Baby Orangutan B-328 and the Arduino bootloader

I noticed that the Baby Orangutans are on sale again, and I plan to buy one and some other items. Since I’m familiar with the Arduino library I plan to use it with that library, but I understand that the different clock rate means there will be some limitations. I would also like to put the Arduino bootloader on it and after reading the documents and old forum posts I have a few questions:

  • An Arduino can burn a new bootloader onto an AVR using the ISCP interface. Will that work with the Baby Orangutan even though the clock rate is different?

  • From some 2011 forum posts it appeared that there were problems using the bootloader that which required cutting some traces. But it also appears that might be resolved in a newer rev of the board. Is this still a problem with B-328?

  • If it is incompatible with a bootloader and Arduino can also act as an AVR programmer. Does that work with the Baby Orangutan?

The reason I want to get a bootloader working is that I would like to do is adapt one of my Wixels to wirelessly programming the Baby Orangutan. I got this working for the Propeller Chip and the regular Arduino, so I’m pretty sure I can work it out if I get a bootloader on it.

Update: I placed my order and also got the USB AVR programmer. I figure that $12 is cheap insurance to reduce frustration if the bootloader doesn’t work out. It might still be interesting to get a bootloader on it for Wixel programming.

Hello. Yes, that should work fine. The only issue is that the baud rate will be different from what the designers of the bootloader intended, but that is not a big deal. For example, if you load a bootloader designed for operation at 16MHz and 115200 baud, the Baby Orangutan will execute it at 20 MHz so the baud rate you need to use for it is 115200*20/16 = 144000 baud. You will need to configure whatever you use to talk to the bootloader (i.e. the Arduino IDE or the Wixel) to use that new baud rate.

Could you provide links to the 2011 forum posts?

For anyone who comes across this post: Martin_H has a specific reason for putting the Arduino bootloader on his Baby Orangutan. In general, I wouldn’t recommend doing that; if you just want to use the Arduino IDE, you can set up a system consisting of Arduino IDE + Pololu USB AVR Programmer + Orangutan by following our document Programming Orangutans and the 3pi Robot from the Arduino Environment.


Hi David,

Thanks for the prompt answer. Here’s the thread which discussed the additional pull up and capacitor which was causing problems with the Arduino bootloader and the need to cut a trace.


OK, now I understand the question.

Yes, there is still a resistor and capacitor on the Baby Orangutan’s RESET line so the advice in that thread still applies. I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the schematic in the Baby Orangutan user’s guide, where the resistor and capacitor are shown. When Ben said “newer models” he was probably talking about new products like Orangutan SVP.


I’ve been reading through the Orangutan libraries for the Arduino and they look really helpful. I should be able to get a robot up and running using them in no time. It’s a bit of a bummer that when using them you are limited to a 1.2 kHz PWM frequency for the motors, but I understand that’s life when mixing libraries. One of these days I may need to dig in and learn AVR programming without the Arduino libraries.