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Topic: Help with programming do it yourself microcontroller? (Read 936 times) previous topic - next topic

evolion

Hello,

So I bought a Mintduino kit the other day to help me understand micro-controllers better.   I'm a little disappointed.  Compared to an Uno, it seems that you get about half as much for about a third more in cost, great marketing scheme.  No manufacturing, less components, cheaper components, no tech support or complete instructions and sell it for more.  They don't tell you that you need to buy their FTDI serial adapter (or whatever it's called) to be able to program it.

Anyway, instead of buying the FTDI serial interface, I rearranged the wiring in a serial B type of cable so that Gnd, Vcc, Tx, Rx all lined up to the pin configuration according to their build.  It powers on, the light blinks, but I can't program it because I the COM ports on my PC don't seem to line up with the device.  COM 3 doesn't work for some reason.  COM 12 is what I use with the Uno but for some reason it won't appear as a choice in conjunction with the MIntduino.

The Mint uses an ATMEGA328 chip.  I don't know if or what presets it comes with except for the blinking light.   The compiler error I get is:   avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x30
I also get a popup:  USB Devoce Not Recognized

I'm not sure what to do.  I'm not sure which board or programmer to set it to in the compiler.  Or what should be done in device manager of the PC. 

Has anyone built their own or bought one of these kits and got it to work?
Thanx for any help with this

strykeroz

#1
Feb 08, 2013, 11:28 am Last Edit: Feb 08, 2013, 12:28 pm by strykeroz Reason: 1
Hi,

Regardless of how you arrange the pinouts you will not get this to be recognised as USB.  The Uno has a 2nd micocontroller on board which does the translation between USB and the serial programming pins.  The FTDI adapter takes care of USB conversion in place of that 2nd Atmega, and the RTS pin which is needed to be controlled to reset the microcontroller so it's able to be programmed.

For the record the mintduino isn't the only board that uses this, and many of the smaller variants of Arduino don't have the USB hardware onboard either.  If you're eventually moving to standalone ATMega328 processors in your projects (to save many $$ over trapping a complete and ultimately expensive Arduino in each one) you'll find the FTDI adapter is a very handy thing that will save you far more than it costs in the longer term.  It will likely pay for itself by the 2nd standalone I'd think.

It's not what you probably want to hear, but I suggest the best way out of this is to reorganise those pins to the pinout of FTDI and bite the bullet on an FTDI breakout or cable.  Alternatively you could go the way of a USB ISP adapter, which can also be used on other Arduino, and standalone ATMega/ATTiny based projects.  And if the retailer truly didn't warn you about needing one, go hit them up for a discount to make good on that shortcoming!

Cheers  ! Geoff

Edit: for spelling
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse"
- retired astronaut Chris Hadfield

fungus


Hello,

So I bought a Mintduino kit the other day to help me understand micro-controllers better.   I'm a little disappointed.  Compared to an Uno, it seems that you get about half as much for about a third more in cost, great marketing scheme.  No manufacturing, less components, cheaper components, no tech support or complete instructions and sell it for more.


Hey, you get a breadboard, some LEDs and a mint tin to put it in. Coolness always costs more.


They don't tell you that you need to buy their FTDI serial adapter (or whatever it's called) to be able to program it.


Yes they do: http://www.makershed.com/Mintronics_MintDuino_p/mstin3.htm

Quote: "Please note: An FTDI programmer is required to upload code to the MintDuino."

No, I don't answer questions sent in private messages (but I do accept thank-you notes...)

Erni

You can use your Arduino as USB/Serial converter to program your Mintduino (if it has a bootloader),
or ArduinoAsISP if it dosn't

evolion

Ah ha, well maybe it wasn't such a bad deal, I'm sure I will have a use for the FTDI in the future.  Coolness does usually come at a cost, guess I'm just used to it being free 8)  Yeah, no where on the package does it say anything about additional components, that info is at the end of the online tutorial.  Oh well, no big deal. 
Thanx guys

so when I do get the interface, what board and programmer would I most likely set in the compiler?  I'm assuming it already has a bootloader

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