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Alpha Clock Five Firmware Upgrade avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00

edited November 2014 in Clock Kits
I am having trouble installing the latest firmware upgrade v2.1. I have been researching this for about a week now and still I am at a standstill. I have read the documentation that says that I need to change the baud rate and I made sure about 10 times that it was set to 38400 for the Sanguino ATMEGA644P... 

I am still receiving the same error code: 

avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00

Obviously I have the FTDI Friend plugged into the clock, I've checked and rechecked the instructions on how to assemble the clock just to make sure I didn't solder the TTL heads in the wrong place. I've installed and reinstalled the driver software for the FTDI Friend.. making sure that it is on COM4.

I notice that when I go to the Serial Monitor in Arduino 1.0.3 I don't get any reply echos from the FTDI Friend.

Right now I'm just starting to wonder which of my devices is broken. There are some LED lights on the FTDI Friend that I don't understand.

It is late at night and I'm about to miss class in the morning if I don't go to bed. Any help is appreciated.


  • There are a number of things that have to work correctly for programming to work: The software environment, communication speed, USB interface, the cable, and power. If you'd like to try serial communication with the clock, that's a good first check before trying to program. Make sure that you use a communication speed (in the serial monitor) of 19200 baud. (See here for more detail: )  

    Double check that your FTDI connector is oriented the right way.  ("Black" side to "Black" side.)  

    Double check soldering connections  at the microcontroller, J5, R4, C10. The latter three are *only* used for programming, so everything could be working perfectly fine otherwise, only it can't be programmed if there's a problem at one of those points.

    If you continue to have difficulty, you might consider sending the microcontroller (or the whole clock less digits and case) back to us for an upgrade and for us to double-check that everything is working and it can be programmed.
  • It turns out it was the FTDI Friend not being plugged in in the correct orientation... I was nervous to damage my hardware by forcing the leads... I jammed it on there and now I've got version 2.1 installed and running :)

    Thanks so much, Windell.
  • Awesome-- glad to hear you're up and running. :D
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