Do we need a ftdi basic board to connect a ftdi 232R USB - TTL serial level converter cable via a 6 pin 0.1" male header into an Arduino pro mini/ nano 328 to upload the sketch?

  • you can use an UNO instead, most of us have a few laying around...
    – dandavis
    Apr 9, 2017 at 20:43

1 Answer 1


For the Arduino Nano:

NO, the Nano already includes the USB-to-TTL conversion circuitry. Just use the USB connector as you would with a Uno.

For the Arduino Pro Mini:

YES, you need an external breakout board to perform USB-to-TTL conversion. This board may use the FT232RL chip, but also any other equivalent one like the CH340G. You only need to have the adequate driver in your computer and you'll be set.


If you have "converter cable" you might not need a breakout board because this kind of cable already includes the FT232R (or equivalent). You don't need to use this cable with the Nano.

  • 1
    Note that you need the DTR signal available for board reset. Some boards or chips don't provide that. Some, like the MCP22xx only provide RTS and may not be usable without knowing how to get the RTS pin to toggle for you. UECIDE provides direct support for that though.
    – Majenko
    Apr 9, 2017 at 10:37
  • Well seen. But then it's all down to being careful enough as to select a breakout board whose chip implements all the required functionality, right? FT232RL or CH340G would be OK, whereas MCP2200 and others wouldn't (at least straight away, as you say). Apr 9, 2017 at 10:48
  • Correct. It's all about attention to detail.
    – Majenko
    Apr 9, 2017 at 10:50

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