Custom Pro Mini Based Board Bootloader Install Trouble


I am relatively new to PDB design and such so please excuse my design and issues.

I designed a custom Pro-Mini based PCB for a school project I am working on. Essentially it is just an Atmega328p and a ULN2003 with breakouts for a sensor and the motor. I used the published reference schematic for the pro-mini.

I purchased a usbasp and board that converts to the standard ISP header to flash the bootloader. When trying to flash through the IDE with Pro Mini selected and 5v/16mhz I consistently get the following error:

avrdude: auto set sck period (because given equals null)
avrdude: warning: cannot set sck period. please check for usbasp firmware update.
avrdude: error: program enable: target doesn't answer. 1 
Error while burning bootloader.
avrdude: initialization failed, rc=-1
         Double check connections and try again, or use -F to override
         this check.

I tested my usbasp on other known-working arduinos and it appears to work fine.

I have read that this could be a wiring error, but after double and triple-checking my design I believe it is wired correctly though I attached some screenshots to check.

I also read that the Atmega328p might have the fuse set for the internal clock so I have attempted using the jumper on the usbasp for slower clock speed. This did not work.

I also have tested the GND and VCC pins and the chip is reading a stable 5v. (A led also lights up)

Any help would be appreciated!


I bridged the cap and that seems to have done the trick!

Thank you! Saved the project!