Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

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Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby Scanner » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:16 pm

I just got three Arduino Uno's from SparkFun. 2 of the SMD variant, and one of traditional packaging.

The Uno using the traditional packaging Atmega 328P works as it is supposed to - you write the sketch to it (say the 'blink' example, the simplest one out there with feedback) and it works.

Remove power and restore power, and the program (blink) works as expected.

However, when you do the exact same procedure with either of the SMD Edition Uno's the program's run when you load it on to the Uno.

But if you remove power and then restore power it goes back to the boot loader blinking.

Very frustrating. I have ordered an ISP and built the software necessary to drive it.. now if I just knew of a good bootloader
I could put on this Uno so that it is actually useable that would be good.

Has anyone else had this problem? Anyone else have any ideas what to do next?

FWIW: I am running the Arduino 022 software on a 10.6 OSX machine.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby follower » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:44 am

Does it do this consistently?

I've had issues with the OptiBoot bootloader where it will fall into that bootloader "blinking LED" cycle--but if I try applying power again or (I think--maybe not) hit reset it recovers.

--Philip;
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby Scanner » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:08 am

follower wrote:Does it do this consistently?

I've had issues with the OptiBoot bootloader where it will fall into that bootloader "blinking LED" cycle--but if I try applying power again or (I think--maybe not) hit reset it recovers.

--Philip;


Yes, it does this consistently, on both of the SMD variant Uno's I have. Hitting reset multiple times or applying power multiple times has no effect.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby rrc1962 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:59 am

I have the same problem when only connected to the USB port. If I upload the program it works fine, when I unplug the USB then plug back in, I get the flashes from the bootloader. hitting reset doesn't help. I have to re-upload the program. If I have external power connected, this is not a problem. I can upload the program and unplug the USB cable. When I unplug external power and power the Uno down, the program stays loaded and runs fine when I power back up. My guess would be that the USB is not providing enough power. That's usually the case when a USB powered device starts acting up.

Also a new SMD edition board.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby Scanner » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:13 pm

rrc1962 wrote:I have the same problem when only connected to the USB port. If I upload the program it works fine, when I unplug the USB then plug back in, I get the flashes from the bootloader. hitting reset doesn't help. I have to re-upload the program. If I have external power connected, this is not a problem. I can upload the program and unplug the USB cable. When I unplug external power and power the Uno down, the program stays loaded and runs fine when I power back up. My guess would be that the USB is not providing enough power. That's usually the case when a USB powered device starts acting up.

Also a new SMD edition board.


Hm! Since it could be powered off of USB I did not even bother to try to powering it off the barrel connector.
Now to see if I have something lieing around the house that is suitable to plug in to that.

I do note that I do not have this problem on the non-SMD Uno that I have. It is only with the SMD editions that this problem shows up.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby Scanner » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:28 pm

Scanner wrote:
rrc1962 wrote:I have the same problem when only connected to the USB port. If I upload the program it works fine, when I unplug the USB then plug back in, I get the flashes from the bootloader. hitting reset doesn't help. I have to re-upload the program. If I have external power connected, this is not a problem. I can upload the program and unplug the USB cable. When I unplug external power and power the Uno down, the program stays loaded and runs fine when I power back up. My guess would be that the USB is not providing enough power. That's usually the case when a USB powered device starts acting up.

Also a new SMD edition board.


Hm! Since it could be powered off of USB I did not even bother to try to powering it off the barrel connector.
Now to see if I have something lieing around the house that is suitable to plug in to that.

I do note that I do not have this problem on the non-SMD Uno that I have. It is only with the SMD editions that this problem shows up.


Okay, I tried that.. powering it off of the barrel connector, no joy.

What I did was:

1) plug it in to an external power source via the barrel connector (around 9v)
2) plug in the USB cable
3) uploaded the 'blink' program
4) verified the operation of the 'blink' program
5) unplugged the USB cable
6) unplugged the external power source.
7) plugged the external power source back in.

What I observed after step (7) was that the 'blink' program was not running and I was just seeing the standard boot loader flashing of the LED.

Sigh. Time to contact tech support at SparkFun. Having two essentially useless Uno's is not very fun.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby rrc1962 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:10 pm

After reading your post, I plugged the Uno in and guess what...Just the bootloader flashing. The program I loaded this morning is gone. I guess I'll be on the phone with tech support as well.

no one else is having this problem? How long have they been shipping the SMD boards? This is the first one I've ever ordered.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby rrc1962 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:20 pm

OK...Hold reset while plugging in external power, then release reset. While this worked, the possibility of failure on power-up makes this thing kind of useless. It's not like the end user is going to crack the enclosure and hold reset every time they power up...and I really don't need a phone call every time this thing doesn't boot up properly.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby Scanner » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:19 am

rrc1962 wrote:OK...Hold reset while plugging in external power, then release reset. While this worked, the possibility of failure on power-up makes this thing kind of useless. It's not like the end user is going to crack the enclosure and hold reset every time they power up...and I really don't need a phone call every time this thing doesn't boot up properly.


Unfortunately same behaviour. I have contacted tech support at SparkFun to see if they have any ideas.. and yeah even if it worked, not the kind of behaviour one would want (but it would have been nice to narrow down the problem area.)
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby physic.dude » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:24 am

I have the same problem with my new Arduino UNO SMD as well, I bought mine elsewhere though.
I was going to use it as a semi-permanent placement for a project but then ran into this same problem.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby rrc1962 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:24 am

It held over night. Plugged in and it ran properly. There doesn't seem to be a pattern. If I try it again in 10 minutes it could fail.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby liudr » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:44 pm

Sounds like trouble, maybe 8u2 firmware problem. Can someone with this problem please post a reply on arduino.cc blog article about the UNO SMD edition? This whole thing is a bad idea. What if you want to program your chip and remove it and install it to a project? With SMD you can't. The arduino guys should get a message about the SMD edition problem. I'm sticking to my Duemilanove and 10 ATMEGA328 bootloaded chips. Grab any ATMEGA328 chip whenever you can.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby rrc1962 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:16 am

I was going to use the Pro 5V in the final project. I just bought the Uno for prototyping. I wonder if the pro, being surface mount also, is having the same issues.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby liudr » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:26 am

The pro has been around for a number of years, I think sparkfun made them. I have not heard of such problem with the pro.
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Re: Arduino SMD variant Uno's exhibiting "Flash amnesia" problem

Postby rrc1962 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:18 am

Good news about the pro.

I read this on the Uno blog.

"Now you just need to briefly connect to ground the reset pin of the 8u2 for it to enter DFU bootloader mode. The using Atmel’s FLIP on Windows and Linux or dfu-programmer on Mac (and Linux) you can reprogram the firmware."

I wonder if the problem we're having (entering bootloader mode on power up) might be a flaw in the board where the reset pin is grounding intermittently. My issues don't seem to be as severe as Scanners. Mine is working intermittently.

They also make it sound like it is very easy to flash the bootloader. Sounds like we need a crash course in that.
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