Ender 3 and the Pololu AVR Programmer

There are tons of YouTube videos and blog posts on updating the Ender 3 firmware, but I could not find any, on how to do this with the Pololu USB AVR Programmer.

So here it is, the Ender 3 and the Pololu USB AVR Programmer write up in four simple steps:

  • Configure the Pololu Programmer
  • Configure the Arduino Application
  • Connect the Pololu USB AVR Programmer to the Ender 3
  • Writing the Bootloader

Configure the Pololu Programmer

Download and install the Pololu software for your OS

After installing configure the Pololu USB AVR Programmer with these settings. Although the programmer cannot supply enough power to drive the Ender 3 board. I found VCC needs to be configured for this to work.

The Pololu USB AVR Programmer Configuration (OSX)

That’s it for the Pololu USB AVR PRogrammer configuration.

Configure the Arduino Application

The Ender 3 usus the Sanguino board and if you haven’t yet, click here, on how to add it to the Arduino application. Select the “Sanguino” Board and “ATmega1284 or ATmega 1284P (16 MHz)” Processor.

Sanguino and Atmega selected

Next, we need to add the Pololu USB AVR Programmer to the Arduino application, add the following section to the (arduino/avr/)programmers.txt file.

This adds the Pololu USB AVR Programmer option to list of available programmers. Go on, and select it from the list.

The Pololu USB AVR Programmer as Arduino Programmer

After selecting the Pololu Programmer, make sure to select the correct Port. You should select the programming port as seen in the Pololu application.

The Pololu application showing the Programming- and TTL Port.

Connect the Pololu to the Ender 3

The provided cable does not fit on the Ender 3 board. I used jumper wires to connect the Pololu flat cable to the Ender board. As stated above, the VCC provided by the Pololu Programmer is insufficient to power the Ender 3 board. Connecting the VCC line will put the Pololu Programmer in an error state, so we will omit the VCC connection. The Ground connection is important, so it is connected.

Use the red wire for orientation and omit the VCC connection

On the ender side, connect the wires according to the following picture.

Connection on the Ender 3 Side, VCC is omitted

That’s it, all parts are in place. Let’s burn some bootloader.

Writing the Bootloader

Make sure the all settings are correct, the Ender 3 board is powered and the the Pololu is connected and hit Burn bootloader from the Arduino Tools menu. You should see the message: “Burning bootloader to I/O Board (this may take a minute)”

Burning in progress

Within a few seconds, the message should change into: “Done burning bootloader.”

All done

That’s it, your Ender 3 now has a bootloader and can be updated as a regular Arduino.

Author: Peter

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