I found that trying to make (and keep) a good connection between the ftdi and pro mini with only a little pressure is very difficult. This method lead to sketches not uploading. As soon as I soldered some header pins (pointing up) all of my sketches upload without error. Then you can just pull the programmer off and watch the pro mini go!
You do not have to solder the header pins to the board as long as you have contact between the FTDI and Pro Mini’s plated through holes with the header pin. Usually a little pressure against the pins should be sufficient enough to make contact between the FTDI and Pro Min in order to program the microcontroller.
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