How to flash Arduino Pro Mini

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How to flash Arduino Pro Mini

There are several ways to download the firmware to this microcontroller:

  • Via another arduino board that has a built-in USB-UART
  • With the help of a special programmer
  • Using a USBasp programmer

The last two methods are very similar. They differ only in the type of programmer. Therefore, in this article we will only consider firmware using another Arduino and using a special programmer.

Arduino Pro Mini firmware using Arduino Uno or Nano

In order to flash one arduino through another, we need 2 Arduino boards, connecting wires, a USB cable and a computer. I'll show you how to flash an Arduino Pro Mini using the Arduino Nano, but other Arduino boards like Uno, Mega, etc. can be used with the same instructions.

First, you need to configure our board, which will act as a programmer. To do this, connect it to the USB of your computer and go to the Arduino IDE. The examples already have a ready-made sketch written specifically for this purpose.

We select this sketch and flash it. We are now ready to connect the Arduino Pro Mini. We connect as follows:

Arduino Nano -> Arduino Pro Mini

  • + 5v -> Vcc
  • GND -> GND
  • D10 -> RST
  • D11 -> D11
  • D12 -> D12
  • D13 -> D13

It looks like this for me:

Arduino Pro Mini via Arduino Nano
Arduino Pro Mini via Arduino Nano

Next, we need to set our flashing board and the type of programmer "Arduino as ISP" in the "Tools" menu:

We can now flash our Arduino Pro Mini. Open or write the firmware you need. Be careful! The standard sketch upload button doesn't work for us. By default, it fills the firmware without using a programmer. Thus, we will flash a microcontroller that should act as a programmer. To prevent this from happening, you need to go to the Sketch >> Load menu via the programmer .


Arduino Pro Mini firmware using a dedicated programmer

You can buy a special programmer here . It costs less than one dollar. If you often use arduino pro mini, then this programmer will greatly simplify and speed up the firmware.

The CH340 chip is used for USB-to-Serial conversion. For it to be detected by the computer correctly, you need to install a special driver. Download and install CH340 driver

It is very easy to flash an arduino using the programmer. You need to connect the programmer to the Arduino Pro Mini as follows:

Arduino <-> Programmer

  • Vcc <-> Vcc
  • GND <-> GND
  • RX1 <-> TXD
  • TX0 <-> RXD

We connect the programmer to the computer and check that it does not require drivers. If it is identified as an "unrecognized device" download and install the driver. It is easy to find it by typing "* model of your programmer * driver" in the search engine. For example "CP2102 driver". Next, launch the Arduino IDE. Choose the model of your board. Then go to the Tools -> Programmer menu and select your programmer. Next, open the sketch you need and load it using the item in the Sketch -> Load via programmer menu .

If your programmer does not support soft reset, then you will have to manually press the reset button on your Arduino Pro Mini when compiling the sketch. This must be done as soon as a line appears in the Arduino IDE that the sketch has been compiled.

That's all. We have successfully flashed the Arduino Pro Mini using the programmer.

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