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Arduino FTDI Header using ATmega8 microcontroller




So, you want to program a bootloaded AVR. Or possibly, you have an Arduino Lilypad and no way to program it. There are a few solutions available to you: You could buy a USB to FTDI adapter (available at Adafruit, Sparkfun, etc), you could buy a simple FTDI cable, or you could build something. I couldn’t afford the “FTDI Friend,” so, I decided to build an adapter to use the TX/RX Serial connection from the Arduino. It plugs in to the RX, TX, Reset, 5V, and GND pins on the Arduino and has a 6 pin female header for the FTDI connection. This can most likely be made with electronics supplies you already have.

Step: 1 Materials

Materials

Not much is needed at all for this. The only materials you need are:
-5 Wires
-6 Pin Female Header
-6 Male Header Pins, broken into sections of 4 and 2
-Solder
-Electrical Tape

And the only tools you need are:
-Soldering Iron
-Wire cutters
-Hemostats help a lot with holding the wire in place
-Fine Tip Permanent Marker

Step: 2 Soldering: Part I

Solder your 5 cables to the header. I used red cables for the data and white for everything else. On the leftmost (or rightmost if you’re turned the other way) side, connect the ground wire to both of the terminals on the end. Once you’re done, wrap in electric tape and label it with the marker. Make sure to keep the cables aligned.

Step: 3 Soldering: Part II

Soldering

Now it’s time to solder the other side. On the leftmost pin of the 4 pin male header (the one that was broken off of the 6 pin header) connect the RTS wire. This will be the reset pin on the Arduino. Skip the second-leftmost terminal and solder the third pin to VCC. Solder the rightmost pin to the wire for GND/CTS.
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On the 2 pin header (the other part of the 4 pin), solder the left pin to TX and the right pin to RX.

Once complete, the pins will be laid out like so:
FTDI Header Pin = Arduino Pin
GND = GND
CTS = GND
VCC = 5V
TX = TX
RX = RX
RTS = Reset

On the 2 Pin header, you may want to label which is the TX and which is the RX (I learned the hard way)

For more detail: Arduino FTDI Header using ATmega8 microcontroller

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