Arduino Pro Mini - can't upload

Hey all - So I just got an Arduino Pro Mini with corresponding FTDI breakout board from SparkFun.

I feel like a fool, because I can't get the upload to work. I'm just trying to upload the example sketch "Blink", I've changed to the proper serial port, but I'm getting: avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding.

The FTDI breakout comes with a female header - I'm trying to use the thru-hole leads from that to avoid needing to solder a header. TX to RX and RX to TX...

The FTDI lights up when I plug it in, and the board lights up when I place it on the contacts. All it does is show a steady red light and a quickly-flashing green one.

What could I be doing wrong? Did I forget anything?

I just noticed that the green LED (presumably pin 13?) comes on immediately after the board is reset - not with a delay like on my full-sized Arduino... could I possibly have a bootloader issue?

I'd say there's a fair chance that your problem comes from not having headers soldered in. It only takes a moment's loss of contact to mess things up completely.

I had a similar problem when I first got a Pro Mini, and in my case, it turned out that I had the FTDI breakout attached the wrong way. I'd just followed a photo on one of the sites, and it turned out to be for an older version of the Pro Mini. I think they've updated it since, but you might check to make sure you have the side marked "GRN" on the breakout going to the side marked "GRN" on the Pro Mini.

OK. I was hoping to avoid needing to solder in a header, but if that won't be possible I do have some lying around.

EDIT: Just grabbed a male header and stuck the male side in the breakout, then put the shorter pins into the Arduino. It programmed first try.

Thanks! I thought it'd be more fault-tolerant than that.