7. Troubleshooting

If Your Computer Fails to Connect to the Programmer

  • Make sure your programmer is connected to your computer via a USB A to mini-B cable. If it was previously working and has since stopped, try cycling the power by unplugging it from your computer and then reconnecting it.
  • Make sure you have installed the drivers the Orangutan USB programmer needs to operate.
  • Is the programmer’s green USB status LED on? This is the single LED on the same side of the board as the mini-B connector. If this LED is not on, you do not have a valid USB-to-serial connection between your programmer and your computer.
  • If you are running Windows, can you see your programmer listed among your Device Manager’s COM ports? If you expand your Device Manager’s “Ports (COM & LPT)” list, you should see your programmer appear as “Pololu USB-to-serial adapter”.
  • If you are running linux, examine the system messages generated when the programmer is connected, using the command “dmesg”.
  • Your computer will only let one program have a given COM port open at a time. If you are connected to your Orangutan USB programmer’s COM port using another program, such as Hyper Terminal or a second instance of AVR Studio, you will not be able to connect to it with your programming software. Please make sure you don’t have any terminal programs connected to your programmer, and if you have multiple versions of AVR Studio running, make sure that you have closed the “AVRISP” programming dialogs in all of them. When the AVRISP dialog is open, that instance of AVR Studio has an open serial connection to your programmer.
  • If you are using AVR Studio, try connecting to your programmer’s specific COM port instead of selecting the “Auto” option, which attempts to locate the port automatically.
  • Is your programmer’s blue mode jumper selecting for programming mode? If the mode jumper is missing or is selecting USB-to-serial adapter mode, your computer will not detect it as a programmer.
  • If none of the above work, try connecting to your programmer using a terminal program to verify that it’s alive. Please see the Configuring Your Programmer for AVR Studio section for instructions on how you can interact with your Orangutan USB programmer using a terminal program.


If Your Programmer Has Problems Connecting to Your Target Device

  • The most common cause for this problem is an incorrect connection between your programmer and your target device. If the ISP pins are misaligned between your programmer and your target device, the two will not be able to communicate. Please make sure that the ISP pins as numbered in the Module Pinout & Components section are correctly connected between your Orangutan and your programmer (i.e. 1 goes to 1, 2 goes to 2, etc.).
  • Your target must be powered for programming to work. Please make sure that your Orangutan has power and is turned on.
  • Your programmer’s ISP frequency must not be more than a quarter of your target device’s clock frequency. If you are having trouble communicating with your target device, try lowering the ISP frequency using the Board tab of AVR Studio’s AVRISP dialog. For more information about ISP frequency, see the Board section.
  • There may be a problem with your target device. It’s possible to kill a device with a static shock, by incorrectly connecting power, or by programming the fuses incorrectly. There could also be a short or cut trace somewhere on your target device. The ideal way to test for this would be to try programming a different device with your Orangutan USB programmer (or, conversely, try using a different programmer to program your target device). If this is not an option, try verifying that your target device is still functional and perform some continuity tests to check for shorts or disconnections on the ISP programming lines. Don’t forget to check the 6-pin ISP cable for shorts as well.


If none of the above troubleshooting suggestions help, please contact us for support.