Can't Upload with ET-BASE EASY328 w/ATMEGA328

Just bought the EASY328 w/ATMEGA328 and I'm trying to Upload simple blink sketch with no success. I am using the ET-USB/RS232 mini adaptor for the connection to the board. I have installed the driver for this several times and I'm failry confident the USB adaptor it is working OK. It shows up in Windows device manager correctly, and it also show up as COM4 under Tools>>Serial Port within the Ardunio software. However It does NOT power up the board as I though it should. I have to power the board using a 12V dc supply. When I try to Upload I get:

avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00 avrdude: stk500_disable(): protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x00

I have tried selecting several different boards since I'm not sure which one I have, ( all with the "328" in them and even some others). I am using a baud rate of 19200. I chose this becuase it is the only speed I can get any legible response from the board using the serial monitor. The board does seem to be responding or brodcasting back through the serial monitor if the if the USB/RS32 is connected and the board is Powered by external 12V supply. I see this same issue in some other posts but I havn't found one that has a solution? Any help would be appreciated.

As far as I was able to find out on futurlec's website, the board comes with just a 4-pin serial port connector for uploading code with a bootloader.

It would be interesting to know if the RTS/DTR signal is on that as well. If not, the auto-reset won't work. Depending on what kind of bootloader is on the 328 and how long it takes to time-out after a manual rest, uploading by hand can be somewhere between challenging and impossible.

I'd get an ISP programmer as well. Cheap ones like the usbtiny work fine with the arduino ide / avrdude. Windows 64bit might be troublesome to get it working at first though (from what I've read/heard).

You are correct about the 4 pin serial connector. So you are basically suggesting using something other than the Ardunio software/ET USB/RS232 setup. Looking around at the CD-Rom that came with the board I see an AVRDUDE GUI application. Looks like this can be used to upload/download programs to the board as well. Do you know if this is correct? There seems to be very limited documentation on the subject with the CD-ROM. I've done PLC type programming in the past but this is my first attempt at a micro like this.

I'm by no means suggesting not to use the arduino ide. Unless you have something at hand that you like better.

All I'm saying is that I assume that the 4pin connector doesn't provide the auto-reset signal, which essentially prohibits a smooth upload procedure with a bootloader with a quick time-out. That looks like a design flaw to me. But I couldn't find any documentation on that either. As under the hood the arduino ide uses avrdude anyways, the problem doesn't go away with using a gui for it.

Personally I recommend to get a dedicated ISP programmer like the usbtiny (see my signature). The cheap ones that are supported by avrdude usually work fine and you'll NEVER AGAIN have to worry about this kind of problem. If the bootloader doesn't work, just use the programmer as backup or ditch the bootloader altogether. Making the IDE use a supported programmer instead of the serial upload by default or just for a certain board is quite easy to do.

Just get the right tool for the job.

Thanks...I'll give that a try.