Arduino Nano Revived! (Part 2)

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I bought my Arduino Nano V3.0 from Ebay and it arrived dead. This is Part 2 of my encounter with the Nano. If you’ve not read Part 1, I strongly recommend you to do so here. Thank you.

So I got my new Uno R3 and the first thing I did was trying to burn a bootloader onto the Nano.

“Hi, my name is Uno and I’m from Italy. Nice to meet you.” says the Uno. I like to think that electronic items have personalities. Lol.

Back to the burning the bootloader. I followed the schematics on the arduino.cc website and here is how to set it up.

So I fired up the Arduino IDE and it failed again. Done all sorts of tinkering and couldn’t get it to work. At this point, I assumed that the Nano is a goner. So, I played around with the Uno for some time and chucked the Nano back in its’ box.

Today I had some free time so I took it out again and decided to check every single connectionΒ on the Nano’s PCB by referring to the official schematics.

This was extremely tedious as all the components on the Nano are SMDs (Surface Mounted Device) and the pins are notoriously small. It made my multimeter’s fine tip probes looked like they’re giants.

I soldiered on and all was well until I reached pin 29 of the ATmega 328 (there are 32 pins in total!). That is the RESET pin and when I used the continuity test, it detected that the RESET pin is shorted to ground all the time. No, it shouldn’t do that, it should be pulled high. So I looked around to find any soldering faults that made the RESET pin shorted to ground (praying to God that it’s not a PCB design fault).

Lo and behold, I found this. On the left side of the Nano, there was a tiny solder joint between the GND and RESET pin. This was causing the chip to be on RESET all the time. The below picture is afterΒ I fixed the solder joint.

I removed it easily by using a pen knife and you can see the leftover in the picture above. That is some poor soldering by the folks in Hong Kong (I suspect China but Hong Kong is China, so yeah China lol). Testing the pins again and I no longer find that the RESET pin is shorted to ground. Hopefully this is it.

Connected it to USB and immediately the ‘L’ led lit up and blinked, that’s a good sign. So I uploaded the blink sketch and it was successful. Praise the Lord πŸ™‚

This has been a frustrating journey in the world of Arduinos. I regretted buying it from Ebay just because it was cheap. I spent so much time tinkering with it and there was once I mistakenly shorted 5V with Ground and a diode blew. I had to remove it and solder a jumper wire between the two pads.

It’s not pretty but at least it works. Now I should be more careful not to do anything silly.

But in the end, it was a happy ending and the Nano came back to life. To commemorate the revival of the Nano, I’ve done this.

The moral of the story : Don’t get anything that’s ‘too good to be true’ on Ebay. It usually doesn’t end well.

Long live the Nano!

  1. redd10-27-2012

    =w= omg ok so im sorry for disturbing you for that as it turns out i should have just used the usb cable that my nano came with, it works now, and i can twitch my ears again, check out reddthecat.com to find out what i mean (but you dont have to)

    • waihung10-28-2012

      It’s ok. I’ve been there many times. Sometimes you just need to leave it alone and come back the next day, somehow you’ll find the solution. If it doesn’t keep trying πŸ˜›

      Thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  2. redd10-27-2012

    so i have a similar problem, but my nano has the blink sketch pre-loaded to it and ive done all processes of programming you did i even have iscp cable i connected to both nano and uno to try programming (uno works btw) i tried taking my atmega328 out of uno hooking iscp to nano, nothing, tried no atmega in uno and hooking tx/rx to corresponding pins, nothing, tried shorting reset to 5v, still, and all you had to do was remove a little solder? anyway ive been racking my brain trying to figure out wtf is goin on with my nano and this was the most detailed but could you put just a little more detail into it? if theres any more to it, the only thing i havent tried is shorting pins 25/26 shorting reset high hooking tx/rx up right uploading arduinoisp and wires as such all at once and im a tad scaired to altho as long as 5v isnt exceded i should be fine but if there is anything else you can mention to push me in the right direction that would be fantastic

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