Problem with Arduino Pro Mini from Sparkfun

I was only able to upload a sketch once. This was the Servo Sweep example and the board executes it fine. But when I try to upload a new sketch the board blinks green LED 3 times after few seconds, and after another 7-8 seconds it blinks one more time. After that sequence the IDE (I've tried versions 13 and 15) shows an error message indicating there is no communication with the board.

I am using the SerCon interface card from Mikrokopter open source project. I will post a link later as this forum does not allow me to have links in my first post (weird).

Arduino board is connected to ISP1 as follow:

JP1 - ISP1

CTS - 10 VCC - 2 TXO - 8 RXI - 3 DTR - 5

I've read troubleshooting FAQs and I did a search here, but I still can't find an answer.

Any suggestions how to troubleshoot this problem?

Thanks, Nick

Here is the link for the serial interface card:

I am sorry, did I post in the wrong place? I though this is troubleshooting section for Arduino hardware. I am surprised I don't get any help from what looks like a great community. I assure you I did a lot of reading before posting here. The most common problems like not selecting the correct Atmega type in the IDE tool etc. are ruled out. The serial interface board is being used for other projects all the time, so the issue must be with the Arduino. Why would the Pro Mini program OK the first time and then fail? Do I need to ask for replacement? Do I burn a new bootloader? Which one? It would be great to hear your suggestions. Thanks.

If you connected the MAX232 output of your peripheral to the TTL UART lines on the arduino, it sounds like you killed it, or at least killed that pin.


J, thanks for the reply. I've posted the exact connection diagram in my first post. Which pin are you are referring to? I have 5V Arduino version, why would it be killed by connecting it to 232? I've used this serial interface to program Atmega 644P chips literally hundreds of times, and I never had an issue.

Maybe I’m wrong because I don’t understand what the device is, as I just guessed from some schematics labeled in German (which I don’t read). I thought it was some sort of serial interfaced controller, but maybe it’s really a TTL to RS232 adapter?

Could be lots of things; e.g. programming an arduino while under-powered (e.g. 3 or 4V on a 5V arduino) can result in a corrupt bootloader.


I have resolved this issue with the help of some info madworm posted yesterday in another thread. For people having trouble uploading to their Arduino Pro Mini using serial interface cards, here what you could try:

Change this in the Arduino IDE's preferences file:

build.verbose = true upload.verbose = true

On linux the file is located in “$HOME/.arduino/”. On Windows you can find it in “/arduino-0015/lib/”.

Then start the IDE from a terminal window or with “run.bat” on windows.

Press and hold the reset button on the board. Press upload in the IDE. As soon as the first message appears in the DOS window release the reset button and it will upload.

The above routine works for me perfectly every time. Neat!

Cheers, Nick

nikivan: what operating system are you on? If Linux, you might be able to avoid having to press the reset button by setting HUPCL on your USB serial device (/dev/ttyUSB0 or whatever):

stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0 hupcl

(with the Arduino Pro Mini connected).