View Full Version : [Question(s)] ArbotiX avrdude error

08-15-2017, 02:10 AM
I have an ArbotiX board and I'm trying to set it up. I'm trying to upload the basic blink program to the board but I can't seem to get it to work. I've been trying a bunch of different Arduino IDE versions and different drivers and I've gotten to this error:

avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00
From what I can tell everything is set up correctly. I've connected the board to receive power from the USB and downloaded the FTDI drivers, so I really have no idea what might be causing the issue.
I'm running right now Arduino IDE 1.0.6 on a Windows 10 machine.
I would really appreciate any help. I've been trying to fix this for a few weeks now and have gotten nowhere...

08-15-2017, 05:48 PM
Do you have an Xbee attached to the board? If so, the Xbee will be getting in the way, and needs to be unplugged before programming.

Personally, I've found that the serial bootloader nonsense isn't worth the trouble, and I use a low-cost In-Circuit Serial Programmer (ICSP) to program my boards (including an ArbotiX in a Phantom quad.)
You can find them on Amazon or Ebay for about a tenner, or slightly more reputable sites for a little more. They are typically called "USBAsp" or "USBTiny / USBTinyISP." Make sure you get one with the six-pin connector at the end of the cable. Then you can connect it to the ArbotiX, and use the "upload using programmer" feature in the IDE.

08-16-2017, 02:15 AM
Hi thanks for the answer!
I don't have an Xbee connected so I don't think that's the problem

I'm really new to all of this, do you mind explaining a bit further what the ICSP is for and how do I use it?
Do I send the code through it to the board?

08-16-2017, 03:49 PM
It might help to see a picture of your setup, to see things like which FTDI cable you are using and if it is hooked up correctly.

Also see things like which Arduino settings are you using. For example I assume you have Arbotix selected. Also I assume you have the correct COMM port selected and the board has power.

ICSP - Is used to program the board when it does not have a boot loader...
What I mean is typically the board has a small program at specific location in memory, that when the board is first powered up (or reset) it jumps to this program, which then looks for some type of handshake (a set of bytes sent or the like) on the Serial port. If it received it, it goes into a mode where it downloads the new program. So if your board does not have a bootloader or the bootloader is corrupt, then the system may have problems downloading.

The ICSP uses a special hardware protocol that allows it to program the whole chip without needing a bootloader.
Another benefit of using the ICSP is if you are using an XBEE with your Arbotix board, you don't have to remove it to reprogram it. Why? The FTDI connection and the XBee connection are both using the same IO pins (UART)

So I typically always use a programmer such as: http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/USB-AVR-Programmer.aspx to program the Arbotix-m

08-19-2017, 02:49 AM
Yes, ICSP "always works" as long as the chip has power; much easier to recover from bad programs.
And, yes, ICSP works even when there's a Xbee plugged in, or something else uses the serial port.
Also, an ICSP programmer is usually faster than bootloading, too! Honestly, this is a big win for me :-)