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Topic: Why? avrdude: can't find programmer id "null" (Read 5568 times) previous topic - next topic

ptool64ar

I've posted this same problem on this forum two or three times with no replies, not-a-one.  Can someone PLEASE help.  I've removed previous posts due to lack of interest. :-[

Why am I, apparently, the only person in the whole world that gets that message when try to use arduino-0012.  No matter what I've tried I get the same result - avrdude: can't find programmer id "null". Then a list of all accepted programmers.
My board assembly and atmega168 has an arduino bootloader, supposedly, no programmer is involved.
I can't find anyplace where this problem is listed .  Not in the troubleshooting guide, not on this forum, not in AVR freeks.  
I've tried everything that I can find to try to get past this message, but that's all I ever get.  I even disconnected board and all from the PC so that nothing was connected to either the serial port (com 1) or to the parallel port, then tried to operate arduino-0012 and I still get the same result - avrdude: can't find programmer id "null"  I've downloaded, redownloaded, deleted, redownloaded arduino-0012 and nothing changes.  It appears that I won't be able to use arduino for some reason.  Does anyone have any idea why this is happening.  Can somebody please, PLEASE help,  OR I'll have to turn the whole thing over to WinAVR or Bascom-AVR and go on through life being greatly dissappointed with arduino.
Quote


/*
* Blink
*
* The basic Arduino example.  Turns on an LED on for one second,
* then off for one second, and so on...  We use pin 13 because,
* depending on your Arduino board, it has either a built-in LED
* or a built-in resistor so that you need only an LED.
*
* http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Blink
*/

int ledPin = 13;                // LED connected to digital pin 13

void setup()                    // run once, when the sketch starts
{
 pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);      // sets the digital pin as output
}

void loop()                     // run over and over again
{
 digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);   // sets the LED on
 delay(1000);                  // waits for a second
 digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);    // sets the LED off
 delay(1000);                  // waits for a second
}



:(

What I have is an RBBB (really bare bones board)and a P4b TTL to RS232/serial converter(both from Wulfden.org, Modern Device.com).  The RBBB has an Atmega168 that has an Arduino bootloader.  After initial problems with it, I sent it to the seller who checked it out and said it was OK, then sent it back.

If help is on the way, I'll greatly appreciate it.
PO'T


Digger450

People may not be responding because this sounds like a problem with your computer rather than the Arduino.

Have you tried another computer?

What is in your programmers.txt file?

What did you change from when you initially started because this is not your original error?  From reading your others posts it seems you may have tweaked something on your computer that is causing your problems.  Maybe your other AVR software is conflicting?  It's hard to debug without know exactly what you did along the way that made your error messages change.


bAster.89

Hi!
I have the same problem, now.
Some days ago I have formatted my drive C: and reinstalled Windows. When I tried to program my board (I use a board, that I made myself) ARDUINO program said:
avrdude: Can't find programmer id "null"

Before reinstalling Windows I have already had the same problem, and solved it somehow, but i can't remember how!

PS. Sory, if there are some mistakes in my post- English is not my native language.  :-[

ptool64ar

Digger450 asked:
Quote
What did you change from when you initially started because this is not your original error?  From reading your others posts it seems you may have tweaked something on your computer that is causing your problems.  Maybe your other AVR software is conflicting?  It's hard to debug without know exactly what you did along the way that made your error messages change


Originally my problem, sometime around 12/24/08, was these errors:
(i) avrdude: stk500_get sync(): not in sync: resp+0x00
(ii)avrdude: stk500_disable():protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x51

I couldn't overcome those problems, so I sent my boards to the seller so that he could check them out.  He tested them and they worked properly for him, then he sent them back to me.

I've recently downloaded and used WinAVR  and, I've managed to program another atmega168 and an atmega8, could the WinAVR be interfering with Arduino since they both use avrdude?
I also have Bascom-AVR, but I had that before I ever tried using the arduino board.
I believe that there were some Windows updates downloaded before I got the ckts. back from the seller.

However, before I sent the ckts. to the seller for testing, I did try to program the arduino chip using a parallel programmer that I built according to directions that arduino gives out for a parallel programmer.  (http://www.arduino.cc/en/Hacking/ParallelProgrammer)I followed the directions that arduino gives to build the programmer and to use it, (http://arduino.cc/en/Hacking/Bootloader)but, that didn't work either.

Another however, I used that same programmer when I successfully programmed another atmega168 (and an Atmega8) using WinAVR.  I did that before I got the arduino boards back.

Digger450 asked:
Quote
What is in your programmers.txt file?


I'm not sure where that is. Where do I find programmers. txt file?

Thanks for your replies, I appreciate that.
Pat


Digger450

Programmers.txt is in Arduino\Hardware\.

Can you try another computer?

Did you also send the RS232 to TTL adapter back for verification?

How do you have the adapter connected to the RBBB?

ptool64ar

Digger450 asked:

Quote
Can you try another computer?

Did you also send the RS232 to TTL adapter back for verification?

How do you have the adapter connected to the RBBB?


I might be able to use my wife's computer, if I ask real nice, but she has a lot of problems with her computer.

Yes the adapter was sent back to seller and it checked ok.  In fact, I've used that adapter with the atmega168 that I programmed with WinAVR; it worked fine.  The adapter is connected to the RBBB via RX, TX, 5v, gnd, and rst.  You can find information on the RBBB and the adapter here: http://www.wulfden.org/TheShoppe/freeduino/rbbb.shtml
But its a difficult site to find what you're looking for.  He lists adapter P4.  The one he sends out is a modification of that one, (P4b)which is the one I have.  Its basically the same as P4, but his site doesn't show much about P4b, (the output pins were just rearranged).

I really would like to use arduino, since there is a lot of help and circuit informtion for that environment, whereas WinAVR doesn't.

Thanks  :)
Pat

ptool64ar

Is it possible that WinAVR is interfering with arduino?

Here's one thing that happened:
(1) I enter arduino-0012
(2) enter "Hardware"
(3) enter "Tools"
(4) enter "avr"
(5) after entering "avr" the window shows several files that pertain to WinAVR, including makefile for WinAVR.  This is after starting out in arduino.  Those files under avr are not arduino files; the headings state WinAVR.

I also tried using the parallel programmer to "burn bootloader", results "Wrong microcontroller. Are you sure you entered proper board under tools?"
I tried every board listed under tools, with the same result.

I tried downloading the program "blink" using the parallel programmer, I followed directions given out by arduino - that didn't work, results "avrdude can't find programmer id "null" followed by a list of all the accepted programmers. The programmer I used is one that arduino described with building directions and how to use it and it is labeled "dapa" as instructed by arduino.

Is it time to give up and go to Bascom-AVR?  :'(

Pat

Digger450

Those files are supposed to be there Pat and I have WinAVR installed on my machine without it causing any problems.

Did you find the programmers.txt file?

Have you tried deleting your entire Arduino folder and downloading a fresh copy?

It would be nice if you were able to try it on a another computer.

I wouldn't give up yet.

bAster.89

I think that PROGRAMMERS.txt can be found at .../ARDUINO/HARDWARE .

As far as I can remeber, I modified something in C:/DOCUMENTS And SETTINGS/ÑÛÍ/Application Data/PREFERENCES.txt
before tha ARDUINO began working, however, I'm not shure. And I can't remember what exactly... (((

ptool64ar

Digger450
Quote
Those files are supposed to be there Pat and I have WinAVR installed on my machine without it causing any problems.

Did you find the programmers.txt file?

Have you tried deleting your entire Arduino folder and downloading a fresh copy?


Looks like WinAVR isn' t causing the problem, if those files are supposed to be there.
Yes, I found the programmers.txt, and the programmers that I have are included in that txt.
Yes, I've deleted everything arduino, that I could find, and reloaded fresh arduino's at least three times.  I've done the deletion part once again and will try reloading once again, but it appears to be something in my computer that won't allow arduino to work.  I've been able to use Bascom-AVR and WinAVR.  I will probably need to use another computer.

bAster.89
Quote
As far as I can remeber, I modified something in C:/DOCUMENTS And SETTINGS/ÑÛÍ/Application Data/PREFERENCES.txt
before tha ARDUINO began working, however, I'm not shure. And I can't remember what exactly... (((


I found "preferences" files, two of them, but not from the exact same location: C:/DOCUMENTS And SETTINGS/ÑÛÍ/Application Data/PREFERENCES.txt .  One was a library file that can't be modified, the other is one that can be modified, but the mods. that I tried made no difference in the outcome.  I couldn't find the /Application Data/ folder, but I will try again.

I had to let the whole arduino thing go for a while, to get away from it, with intentions of trying again.

Thanks for the help
Patrick



bAster.89

Sorry, I didn't read what I have written. I just copied the destination  of the directory C:/DOCUMENTS And SETTINGS/ÑÛÍ/Application Data/PREFERENCES.txt . I can't translate the ÑÛÍ - It's something unreadable (this is no such a word even in Russian)). But this is some folder in Documents and Settings.



If you'll find the solution, please, post it here, because, i still can't program my AVR...

ptool64ar

Right now, I'm trying to delete everything arduino from my computer, then I'll try reloading a fresh new arduino, and hope that it works.

Patrick

ptool64ar

bAster.89
Quote
Sorry, I didn't read what I have written. I just copied the destination  of the directory C:/DOCUMENTS And SETTINGS/ÑÛÍ/Application Data/PREFERENCES.txt . I can't translate the ÑÛÍ - It's something unreadable (this is no such a word even in Russian)). But this is some folder in Documents and Settings.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you'll find the solution, please, post it here, because, i still can't program my AVR...


Well, it didn't work.  I deleted everything arduino, then reloaded a new arduino, and gave it another try.  I'm no longer getting that message: "avrdude can't find programmer id "null".  This time I found the smaller Preferences.txt file in C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\Arduino  Apparently, that file was not being downloaded the first couple of times that I downloaded Arduino-0012; I don't know why, but its absence must have been the cause of the "can't find programmer" error message.

However, I'm right back to where I was in the first place.  Now, I'm getting these two error messages: avrdude: STK500_get sync() not in sync: resp=0x86  AND  avrdude: STK500_disable(): protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x86.
I have no idea what they mean, or where to look for their cause.  Those errors are not mentioned in the troubleshooting pages.  I've read posts by others that had the same problems, but have never read of how anyone fixed them.  Of the ones that were fixed, it seems that most of them were fixed almost by accident, and nobody could explain how they were fixed..

It seems strange to me, that somebody, some software engineers, set up programs to detect errors, since these errors are detected by some software, somplace, and the engineered messages are automatically posted, but there seems to be no information on where the messages come from, what they mean or what causes them.  Obviously those error detection codes are deeply buried within tons of software and long forgotten.  Then I had to stumble across them.      
:(  :'(  ::)

Oh well, I guess I'll work on something else for a while.

Patrick

Collin80

Quote
It seems strange to me, that somebody, some software engineers, set up programs to detect errors, since these errors are detected by some software, somplace, and the engineered messages are automatically posted, but there seems to be no information on where the messages come from, what they mean or what causes them.  Obviously those error detection codes are deeply buried within tons of software and long forgotten.  Then I had to stumble across them.      
:(  :'(  ::)

Oh well, I guess I'll work on something else for a while.

Patrick


I also hate it when programmers are so lazy that they can test for an error condition and then still fail to actually tell the end user anything meaningful about the error. It is now 2009 there is no excuse at all for cryptic error codes. Having said that, the error message you are getting actually is reasonably descriptive. The problem is that it could be caused by a number of things and it's impossible for the program to know the exact cause.


At any rate, the errors you are seeing now are a result of a communications problem between the RBBB and the computer. If you have a different device to test you should try that. Also, be absolutely sure that you are using the correct port. For instance, if your arduino is hooked up to COM1 but you have COM2 selected then you'll get errors. Also, be sure nothing else is in the RX/TX path. I have a project that has a biometric scanner hooked up to the RX/TX pins on the arduino and I have to turn off the scanner so that it doesn't interfere or else I cannot program the arduino. If all else fails you could use an oscilloscope or logic probe to test what is going on with the signal between the RBBB and the computer.

ptool64ar

I got it working by using parallel programming.  At least I'll be able to use Arduino that way, which ain't so bad.
I used the "Parallel Port Programmer" described by Arduino; here: http://www.arduino.cc/en/Hacking/ParallelProgrammer
AND, Burning sketches to the Arduino board with an external programmer,  FIND THAT HERE: http://arduino.cc/en/Hacking/Programmer  This is done without a bootloader, so it says in that information page.

I'm sitting here looking at that blinking light, finally
I even modified, slightly, the blink program from a one second blink to a two second blink.  But , since the LED in the sketch uses the same port as the SCK port on the ATMEGA168, (one of the ports used by the parallel programmer) you will need to remove that LED before programming.  You can put it back in after the program is uploaded, and it blinks  :D ;D.  

You will need to make a couple of mods in  Preferences.txt file in C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\Arduino , which is the (per-user local version of the pref. file) as the instructions state.(where it says: upload.using=bootloader, replace the word bootloader with the word parallel)

Here's something else, if you should use that homemade arduino programmer that pref. file doesn't include this statement: set the parallel port defaults (used if upload.programmer=dapa). That statement is in one of the main pref., default , files.  I copied it from the main pref. file, found in The "arduino-0012/lib", then inserted it in the smaller (per-user local version of the pref. file) I inserted that statement without the # in front of it.

OK, I gotta go, the LED's still blinking and I gotta get away from this computer for a while.
Patrick

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