Been having a lot of trouble with my Pro Mini

The first time I tried to upload to my Pro Mini, nothing happened. I just got an error message. I traced the problem to no power going to the board, after moving the board caused the red led to light up.

Flipping the pin header on my basic breakout board so the long end was plugged into it, and the short end was touching the Arduino solved the issue of the pins not making contact in the holes. (I guess the holes don't have solder going all the way through them.)

After solving this issue, and uploading a sketch successfully, I then got another error. It would seem the Arduino wasn't resetting. I don't know why the software reset isn't working, but I tried using the button on the board to no avail. I traced that problem down too though. Attempting to press the button while the Arduino was being powered would cause the connection to break and it would go back to running the program immediately when power was restored, instead of allowing me to upload my program. If I could fix the issue with the software reset not working that would be great. Right now it's difficult as hell to push that reset button without causing a momentary power loss to the board.

I kinda wish the Pro Mini had come with pin headers attached to it like the nano. I didn't buy the nano because I intend to put these inside props I sell, so I need the board to be as cheap as possible, and that extra usb port and onboard crystal on the nano are apparently pretty expensive. I think my ideal board would be the pro with pin headers, so I could easily plug in the basic breakout to program it, and then I could just plug it into some kinda socket which I could solder all my other stuff to without having to be too careful. Of course I could solder pins to the pro myself, but that doesn't really solve the issue of me potentially burning it up with my amateur soldering skills.

But anyway getting back on topic, if anyone knows why my software reset might not be working, or a suggestion for a better way to seat this thing on these pins so I can press that reset button reliably without interrupting the power, that would be helpful. I am curious why the first sketch uploaded sucessfully... Wouldn't the software reset have to have been working for that to happen? Isn't there a default sketch on there in the first place? Why would it work once and then not again?

Oh, and in case it matters, I'm using a usb cable I got with my Canon camera. Perhaps they have some kinda custom cable which doesn't have the line needed for the reset or something?

I use the pro minis a lot with an ftdi cable and every time, I can upload to the board once, then I have to start using the reset button to upload, or unplug the cable from the usb, wait a while then replug and start again.

I also have a sparkfun usb/ttl breakout board which does not have this problem, works perfectly every time and also has the advantage of on board leds so I can see what is happening during the upload.

I just reread your post and I think you are trying to use the board without soldering pins into the programming header? Good luck if you are, it seems like a lot of unreliable connection trouble to me :slight_smile:

Yes, that is correct, I'm trying to avoid soldering the pins into there.

If I do decide to solder a header into there, and all the rest of the pins though, does anyone know what sort of socket I should order from Mouser which the header pins will seat nicely into?

(I'm talking the side pins, not the ones for the programming header. I'd probably make those stick up, and have the others point down.)

What operating system are you using? What are you using to connect to the Pro Mini?

Also, a momentary power loss to the board should serve the same purpose as pressing the reset button - just in case that’s easier to do.

I'm using Windows XP, and Sparkfun's 5v Basic Breakout board.

When trying to press the reset button the power kept cutting out, but that didn't seem to make the upload work. However I didn't specifically try to reset it by cutting the power.

I tried it just now, and that seems to be working, so thanks for that.

The board still doesn't want to sit properly on those pins though. It won't stay powered up unless I push back on it a little bit to force it to make contact. Not a major issue, but it is a bit tricky to both hold it in place and click the mouse button at the same time.

In regards to the socket, I found out that a standard wide 28 pin IC socket will do the job. Though it now occurs to me that using one won't expose two of the analog ports.

So that's not a great solution for me. I guess I'll just solder my connections in place. As long as I solder from the back side I guess I won't have to worry about screwing up the stuff on the smt side.

Soldering a connector is probably the best idea. Holding the pins against the holes is somewhat of a hack. I should probably make that clearer in the documentation.