Problem uploading to Pro Mini

I bought 3 Pro Minis and an FTDI interface on eBay.

The Minis are these:

The FTDI interface is this one:

I've connected them straight across since the pins seem to line up DTR - DTR RXD - TXD TX - RXI VCC - VCC CTS - GND GND - GND (it's the mini on the right)

When I plug it in, the power on LED on the Mini lights up and the pin 13 LED blinks.

When I try to upload a sketch, there's a LED on the FTDI card that blinks 3 times. The pin 13 LED on the Mini also blinks quickly. And then I get the dreaded "stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00" message.

I've made sure there's a bootloader on the Mini by uploading it using an Uno as a programmer.

I've set the type of Arduino as "Arduino Pro or Pro Mini (5V, 16 MHz) w/ ATmega328" since that matches the eBay description.

I've also tried moving the jumper on the FTDI card between 3.3 and 5V with no success.

I've also tried connecting RX and TX on the FTDI card and making sure that any characters set were echoed back.

I'm kind of stumped and any help will be appreciated.

  1. Set the FTDI to 5V.

  2. You only need 5 wires, you don't need CTS.

I've tried some things and I can upload my sketches if I use my Uno as a programmer and upload through that.

So something in the serial communication or the bootloader isn't working correctly.

But at least now I have a way of programming it, which is nice.

The problem with Mini's is many times incorrect fuse settings. The shops that build the clones are very cost sensitive and buying chips with bootloaders installed costs more than blank chips - so they tend to ship stuff in a less than perfect state...

If you'll be doing more work with Mini's, it will pay to get a dedicated programmer. Like this one.The 10 pin to 6 pin adapter is very handy for those boards that have the standard 6 pin ICSP header. Your Mini's do not have that feature but many do as well as all the larger board formats. While you can find these programmers for a few dollars less, I prefer the version with hard shell around it, rather than a bare pc board. There are also a few out there with aluminum covers as well but they tend to be even more money. No difference in function, just appearance.

As an added bonus, using an external programmer allows you to reclaim the memory used by the bootloader.