FT232 USB UART driver installation step by step installed. For TinyDuino board.

Jan 7, 2021 | Arduino, Technology, Windows | 0 comments

About 7 years ago, I bought a Tiny Duino board.  It seemed like the perfect way for me to work on some cool Arduino projects. It’s modular and tiny! By modular I mean that there are modules for LED’s, wifi, IO ports, battery power, sensors and more.  All without any soldering.  It got left in a drawer though as I had problems getting it up and running at the time.  But I’ll get to that later because I know most of you just want me to get to the good stuff.  How do you get this thing working in Windows 10?  The supplied Arduino drivers don’t work. 

Windows sees this as a FT232 USB UART device under the “Unknown Devices” node of device manager.  In fact, if you are unlucky like I was, it might not see it at all.  The Tinyduino setup page actually writes this out in black and white.  Not all USB cables are created equally.  Some are made to deliver power only for charging.  They may not all be created to handle data transfer.  This caught me out six or seven years ago and it caught me out tonight as well.  I tried two cables before I decided to take the warning on this page into account.  I just thought they were being over cautious.  But after rummaging in my daughters room for the cable from her camera, I was delighted and a little frustrated to find that this worked perfectly but the other two cables from my stash did not.  She will not be happy when she finds out I’ve robbed her cable.

I was just about to celebrate when I heard Windows moan that it couldn’t fully install the driver for an FT232 USB UART device.  But fortunately a big of Googling quickly took me to the download page for that driver.  I extracted the zip file into a folder and told Windows to look in a specific location for the driver files. I assume that if you are working on a device like this that you probably know how to update a driver but just in case:

  1.  Go to start
  2. Type
    Device manager
  3. Expand Unknown Devices
  4. Right click the FT232R USB UART device
  5. Click Update Driver
  6. Choose the second option in the wizard to install the driver locally.
  7. Browse to the location where you have extracted the zip file to
  8. Follow the remainder of the wizard.

Are you following this to get the TinyDuino working?  If so, you will notice that you still don’t have a serial port available. 
But Darragh, How do I get my serial port?  That’s simple too.

  1.  Click start
  2. Type
  3. In the prompt type the following command then press enter:

You will either see a com port or a message saying that no com ports were found.  If you don’t see a com port, you need to go back and update another driver. 

Go back into your device manager, refresh the list and under Unknown Devices you will find a serial adapter.   Right click this, click Update Driver and follow the steps shown above.  Now you havea serial adapter.

You might want to do one more thing if you are working on the TinyDuino board.  You need to configure the Arduino IDE to use the right com port and board.  Select the Arduino Pro under the board type. 

However, I’m not using the Arduino IDE because it’s a horrible, steaming pile of crap.  Instead, I’m using the Platform.IO extension in VSCode.  This is beautiful.  It works so nicely.  Unfortunately, I needed to have the Arduino IDE installed as well but that can just sit on the disk gathering dust.  There’s one thing you need to do in the platform.IO ini file in your project.

Add the correct board and port.
board = pro16MHzatmega328


It will likely find the port automatically but after the other trouble I had, I didn’t want to leave this to chance.

I hope that helps you.  But I usually write these blog posts more for my benefit than anything else.  So I hope this helps me out in the future.  No doubt in a few years I’ll come back to this and will have forgotten all about what I had to do tonight to make it work.

Pictures of the TinyDuino from two angles.


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