Arduboy FX Activator

I couldn’t make that of your original post. A pre programmed mod chip doesn’t make a difference in your case. Because of the bad reset connection the reset button upgrade doesn’t work.

Good luck tomorrow.

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Hello again,
it works !
i heat the solding point again. :smiley:


This just came in the mail today :grin:

Now to go through the instructions on soldering it and activating it.

So excited!!!


Everything is working. Got the FX mod soldered first try no problems. Installed the activator and followed the instructions without a hitch (both mod chip and fx chip were checked in the activator). Installed mod chip, then installed bootloader, finally uploaded the supplied flash image.

Tested my ArduManFX and it was able to communicate with the bootloader just fine and upload a new flashcart image. Have a couple other projects I’m finalizing and then I can put the finishing touches on the ArduManFX tool.


Hi I’m on debian 9, is this a python3 app? I tried running the app with


I’ve tried installing

python -m pip install pyserial

but which then says its installed it but when I run it it says its not installed.

Hi, yes I wrote it for Python 3 on Windows but shoulf fork for linux as well.

I’ve seen some pyserial installments not having the tools folder. Are those present?
You could try uninstalling and reinstalling pyserial.

Would using the “portable” version work in this instance?

The all-in-one Portable version is intended for Windows. Not sure if copying those files on Linux would work.

Just a shot in the dark because I don’t know much about python.
Maybe you need to do:
python3 -m pip install pyserial


I will give that a try, I’m making a arduboy but with the 2.42 ssd1306 screen with a flash chip. In the past I’ve done one with the standard bootloader but wanted to upgrade this new one to use the FX bootloader. Is this script the best way to flash a homebrew arduboy?

The GUI script is easy to upload the flash image into the flash chip. Alternatively you could use the command line only version.

For your homebrew Arduboy it would be easiest to to have the Homemade package installed. You can select your homemade configuration, cathy3k bootloader and flash the bootloader using an ISP programmer.

Note the package doesn’t contain the most reset bootloader yet. They can be found at:

Copy them in the same path of the Homemade package.

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I decided to finally install my fx chip. I got it soldered on fine and was working on flashing it. I did all of the previous steps and everything showed successful and then I got to the point of flashing the bootloader, it did it’s thing and rebooted and now it starts to boot and show arduboy at the top but only about a third of the word appears before it reboots. It just continuously does that now so I can’t get any further. Any suggestions on what I need to do? Can I do something so that it can try to reflash again?

Check out this:

So I got my modchip today (pre-programmed.) I got my dad to solder it in and everything worked fine - mod and flash chips detected - until I tried to flash the bootloader. First it only showed part of the logo at the top of the screen before rebooting. I tried every piece of advice on the forums I could find, to no avail. Then I turned it on once again after fiddling with the solder connections once more. Nothing on the screen at all. I tried the reset button, flashlight and safe modes and nothing could upload a new sketch to the Arduboy or even detect it. I think it’s either bricked or even completely fried on a hardware level. Somehow I can still charge it, but nothing at all displays on the screen. If my Arduboy can still be saved, can I have some suggestions for how to go about that, but if it’ll just never work again, how long will it take for a pre-modded one to arrive? It took about three months for just the mod chip to come, and I would REALLY prefer if I could be able to get back to programming soon.
Never mind, it works now - desoldered the modchip entirely and redid the joints. Also we noticed some little bits of solder beneath the chip that were probably shorting out the connections, so we removed those too. I hope this helps other people that would otherwise descend into pessimism, and can’t wait to check out all the games!


By “mod chip” do you mean the w25q chips or the flash unit?

Not sure what you mean by flash chip but the first line of the post refers to the official ‘mod chip’ flex board that contailns both the attiny85 (that programs/updates the bootloader) and the w25q128 flash chip that stores all the games.

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Sorry for the confusion. I meant the entire black flex PCB that you solder into the Arduboy. My original comment was talking about the solder joints connecting that PCB to the Arduboy and how they must not have had a good connection.

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Some time later…

I got Python working and activated my mod chip!!! :partying_face: :tada:

Inspired by the work heroic quest of @Mr.Blinky & @filmote to get this working on macOS… I tried again. (My first experience was painful enough to avoid for 1+ years…)

I’m so excited to see the script run and finally convert my OG Arduboy to a flashy FX version. Genuinely made my day!! I’m sharing my notes on GitHub, in case they are helpful :smiley:


Just a little note to avoid confusion in your GitHub notes, usually, you would add the python3 symlink in usr/local/bin to the $PATH.

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Please add to and enhance my note on GitHub! I’m hoping this can be the basis of an extended guide.