Probably the simplest serial data question ever posted...RESOLVED

Why is this happening?
I want to do the bare bones simplest serial test with my pro mini and sparkfun FTDI breakout… Don’t understand why the data is scrambled… baud rates match.

Do you really have the 3V3 (8MHz) version of the Pro Mini? If not, it would explain the wrong output you get.

Your Brilliant!... (or I'm stupid) :D

I actually had a bad board and swapped it for another and I did not realize the second one was 5V. Whats weird is that it let me load the Sketch using a 3v FTDI breakout and using the 3v settings for an 8MHZ chip... so right now I got garbage data even with the 5v FTDI and the 5v board chosen in the Arduino software... A re-upload of the sketch did the trick though...

Thanks for the help on all of my topics... I have spent the last day and a half walking backwards trying to get something to work so I can start walking forward from there.... I don't think I can back up much further, but luckily this is now working so now I can slowly work my way towards the final goal... I never expected serial communication sketches to be so frustrating...