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16  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Freeduino MaxSerial connection over USB proble on: June 23, 2008, 12:18:13 pm
I have to wonder if the USB/232 adapter is bad or incorrectly identified (i.e. it's not really an FTDI chipset).

My best suggestion at this point is to try to find another computer or another USB/232 device to substitute and see if it makes a difference.  If Windows offers to search for a driver, let it - who knows, it could work. |:
I would have to agree that it sounds completely like a USB-Serial converter problem and it's likely best to ask the manufacturer/seller for tech support or a replacement. The product specs indicate it's an FT232 based device, so unless they're lying or they changed the VID/PID the regular FTDI drivers should work ( )
17  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: MaxSerial "programmer not responding" with Ubu on: June 27, 2008, 08:41:07 am
The board (Mega168 based) seems superficially to be working. The power light is on fine and an LED on p13 is slowly pulsating (I'm guessing this is a program pre-loaded by the chap who made it).
Yes, the pin 13 LED should be slowly pulsing on and off, this is normal and expected.

Any idea what diagnosis steps I could take now to find the fault?
  • When you first click program, does the pin 13 LED begin rapidly blinking for a short period then resume pulsing? This indicates the board is correctly receiving the reset signal.
  • Use a wire to jumper pins 0 and 1 (RX/TX), then use a terminal program to connect to the port. Are your characters echoed back?
  • Is it a straight-through serial cable? generally these are male-female.
  • Are you powering the board with an external power supply rated between about 7.5V and 20V?
  • There are directions for setting the IDE with upload.verbose. Using these will let you see the actual call to avrdude. Copy the command, paste it into a terminal and provide the results, this gives a much better understanding of where it's failing.
Could the serial port be misconfiguration (I notice that there are a fair few "settings" for an ttySx interface) - if so what might the required settings be?
The serial port should be configured to assert it's DTR line on open, or at very worst, assert the DTR line on close. This is typical, but who knows. The Arduino IDE should be capable of configuring anything else.

Did you purchase a pre-assembled board or the kit? The pre-assembled version gets the pulsing program installed after it's assembled, so we know it worked before. The kit version just has it burned to the chip, and we have a whole slew of potential assembly issues. Feel free to fire off an email to for support as well.
18  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Where can you buy ftdi chips. on: June 24, 2008, 06:54:37 pm
Actually, it's worth asking how you blew the FT232 chip, or why you believe it's blown.
19  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Where can you buy ftdi chips. on: June 24, 2008, 06:53:49 pm
Many people sell FTDI chips, including mouser and digikey, parralax, and Sparkfun. Of the lot of them, sparkfun is likely the cheapest.

Virtually all modern Arduino/Freeduino projects use the FT232RL chip, but if you can point us to the exact freeduino variant, I'm sure someone can confirm.
20  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: With FT232BM crystal oscillator is required/op on: June 13, 2008, 04:13:45 pm
The FT232B requires an oscillator, the later FT2323R has an internal clock and runs just fine on it's own.
Additionally, the FT232B requires a 1K5 resistor from RSTOUT# to USB-DP. The recommended con fig also includes resistors between USB-Dx and the USB port as well as one between VCCIO and AVCC.
21  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: programming new arduino ATMEGA168 on: June 04, 2008, 01:20:30 am
I thought I damaged the ATMEGA168 (found out i didn't), But when I used a replacement nothing happened when power was on. I'm guessing i need to go to Tools -> burn bootloader -> ?? what would I use for an arduino diecimila?
Assuming you have a brand-new ATmega168 (not a pre-programmed one), you'll need to burn the boot-loader.
Depending on your situation, the easiest programmer to build and use is likely the parallel port programmer.
22  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Trouble uploading sketch to serial arduino boa on: May 13, 2008, 10:21:32 am
However I didn't do any lock bit/fuse changes. Is that necessary?
Yes, you'll require fuse changes to set the boot-loader size and oscillator settings. The boot-loader makefile contains these.

The fuse/lock bits from a brand-new Atmega.

The fuse/lock bits from a Diecimila boot loader. (Amusingly it's destined for a MaxSerial kit.)

Does the crystal has to be 16Mhz exact or 12MHz or 20Mhz would also work?
The crystal must be 16MHz. Otherwise you'll need to recompile the boot loader. If you don't have 16MHz crystals or resonators on hand, you can use the onboard RC clock (@8MHz) and the lilypad boot-loader.
23  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Arduino DOA? on: April 30, 2008, 12:20:19 am
A likely candidate for failure is the PTC fuse blowing, this can either be caused by a faulty fuse or a short somewhere.
If you have the means, check how much current the board is drawing. If it's a moderate amount, say under 100mA, the fuse is likely bad.
24  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: MaxSerial & USB to Serial on: April 28, 2008, 05:19:04 pm
Hopefully a picture will help:

Basically, just plug the USB-TTL board into pins 0 and 1 of the MaxSerial, then connect the ground points. You'll need to power the board externally somehow.

Sorry for the late response, I've been away all weekend.
25  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Problems with analogRead on: April 10, 2008, 11:28:31 pm
There are certainly entropy generators which use background noise as an entropy source (sadly the only one I can think of off the top of my head comes from sparkfun].

Many use only a few bits from the acquired signal though; IIRC this has something to do with Johnson noise being Gaussian.
26  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Getting a serial board on: April 09, 2008, 04:53:19 pm
Monty, I've sent you an email invoice.

Your account is triggering a bug on PayPal's side. Random accounts from the UK have this problem and you may experience issues with other ExpressCheckout stores that also accept Euros.
27  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Getting a serial board on: April 09, 2008, 03:49:19 am
These took way too long to post  :-/

You can now buy MaxSerial boards in any format you like, even Fully assembled.
28  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Getting a serial board on: April 08, 2008, 06:28:52 pm
A private message used to converse without dragging everyone else on the board into it. It also generates an email directly to you.

Kits are assembled, just waiting on documentation, any hour now. Also international shipping was severely reduced today, it's something like $3.50 now.
29  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Getting a serial board on: April 08, 2008, 10:24:54 am
That would be grand. You're not in England are you? What woul'd the cost incl. shipping plus vat be?
Sadly for you, we're in Canada. I can't promise on costs yet, but I expect an assembled board to run about $20US. Shipping to the UK starts at $12.40US. So somewhere between 16 and 18GBP all in I expect (the store will do the math)? (Since we're outside the EU/UK, if applicable, VAT will be assessed by customs.)

These are second on today's task list, so I'll have more details sometime this afternoon. I'll send you a PM.
30  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Getting a serial board on: April 07, 2008, 01:10:28 pm
Hmm, can you wait 24 hours?
I just got new serial boards in stock and it'll take about a day to have them made into kits; then you can order them assembled too.
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