CTS to GND. See the schematic of the Pro Mini v-11 right after the picture of their FTDI Basic Breakout about halfway down the page https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/using-the-arduino-pro-mini-33v

  • Mod

    @Paul-Augusto I know but the only gng on arduino is connected to CTS on the ftdi, and that doesn't seem right....
    Maybe CTS is connected to gnd on the arduino or for some other magic reason it is working.

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