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Cheap Chinese Arduino Clones and G3/G4 on OSX 10.4


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Made a few breakthroughs with Arduinos on a G4 with OSX 10.4. The Arduino site has an older IDE which still works on G3 & G4 OSX Macs.

 

But there is a problem with some Arduinos made in China and sold on various sites like Ebay for under $10 (even lower than $5!). Most of them have their BootLoader missing. This is a simple fix, but it requires a working Arduino like the Arduino Uno R3 with a working Bootloader. See this webpage on how do do it: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Burn-a-Bootloader-to-Clone-Arduino-Nano-30/?ALLSTEPS

 

But this does not fix the problem totally. There is a missing driver for a CH341 USB to Serial Chip some of these Clones use. This is true for both Windows and OSX. The file can be found for Windows. I have it on my friend's site as a back up and easy access. Installing the driver fixes this and the Cheap Chinese Clone Arduinos are now useable under Windows!

 

But finding it for Mac OSX (Intel or PPC) is almost impossible. I have yet to find it. If I could find it, I believe that it would with the older Arduino IDE on OSX 10.4 and the G3 & G4. I've googled for the driver and only seem to find the Windows version for it. I've seen a couple of Linux link entries but did not get them as they are most likely for Intel and I need it for PPC.

 

Anybody has any idea or experience on this?

 

Much thanks.

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I originally checked out Arduino on my G4, although I hadn't made much use of it then. Another option to using an Uno to program the bootloader is using a dedicated USB AVR ISP adaptor. If you work with AVRs, it is worth having one around. I bought one of these from SparkFun (no affiliation) https://www.olimex.com/Products/AVR/Programmers/AVR-ISP500/ Another option is to only get Arduinos which use the FT232R, which have Mac drivers - sorry, I know that this doesn't help you with the ones you have now. Another option might be to bypass the USB->RS232 chip and apply serial to the RX and TX lines, if your Mac has a serial port.

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Thanks for the info, it is great. It verifies something I read for the Arduino Mini/Mini Pros I have see - the tiny ones without a USP Port on them. But for the Arduino Nano/Nano Pro, the tiny ones with a usb port on them, the majority of them use that CH341 USB to Serial port chip. Thus I fixed the problem for a Wintel PC, I can not for the OSX Mac.

 

And this is only for the cheap chinese clones - not the Original Arduinos and some clones like SainSmart, which work on the Mac OSX once you figure out the connection on the control panel. Under 10.4, it would be listed under USB Modem in the Network Control Panel, you need to do nothing to it. You just need to tell the Arduino IDE which port the Arduino is connected too, which is the USB Modem. It works great from there.

Edited by Elfen
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I have the OSX driver for the CH341, but i'm not sure if it is intel only or not. I'll do some digging later tonight to see if i can figure it out

 

I wasn't aware any of the chineese arduino clones are sold without a bootloader, that really sucks... At least it is easy to program if you have another arduino.

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Yes, but if you're starting out and this is your first and only Arduiono, you have a classic Catch-22 problem: You need to get a bootloader before using the Arduino but you need to use the Arduino to get the bootloader. Quite a dilemma, no?

 

c

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Yes, but if you're starting out and this is your first and only Arduiono, you have a classic Catch-22 problem: You need to get a bootloader before using the Arduino but you need to use the Arduino to get the bootloader. Quite a dilemma, no?

 

That is a dilemma. Lucky for me the SainSmart Arudino Uno is what I would call a perfect clone of the Arduino Uno R3, and I was able to load up boot loaders on those Chinese Clones quite easily with instructions the link I posted above. Then I ran into that CH341 driver issue on some (make that most!) of the Chinese Clones that used them. Getting the driver for the Wintel PC was a problem within itself, most places wanted you to "download their own site downloader and get it from there." (Yeah right, and get injected with some sort of virus or backdoor cracker? Hell No!) But I managed to get one that works perfectly on the Wintel Machines. See Link Here. The Zip has 32 and I believe 64 bit, and though its for XP, I have it running on my Vista and Win7 machines without problems.

 

Thanks for the Link & File, Max1zzz. I'll try it on both Intel and PPC Macs that I have.

 

We'll see how it goes, I'll post up the results here.

Edited by Elfen
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