Programming the Arduino Pro from a PC

I admit, programming the Arduino Pro from a PC is no rocket science, however it is always useful to have a tutorial at hand that shows the steps how it is done. Therefore, I would like to share the experiences we had with programming an Arduino Pro Mini as part of our Swarm Robot “VIPL” [1].

On the printed circuit board we added a connector for serial programming to the Arduino with the following wiring scheme:


As a programmer, we used a BTE13-007 (the updated version BET13-009 is currently sold for less than 2€).

The programmer has a USB connector and maps itself as a COM port. It plays nicely with the Arduino Studio, you just have to set the correct COM-port in the tools settingh of your Arduino Studio:


The picture also shows the other settings for the Arduino type and microcontroller and the programmer type, here “USBasp” works fine for me.

Now its hardware again, we need to connect the programmer with the board. This can be done with a five-wire connector (the CTS of the programmer will not be used) as shown in this photo:


Some search showed there is no consensus how to assign colors to the wires depending on the signal. In this picture we used the following colors:

blue – GND – Pin5 of programming connector (GND)
violet – 5V – Pin4 (VCC)white – TxD – Pin3 (RXI)
gray – RxD – Pin2 (TXO)
black – DTR – Pin1 (DTR)

Feel free to use any other colors, but keep the same connections 😉

That’s it, now we can start to program our Arduino. Note that while it is connected as shown in the picture above it will be powered via USB.

[1] W. Elmenreich, B. Heiden, G. Reiner, and S. Zhevzhyk. A low-cost robot for multi-robot experiments. In Proceedings of the 12th International Workshop on Intelligent Solutions in Embedded Systems (WISES’15), pages 127–132, Ancona, Italy, October 2015. (fulltext)


About Wilfried Elmenreich

Understanding the communication networks of the future.
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