kit build was smooth - very satisfying. initial programming thru a usbtiny.
but when I arrived at reprogramming time, I got the dreaded "avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00"
(actually sometimes I get other resp= values, but always errors out.)
so far I have established:
1. FTDI Friend works (can wiggle the TX line from hyperterm & see on scope)
2. The clock is resetting (screen flash + beep each time avrdude makes an attempt)
3. TX light flashes a few times before giving up
4. All connections are good from AVR pins 2,3 to FTDI chip pins
5. The bootloader seems to be there, when I leave bootloader only on the chip it flashes the backlight of the LCD
and one odd fact
6. it does occasionally get into a mode where the RX light is flashing once a second as the clock operates (?)
next step is to write some test firmware to checkout both the chip's usart and the friend,
but as that'll take me awhile to get round to-- anyone have other troubleshooting suggestions ?