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Topic: why is my programmer not responding? (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic

J Trinket

I have several ATmega 328 boards. They are uploading a "blink" test just fine, except one, onto which I soldered some header pins (to add an EL shield later). I did NOT solder the boards that are fine. I have checked my soldering really carefully, though, and nothing is shorted. I cannot figure out why this board is not taking the commands from my computer. Power is fine, reset is fine. Any ideas how to troubleshoot this further?

The error line after attempted upload:
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding


Where did you solder the header pins onto?

Have you tried resetting the board manually when trying to upload? Push the upload button in the Program, hold reset, then wait for the RX/TX to blink then let go, it blinks only 3 times so be quick! (if it works:))

Also, might sound crazy but did you select the correct Serial port and board?  Each Arduino board (the 232 chip actually) uses a different COM number.

J Trinket

Tried reset a few times in the way you suggested -- no change in error message. Also double-triple checked board and port -- a okay. I have soldered headers to all the holes in the "batt - reset - vcc" etc line and and on the other side to "aref - ground - 13" and on down the line, meaning I've soldered 28 connections total.

hmm --


Did the board work before you soldered the headers on?

Any chance you zapped the board with ESD? Are you wearing a wool sweater and sitting on a nylon chair?

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J Trinket

Okay i did the very bad thing of NOT testing the board out of the package so I do not know if it worked prior to the soldering. The other new boards I've all tested now and they all work. Small recompense ...
I am not wearing wool despite the falling temperatures so I doubt ESD, but might it be that I have fried some component with overzealous soldering?

The voltmeter readings on all the pins are the same as on an unsoldered, functioning board. So it's not the soldering that's the problem, but a component, right?


If you get the "programmer is not responding" message you at least have a serial port connection so your FT232 chip is probably OK. Can you swap out the AVR for another one? Of course, you're slightly risking the fact that if there's something on the board that's bad, you could damage this AVR too.

But if you've already checked voltages and such then I'd say it's probably safe to just try swapping the presumably bad AVR out for another one.

I agree that soldering pin headers on a board is a pretty low-risk activity, so that's probably just a coincidence.

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J Trinket

The ATMega 328 chip is the AVR, same thing, ne c'est pas? Then where in physical reality is the FT232 chip on the Pro (5V) board?
I don't have another AVR sitting around at present so can't fix this till I lay my hands one, but I'd love to take this opportunity to get a little closer to figuring out what's what.

J Trinket

The breakout board! It's the breakout serial connection, yes?


Sorry, didn't know you were using a Pro. There's no FT232 on that. The FT232 is on your serial connection (a breakout board apparently). So that works. Unfortunately the AVR (same thing as the ATmega) is a surface-mount device so it will be difficult to replace.

However.....you say you have a Pro which uses either an ATmega168 or an ATmega328 and yet you keep mentioning the ATmega328. Any chance your board uses the ATmega168?

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J Trinket


Try to program it through the ISP interface. If you have no programmer one of the other Arduinos will do.

We will learn from this, whether the chip still lives. We can also refresh the bootloader, which might have gone lost - though I cannot think of how, except there was no bootloader at all in it from the beginning....

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