Pro mini's won't upload

I bought my first Pro mini (5v clone). I already had an FTDI for use with Picaxe. It's the USB BUB from Modern Device. I've got the right port and Arduino and chip selected and installed newer drivers. I have correct voltage and tx to rx ( I tried both ways). I get 2 error messages.

avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 1 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x64

"Get board info" gives some data but not the board name. I've tried w and w/o DTR and I've pressed reset so many times my finger hurts.

The Pro power LED is on and the other gives a short blink and long pause. The BUB LED blinks on when first inserted but remains off.

I've tried another PC and Arduino board w/ the same results. There is nothing connected to any pins. And I've tried all the unique advice I could find in the forums.

Thanks.

THIS JUST IN!!

So I broke out the old Picaxe stuff and after some serious brain dusting to clear out the cobwebs got one hooked up. The BUB works (though sporadically).

I also restarted the computer and there is no "old bootload" option on my IDE.

I also eliminated the cable and connected the mini directly to the BUB. I had to bend the second GND pin up so it wouldn't plug into the 3.3v hole in that position on the BUB.

So... that leaves ??? Compatibility issue?

New information!!

Saw a page that showed how to use my uno board to program the mini and it worked.

So now we know that the board works and settings are correct. Since the FDTI works with Picaxe we believe it is ok. That leaves only FTDI>Mini connections and compatibility.

Obviously I can't go yanking out the Uno chip every time I need to program the Mini so I've got to get this figured out.

Still open to suggestions!

bwaii:
"Get board info" gives some data but not the board name.

This is normal and expected with a Pro Mini. The "Get board info" feature can only work with Arduino boards that use a custom VID/PID. Your FTDI uses the manufacturer-provided VID/PID so there is absolutely no way the Arduino IDE can know what is on the other end of that FTDI. This isn't actually a problem. It's only used for some convenience features, such as "Get board info" and labeling the port with the board name in the Tools > Board menu.

bwaii:
I also restarted the computer and there is no "old bootload" option on my IDE.

That applies only to the Arduino Nano. It's normal and expected that the Pro Mini doesn't have a Tools > Processor > ATmega238P (Old Bootloader) option.

bwaii:
I also eliminated the cable and connected the mini directly to the BUB. I had to bend the second GND pin up so it wouldn't plug into the 3.3v hole in that position on the BUB.

We need to know the exact connections you made.

bwaii:
Saw a page that showed how to use my uno board to program the mini and it worked.

Please post a link to the page. There are multiple ways you could use an Uno to program a Pro Mini.

A PICAXE download lead, such as AXE027, is FTDI based.

But 3 pins, ground and RX TX only, a Pro Mini downloader needs a DTR pin as well.

These are the connections: BUB DTR>DTR, GRN>GRN, +5V>VCC, TX>RX, RX>TX. RX/TX I tried both ways as some say some boards are "backwards". When I used the UNO board I discovered mine is so I have to go RX>RX, TX>TX.

Picaxe doesn't use the DTR, but the BUB provides it - though it is supposedly "optional" if you reset manually. Never-the-less I have connected it. As stated, this is the first USB BUB from ModernDevice and not the AXE027 (which I never bought).

The page for the hack w/ Uno board is here: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/ArduinoMini. Basically you yank the IC and patch in the Mini with a jumper from pin 1 to DTR. It's rough on the socket as the jumpers are thicker than the IC pins.

bwaii:
The page for the hack w/ Uno board is here: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/ArduinoMini. Basically you yank the IC and patch in the Mini with a jumper from pin 1 to DTR. It's rough on the socket as the jumpers are thicker than the IC pins.

Pin 1 (the RESET pin) is connected to RESET on the header, so you can run the jumper wire there. That must be a very early UNO pictured on the webpage.

That's what I did. And that works so it's not a defective Mini.

This is caused by undervoltage. Measure the voltage reaching your Pro Mini and you will see it at 4.?v. While programming it will drop nearer to 4v.

Fix is to link GND's, but supply the Pro Mini from a juicier power supply. Only connect Tx, Rx, GND to the USB / FDTI