Bootloader Improvements for Watchdog Timers

Much more robust Arduino based devices could be built if the watchdog timer were addressed in the bootloader. Specifically:

  • Have the bootloader run the user sketch even if the most recent reset was caused by a watchdog timeout.
  • Insert periodic calls to the GCC wdt_reset() function so the WDT wouldn't timeout while the bootloader code was executing.

I was recently asking questions about the WDT and Arduino in the following forum thread:


Hi Tim,

I agree with you, the WDT handling should be enabled by default in the bootloader.

If you want to enable this yourself, please look here:

You can see, its less a technical problem, but a compatibility and support problem because Arduino users have to understand, that they need a bootloader version >= Vx.y to use a specific feature.