Breadboard Arduino

I have built a breadboard Arduino and attempted to upload the basic blink LED program on it. It failed to upload.

I built the circuit as per:

“Cannot upload program to ATMega328P”; where do I start. There are many reasons why this can occur.
I assume you are trying to load the blink program via the USB to serial converter.

  1. I use the following device to upload to a bare board ATMega328P. It is expensive but has worked every time. In my opinion it has been worth the money I paid. It has also worked with Pro Trinket boards which cannot be loaded via the USB port. It is a load device and not incorporated into any project.
  2. The ATMega328P must have a boot loader installed to use the above device. Usually they will have these when you buy them. But some I have bought did not have a loader or did not have the correct loader. In this case you would need something like the following which uses the SPI interface. The article you linked shows a UNO being used to load a boot loader. It works I have done it. Warning: this can be tricky to get right and can result in a bricked ATMega328P. The only way out of that is to use a parallel loader which are not readily available.
  3. Set up a UNO with a ZIF socket and use it to program the ATMega328P, In fact if you have a UNO swap the ATMega328P chips and see if the one in question can be programmed via the UNO. That would eliminate the boot loader issue. Note the ZIF socket pins will fit in the UNO dip socket but are larger than the ATMega328P pins and the UNO cannot be reliably used in the normal way again. I have a UNO like this and the ZIF socket never gets removed. It is used to check ATMega328P chips and for program development.
  4. Arduino IDE settings. These can be a “gotcha”. The normal UNO settings should work with the FTDI Friend as it looks like a UNO to the IDE. I am unsure how a USB to serial converter would look to the IDE. The article you linked is incomplete in that it list hardware and not software to get the circuit to work with the USB to serial converter.
    Also note: the serial boot loader is frequency dependant. If you run the chip at 12MHz and the loader is expecting 16MHz it wont work. That has got me a number of times with chips I have placed back into storage and forgotten they have a lower speed boot loader. Using the SPI interface to reload the boot loader fixed the chip.

(Core Electronics Customer)

Hi George,

Which arduino board are you using? Do you have any photos of your setup and a screenshot of the errors?

I know that the cheap chinese arduino clones need a specific USB driver for them to work with the Arduino IDE.