Running before walking?

I built an arduino from scratch using a guide I found on the ITP Physical Computing website (can't post a link as the forum will not allow it)

I also bought a USB to Serial TTL Cable from

I completed the build and checked all the connections which showed as fine, I checked the power supply board as being ok and then I fitted the pre-programmed ATmega 328 with arduino bootloader. Powered it on and it the LED starts flashing immediately, on and off steady as I would hope to see with the blink program.

So I tried to upload a new sketch and I get the following error message:

Binary sketch size: 914 bytes (of a 30720 byte maximum)

avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00 avrdude: stk500_disable(): protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x51a

The serial device installs as com 6 and I have set it to 19200 in the preferences file. I'm trying to upload the blink no delay sketch as a test.

So I'm thinking maybe i'm doing something wrong as even using different timings for pressing the reset switch isn't working so using spares I built the parallel programmer (not ideal but I have no other programmer to hand right now)

I then replaced the pre-programmed ATmega 328 with a blank one (which I originally planned to program using the first when it was working) However when I try to program it I get:

avrdude: AVR device not responding avrdude: initialization failed, rc=-1 avrdude: Yikes! Invalid device signature. avrdude: Expected signature for ATMEGA328P is 1E 95 0F avrdude: AVR device not responding ***failed; avrdude: verification error, first mismatch at byte 0x0000 0x3f != 0x00 avrdude: verification error; content mismatch

Looking these up on Google I have tried a few things like changes in the Windows XP registry for the parallel port, making sure no programs are polling serial/parallel port and some other stuff

I have tried changing the bootloader that is being uploaded to 168/328/deumilanove/lillypad etc but no luck.

I then replaced the pre-programmed ATmega 328 with a blank one

A really blank one?

You need to write the bootloader into it.

Yes, But I should have worded my post better, the second error I get is when trying to burn the bootloader with the parallel programmer

Are you sure you chose under tools->board the right board (duemilanove with 382)? Also a picture will be very helpful.

parallel programmers are hit and miss since noone really sticks to the standards anymore

you can mod the arduino so that you can load a bootloader via the ftdi chip by bitbanging it from a pc (its a menu option in arduino) or if you have the 16mhz crystal n caps you can use your arduino as a avrisp to program a second chip on a breadboard

Definetly chose the right board, no picture but here is the guide I followed

I've downloaded the latest Arduino 0018 but I can't see the bitbang option... I will do some searching around though and have a look as I would feel more comfortable using the ftdi rather then the parallel programmer even though I did find the instructions to build that on here.

I orignally planned to use the pre-programmed 328 as an avrisp through the arduin 0018 software but that doesn't seem to be working as I am having problems talking to the pre-programmed 328 making me think it was programmed with blink and not the proper bootloader?

As you say you bought "some USB/TTL cable" there is most likely no autoreset involved. This is something also not addressed in the oherwise excellent tutorial from ITP. As the 168/328 bootloader has a very short time window there is only one option to press the reset key for the loading: immediately after the line "Binary sketch size....." is displayed.

Thank you all very much for all your help everyone

I am now able to program my arduino through the ftdi cable as normal

Because of your posts I started questioning everything I've done so far and I found 1 incorrectly placed wire on the ftdi inputs, it was still correctly drawing voltage but not from the right source. I changed that and now I was able to program it so I will now be trying to program the blank 328 I have :D

YAY I'm so happy, thanks again guys

On to the next project turning the arduino in to a small networked rss news feeder :)