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Topic: bootloader and USB Board and Mac (Read 3091 times) previous topic - next topic



Not sure to understand about bootloader !
Do i need it to use the arduino ?
I'm on mac and have bought an usb board how to upload on board ?




Oct 27, 2005, 10:22 pm Last Edit: Oct 27, 2005, 10:23 pm by DojoDave Reason: 1
Hej Eric,

first of all I recommend you to read the following link:


it explains more or less everything about the bootloader. However, since this question pops up quite often, let me tell you that the bootloader is a very tiny program (less that 1K) that resides in the memory of your board.

This piece of code "listens" to the serial/USB port whenever you reset your board expecting to get new programs. We use this program because, otherwise, you would need to use an external piece of hardware called "programmer" in order to send new programs to your board. The programmers are quite expensive, and therefore we have made the board work with this trick.

Since you bought a USB board, I bet that Gianluca sent you the board with the bootloader already in  your microchip's memory, and therefore you will not need to do anything but start to use your board.



Sorry David but i've read the page about bootloader (one time in english and a second time with the stupid google translation to be sure to understand and i do).

Nowhere in the page it explain that this bootloader is in the microchip when you bougth a board :-/

it just explain that bootloader is needed and it explain how to put it in a serial board :o
therefore i ask !




Ok, I will try to make it clear,

if you bought the board from Gianluca, I am pretty sure that he burnt the bootloader in the board.

The explanations about how to burn the bootloader are for those that just got a blank PCB, or those that want to make their own PCB, or even those that mount the standalone version on a prototyping board.

Then, assuming that you have the bootloader already installed in your USB board, let's go step by step trying to find your problem:

1) when you plug your board to the computer on the USB port, does the LED marked as PWR light up?

If yes go to the next question, if not, can you check out if the jumper SV1 is connected between pin2 and pin3?

2) have you installed the IDE software in your MAC?

If yes, continue to the next question, if not, download and install:


3) have you installed the drivers for the USB device in your MAC?

If yes, continue to the next question, if not, download and install:


4) Now we are going to check out if the bootloader is installed in the board for real. To do so take an LED and connect it between the Digital Pin 13 and GND, do it as in the picture below.

Now reset your board pressing the pushbutton S1 onboard (it is just by the PWR LED). When doing so the LED you just mounted has to flash once.

Does it flash?

If it flashes once: Congratulations, your bootloader is installed. If it doesn't flash, try to flip the pins of the LED and reset again.

You have to make sure that the long pin of the LED (thus possitive) is plugged to pin13 in the board, and the short to GND.

Does it flash now?

If it flashes, now we are sure the thing is working and you can jump to the first example. If not, you chip is not having the bootloader.

- - - - -

After you have intalled all the software in your computer, including the drivers, and after you have made sure that you have the bootloader, you are ready to start with the examples.

Now, I can ask you, do you have the bootloader in your chip?


A bunch of thanxsDavid for this very clear Tut 8)

add it in the site. Sure it'll help other newbies like me.
I didn't saw what i've needeed a driver !
now i've installed it...

in fact i haven't got my board (in fact 3 USB board), Gianluca send it friday but for preparing it arrival i was checking to know if i had all what i need, and i've read the page about bootLoader and was in pain to understand.

I suppose Gianluca add the bootLoader.

thanks again for your help ;D




I've found why i was in pain with the bootloader.

in the "HOW TO" section it says :
To use ARDUINO you will need:

the Arduino i/o board
the Wiring IDE + the Arduino/WiringLite library
a bootloader
learning the processing/wiring language and develop projects.
it doesn't refer to a driverand it talk about bootloader.



good point you have there,

I will replace that from the site asap.




well well well...

I've followed the instructions but no led Flash when reset card !
Do i understand that there is no bootloader on the card ?
I've tested with the 2 cards ! no flash led !

I've tested an export from Arduino-0002 and received an "Programmer is not responding."
when computer attempt to transfer the "TX" led flashs once in red...

Help 'll be appreciate !



Gianluca have found the prob !

the sv1 jumper was not at the rigth place.
have to be over the 2 pins near the usb...

David there is no picture for that




we have to remind people about this in the documentation. Thanks for the remark ;-)



Jan 23, 2006, 07:01 am Last Edit: Jan 23, 2006, 07:03 am by odd Reason: 1
Hi David and all of you...

..just wanted to say - GREAT tutorial!

I also missed the jumper...and actually spent a lot of time going out buying parts to make a parallel programmer...soldered it together... :P

..then read this forum and switched the jumper.

Doh! :o

Now it works!! Thanks!! ;D


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