Orangutan usb programmer and atmega328

I am following the sparkfun’s embeded electronics tutorials (http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/93) and I buyed the orangutan usb programmer to programm my atmega328p. I have connected wires in the 6 -pin isp connector as shown here and I have followed the instructions in the programmers manual. However, I can not program my atmega328. When I try to check signature at avr studio it fails. I have succesfully established a serial connection with the programmer.
How can I check if the programmer is in programming or serial to usb mode? I think that the switch that changes the mode is broken, cause I see no diference when I take out the jumper or when i put it in the other mode. What mode should I use to program my atmega328? programmer or serial to usb?
In my device manager I can inly see one device (COM4).

Hello. How are you powering your ATmega328p? Are there any other electronic components in your system, and how are they connected?

The Orangutan USB Programmer’s user’s guide says how to check the mode of your programmer:

To program your atmega328p, you should use programmer mode.

It is normal/expected to only see one device in your device manager, and it should not change when you move the mode jumper.


I am powering the chip from a 5v power supply I made following the sparkfun’s tutorial. There is a voltage regulator, a thermistor, several caps, a led (with a resistor). Do I have to connect the rx and tx pins anywhere? Is there any way to determin what the problem is?

Have you recently checked your AVR’s VCC with a multimeter to make it is actually 5 V?

Did you connect all 6 pins from the programmer? (VCC needs to be connected even though the programmer does not supply power.)

Also, please try removing the thermistor and led/resistor for now. They will not help you program the AVR but they could be causing problems. You do not have to connect the RX and TX pins anywhere.

The general strategy is to simplify your system as much as possible and check everything that we can.



If you have any other programmable AVRs around, it would help if you could try using your programmer on those. This would help determine whether the problem is with the programmer or with the AVR.

- Ben

Hello again
I still cannot solve the problem. Unfortunately I have no other microcontrolers.
I want to add that when i try to connect, i select the device and the serial port (com4) and then it gives me this error:

Get VTARGET: Command of no use for AVR ISP! FAILED!

it also opens the settings dialog with the tabs and i can try to read signature but it fails.

Your AVR is probably running at 1 MHz right now, which means you might need to lower your programmer’s ISP frequency to program it. Can you check to see what ISP frequency you’re using? Can you set it to the lowest possible frequency and try reading the device signature? Note that this lowest frequency is to slow to program with, but if you can read the device signature it will tell us that your AVR is working properly. If you cannot read the device signature at this frequency, there is likely a problem with the AVR or your connections.

- Ben