USBTinyISP: initialization failed, rc=-1

Problems uploading, serial connections, BUBs, P4, FTDI cables, etc
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USBTinyISP: initialization failed, rc=-1

Post by GorillaCoder » Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:47 pm

Hi, I connect my USBTinyISP to my BBB. Set board to Arduino Diecimilla. Tools/Burn Bootloader/w USBTinyISP.

And I get:
avrdude: initialization failed, rc=-1
Double check connections and try again, or use -F to override
this check.

Now, what is interesting is that I would expect the power light on my BBB to go on when I connect the 6 pin ICSP cable. But nada'.



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Re: USBTinyISP: initialization failed, rc=-1

Post by floresta » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:07 am

Paul has a real job and probably hasn't had time to look at this yet so I will try.
1. The "bootloader" is the code that allows you to download your program code (sketch) to the microprocessor so I don't think you want to do this
Tools/Burn Bootloader/w USBTinyISP
since you are probably not trying to replace the default bootloader.

2. According to the USBtinyISP instructions there is an
Easily accessable jumper to power target project off of USB.
Have you installed this jumper?

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Re: USBTinyISP: initialization failed, rc=-1

Post by GorillaCoder » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:29 pm

Hey floresta,

Thanks for the help!

I am not sure whether the USBtinyISP is working or not.

I have tried it on another device with an ICSP connector (Solarbotics Sumovore) so I know it is providing power. The connection also fails there with the same message. Decided to try it on the BBB as a way to isolate the problem. But on the BBB I don't even get power. Looking about on the net indicates that this message means it isn't connecting to the chip. Which makes sense if the BBB isn't getting power. And doesn't for the Sumovore which is getting power.

Yes I am trying to overwrite the bootloader.

I do have the jumper in the USBtinyISP to provide power.

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Re: USBTinyISP: initialization failed, rc=-1

Post by paul » Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:40 pm


Sorry for the slow reply. You need to power the board separately from the ICSP header. I'm not quite sure why this is but my AVRISPmkII works the same way. Let me know if this works out for you. So set the shunt on either USB or external and either plug in the FTDI USB cable or an external supply.

You could try burning a chip on a Diecimila if you have one to insure that your programmer is working as expected.

I'm not quite sure if I've burned a bootloader on my latest version of board, but nothing has changed from earlier versions - that my zif boards are based on. I'll fire one up and check just to be sure.

Write back and let me know if you don't get it going.


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