Don't have a FTDI cable, and want to program a Nanode, well if you have a Arduino board, it's very quick and easy to do so. All you need is a set of leads shown here;
The blue lead is to link 0v to 0v between the two boards, and the Yellow/Green leads are to connect Rx to Rx and Tx to Tx pins.
1. The leads are connected in this photo, but note that the Atmega chip has been removed from the Arduino, this is to stop the Arduino chip being wriiten to and not the Nanode, but more about that later.
Just to be clear which pins are used on the Nanode, this photo is clearer.
2. Once the leads have been connected, add power to both boards, plug in the USB cable, and load up your sketch in the Arduino software application.
It is important to select the Arduino Duemilanove or Nano w/Atmega 328 from Tools menu, and select the correct COM port.
3. Now before selecting the upload icon, ensure that you press and hold the Nanode reset button. Don't let go yet!
4. Whilst holding the reset button, select the upload icon, and you should see this;
5. Keep the button depressed until the sketch has compiled, and you see this message;
6. Now release the Nanode's reset button, and provided you have selected the correct board and COM port, you should see a flurry of activity as the Rx & Tx LED's flash.
7. The message on screen should now indicate a succesful upload hopefully. Lastly, disconnect the power, unplug the USB cable and disconnect the leads - Job done!
Programming with the Arduino Atmega chip fitted.
Connect the Arduino to the Nanode as steps 1 & 2 above, then press and hold the reset button of the Arduino. This button must be kept pressed until the whole process has been completed.
Press and hold the reset button on the Nanode, and with your third hand, select upload sketch on the Arduino software application.
Once the sketch as been complied and the size of the upload is displayed, release the reset button on the Nanode, and the upload should commence with again activity of the Rx & Tx LEDs.
Once the upload has completed, release the reset button on the Arduino, remove power & USB lead, remove connecting leads.
I have used both ways numerous times now, and it works great, with no problems to either board, but if you have any questions, please email me at (the last word in bold in this post) @gmail.com
Hope this helps!