Trouble programming "NanHe" chinese clone Arduino pro mini 16Mhz, 5v

hi , I have one Chinese clone Pro Mini from "NanHe", and I have a hard time getting it to work with the IDE. Most of the time, uploading sketch results in avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00

which means it is not communicating with the serial correctly. I did manage to program it once the blink program, but I am not sure how I did that as 99.99% of the time uploading will fail.

Anyone has any experience with this particular pro mini clone can help ? I am using a FTDI board as the programmer. I have also tried using Uno as an ISP to program it , but still fails. thanks

images of the clone pro mini here:

The pin on the bottom right is labelled "DTR" , which I connect to FTDI's DTR pin.

I have also tried pressing reset just before upload happens many times, but it will never upload the sketch.

Thanks for the photos, they show clearly that the crystal is 25MHz. An Arduino Pro Mini should have 16MHz. The DTR should indeed be connected to the FTDI DTR.

I think there might be a voltage/booloader/25MHz problem. You can not upload something, since the bootloader baudrate must match the FTDI baudrate. They are not the same because of the 25MHz crystal. You don't even know if there is a good bootloader on the chip. Using the Arduino Uno as ISP should work. But when the ATmega328P runs at 25MHz it must have a good solid 5V. Perhaps that voltage is a little too low.

Do you have a crystal of 16MHz ? Perhaps you can replace the crystal. After that burn the bootloader using the Uno as ISP. You have to be sure that that bootloader is okay, and you don't know what someone put as bootloader in the chip when you bought it. After that connect the FTDI to upload a sketch.

Wow.

I think that tops my "Dswy_Robot" pro mini knockoff with the cap between AVCC and RST instead of AVCC and GND (this has the effect of preventing DTR from resetting, thus breaking serial upload)

Peter_n: Thanks for the photos, they show clearly that the crystal is 25MHz. An Arduino Pro Mini should have 16MHz. The DTR should indeed be connected to the FTDI DTR.

I think there might be a voltage/booloader/25MHz problem. You can not upload something, since the bootloader baudrate must match the FTDI baudrate. They are not the same because of the 25MHz crystal. You don't even know if there is a good bootloader on the chip. Using the Arduino Uno as ISP should work. But when the ATmega328P runs at 25MHz it must have a good solid 5V. Perhaps that voltage is a little too low.

Do you have a crystal of 16MHz ? Perhaps you can replace the crystal. After that burn the bootloader using the Uno as ISP. You have to be sure that that bootloader is okay, and you don't know what someone put as bootloader in the chip when you bought it. After that connect the FTDI to upload a sketch.

thanks Peter_n , I do have a 16Mhz crystal, I'll give it a shot. (i may also try 8MHz) thanks

25MHz crystal :grinning: I've seen some shoddy Pro Mini clones, but this one's definitely original!

I have removed the crystal and managed to burn a bootloader to utilize the internal 8MHz clock. Uploading sketch is now very reliable with Uno as ISP but still unusable with FTDI chips (avrdude resp=0x00 error)

I am using these configs for board.txt with Uno as ISP, I am happy with the result considering this clone is only $2.57 free shipping.

http://pastebin.com/zwTMBFHm

With both the "L" led and pin13 LED on, this board draws about 8.5 mA at 3.3v, 8MHz (crystal removed) .

thanks.

Maybe you also have the wrong cap as DrAzzy wrote. Or the FTDI is a counterfeit. Google for : ftdi counterfeit Or the FTDI is set to 3.3V levels, which might not be enough.

Did you use an offical bootloader, so the board is Arduino compatible ? If you did, it is easier to use the serial upload, so it is worth it trying to make it work.

P.S.: I bought my cheapest Pro Mini clone for 1.80 euros.

hi i got 2 of these but they got 16mhz and i cant get them to program at all they work since they came with the blinky pre installed so no bootloarder isue whats the pin diagram for programing it with the uno?

The fact blinky runs is no guarantee at all the bootloader is okay! It shows the uC is running, yes. But nothing about the bootloader.

I would try in order: 1) Check your USB-Serial adapter 2) Look for bad soldering 3) Look for a weird reset GND cap 4) Reburn bootloader 5) Try ISP 6) Toss it! They are $1,70 so buy a new one.

0) Try setting Tools, Board to Uno, because some makers put the Uno bootloader on stuff and don't tell the buyer, such as recent counterfeit Lilypads.

I bought 5 pro mini's for $2.29 each, free shipping. What a deal! Couldn't program them until I connected DTR on the FTDI adapter I was using. I tried the alternative suggestion of pushing reset before upload (about a hundred times) with no luck. The timing of pressing reset versus starting upload is more critical than you may be led to believe. My advice is to use a USB adapter with the DTR signal available. It will save you some grief.

whelm: I bought 5 pro mini's for $2.29 each, free shipping. What a deal!

You can even get them for $1,50 ;)

whelm: The timing of pressing reset versus starting upload is more critical than you may be led to believe.

Yes and no. The time span isn't that long but if you release (not push!) the button when the IDE goes to "Uploading..." it works just fine. Did it this way for ages before I fixed the DTR signal of my adapter.

whelm: My advice is to use a USB adapter with the DTR signal available. It will save you some grief.

That's definitely true! It makes life easier. But keep in mind it's not that hard to solder a wire to the DTR pin on a CH340 adapter that has it not broken out. Just make a cable with the Pro Mini layout on one end and solder it to the adapter including the DTR pin.

And what makes life even easier, burn the Uno bootloader! Its faster to upload sketches, more room for sketches and no delay when you turn it on.