osx intel several problems

I previously used the USB board on PPC 10.3-10.4 with Arduino 0006 with no problems. I now have an intel macbook and 0008 and all is not good.

1/ FTDI drivers -the FTDI serial port often goes away and replugging the Arduino board does not restart the port.

2/ Uploading sketches - completely not working at all.

I borrowed a PPC iBook from a friend and ran Arduino 0006 on this and it is all ok, running sketches, monitoring,uploading etc.

Does anyone know how to make this work on Intel OSX?? as the system is currently unusable.


have you tried Arduino 007 or 008?


Sounds like there’s some problems with the FTDI drivers. You installed the ones that came with Arduino 0008 and had “intel” in the filename? Do the port disappearances seem to be correlated to anything in particular? Do they happen if you’re not doing anything? How are you seeing that it’s gone away? What do you have to do to get it back?

What happens when you try to upload a sketch?

In general, the software does work on Intel Macs (it’s mostly developed on one, in fact).

You might also try contacting FTDI support, since the problem of the serial port disappearing has more to do with their software than Arduino specifically. support1@ftdichip.com

Thanks for the feedback-

Just to be clear I am using 0008, and the latest FTDI Intel drivers(virtual com ports - is this correct?) When the port goes away, it still shows in the system preferences and is greyed-out so cannot be selected. To get it back, you have to restart the whole computer, and it is ok for a while. I agree, it is probably FTDIs crappy driver. BUT: I have tried a usb-to serial adapter with aFTBQ55JM chip inside and that does seems ok when using the same FTDI driver.

As for uploading to the board it does not work at all. I know there are many issues with 'when to press the upload button' so maybe it is that?

But as I say, 0006 on PPC with FTDI latest drivers all seems ok - but I don't have a PPC machine to use anymore!

Where in System Preferences do you see the device?

What error message do you get when you try to upload? What behavior do you see?

If you have access to another computer that can run Arduino, you might try uploading a sketch to the board that transmits serial data (e.g. Graph). Then connect the board to the computer you're having trouble with and see if you can receive the data with the Arduino serial monitor. Also try receiving it in the Terminal by typing cat /dev/tty.usb* (or whatever the name of your device is). I think the terminal defaults to opening the devices at 9600, so that should match the rate set in the sketch. If neither of those works, it seems like an FTDI issue.

Are you using a hub and, if so, have you tried plugging it directly into the computer?



what version of OSX are you using? It works perfectly, 100% fo the time, for me on a Macbook pro 10.4.9. You might try deleting or uninstalling the FTDI drivers, then reinstalling them.


Thanks to all for the suggestions-

1/ I am not using a hub. 2/ OSX 10.49 is the version of OS 3/ I have reinstalled the drivers(2.2.7)

The port seems to have stopped disappearing, BUT I did a comparative test on the G4 machine(only have this for 1 more day)

On the G4: Upload a simple sketch to read a pot. OK Set the rate quite high 38400 baud. OK run the terminal program Zterm to read th data , which is a value between 1 and 10. OK run Arduino 0008 and use the serial monitor. OK

This works perfectly. i.e you see: 1 2 5 9 10 9 5 2 etc... etc.. as you turn the pot, with a steady stream of numbers.

EXACTLY the same test on the macbook:

The data comes through in bursts, with errors too, and looks like this: 1 3 5

67 0

2 3 78 5

note the gaps and how some data is 'doubled up' Running Arduino 0008 and using the serial port monitor shows the same result. Note: setting the baud rate to 9600 does NOT cure the problem.

I can only think that the FTDI driver is buggy( I emailed them , but no reply yet), or something is interfering with it.(??)

The FTDI driver makes each usb socket on the computer appears as 0000101D (rear USB socket) or 0000103D (front socket)

I've used these USB sockets for other things without any problems. The whole computer works perfectly in all other respects and is very very reliable and stable. I may try making a new user account and running it here to see if that makes any difference.

Ok I have found the solution...

If I plug an unpowered 4 port MINI usb hub in, and run the Arduino board off it, all is ok.

I tried powering the Arduino board from a power supply and NOT USB, with a direct connection to the computer, and it did hd the old errrs and problems still. So maybe:

The USB port cannot supply enough power to the Arduino ( strange, as other things work ok)


There is still an FTDI driver problem.

OR: The Arduino board is drawing a bit too much current, or is faulty in some other way.

Very strange. I assume there's nothing connected to the Arduino board; is that right?

The only thing connected to the Arduino board is a 10k pot wired as a potential divider.

If it was a power problem, then running the board from a power adapter and not usb should fix it.

It seems to make no sense that just putting a USB-powered hub between the board and the computer fixes it. Maybe when the board is directly connected it is being identified as some kind of low-powered device.? (My laptop was powered by the adapter at all times)

I got a reply from FTDI, who said this issue is usually power related or 'USB termination' whatever that means on an Arduino board.

Weird. I think that sometimes the computer can mistake the Arduino board for a mouse (or another device) if it gets data that seems to be in that format, but it doesn’t sound like that’s happening here. I’m baffled.

I'm baffled too...

I guess as long as I keep using the USB hub, all will be ok on the Macbook.