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peculiar issue with arduino clones; thoughts? Answered

So a little while back, I bought about 10 arduino nano clones. I'd used the nanos before, and really like the form factor, so i got some off of ebay.
they worked great, and you'd know no difference in performance compared to other boards, these new ones seemed to boot faster even.
unlike most, the ones i got dont use an FTDI chip, but rather a chip labeled as "CH340G". these boards were working perfectly until i was trying to test some code that was very close to the maximum size you can fit in an atmega328. it was 30,000 bytes, and mostly because of the included libraries. when i hit upload, it compiled fine, but once it got to the "uploading" phase nothing happened on the arduino board and after a while it threw an error claiming a response of 0x00, if memory serves. it didnt seem like the atmega was resetting, so i probed it with my oscilloscope, but it certainly was resetting. i thought maybe the capacitor on the reset line had issues, so i replaced it to no avail. everything seems fine in windows and i can still talk to the program previously on the chip via the serial terminal. the only way i can seem to upload code now is via the icsp header.

so im wondering if anyone knows what is going on here, or how i can fix the issue?

Discussions

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Downunder35m

4 years ago

Are you using the standard Arduino drivers or the one for the CH340G?

http://wch.cn/downloads.php?name=pro&proid=5

In the device manager it should list as USB-SERIAL CH340.

You have to install the driver with full admin rights though and it is not signed - downside of cheap 5$ clones I guess.

Also be aware the unlike the original you can only connect one clone to PC as they all use the same com port.

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zack247Downunder35m

Answer 4 years ago

The drivers automatically installed when I plugged it in, but I don't think a driver issue is likely; they were once working fine but now they aren't.. And if I plug in a new board it works fine too. Just the board I tried the large upload with has stopped working.

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Downunder35mzack247

Answer 4 years ago

There is a tut for flashing the bootloader with another Arduino:

http://3g1l.com/blog-burn-bootloader-blank-atmega3...

As a last resort so to say.

With you program close to the limits it might be possible that the internal memory got corrupted somehow.

In some case it also helps to initiate a reset right before uploading the program.

But being a cheap copy - are you certain it uses the 32kb memory and not just 16 ?

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zack247Downunder35m

Answer 4 years ago

yes, I'm quite sure it has the 32kb memory; its a 328 and I had uploaded programs of 27k before; but it messed up at it's upper limits. I reinstalled a bootloader but didn't see any difference.

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-max-zack247

Answer 4 years ago

Is it possible the aTmega chip is a fake? Perhaps you can buy a new ATmega328p from a reputable ventor, and replace the chip, and see if it works after flashing new firmware.

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steveastrouk

4 years ago

So you've trashed the bootloader ?

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zack247steveastrouk

Answer 4 years ago

im not really sure, which is why I had asked this. I tried reflashing the bootloader onto the board and it said it was successful, but who knows how honest that is.

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steveastroukzack247

Answer 4 years ago

If you've trashed the bootloader, then you probably need to make sure all the internal fuses on the 328 are set correctly, which is where I had issues when I made my first clone. I ended up making a programming shield specifically to test the 328 fuses.

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FarmerKJS

4 years ago

I have only used genuine boards it solves alot headache

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zack247FarmerKJS

Answer 4 years ago

yeah, genuine boards are nice, but a bit more expensive. I don't feel bad if I happen to let the magic smoke out of some cheap clone. I've never had problems like this with the FTDI based boards though, which is what makes this so odd.

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FarmerKJSzack247

Answer 4 years ago

Ok i guess different people will have different ways.

Have fun with your arduino in the future