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 Post subject: USB-to-TTL on the cheap
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:26 am
Posts: 799
Location: CA bay Area
Couldn't think of any other more appropriate forum, so it goes here.
I found this discussion on another forum, electro-tech-online.com. If you want a place to just study electronics and various embedded processors and alternative energy and students whining for project help, this be the place. This discussion is about buying cheapo PC-to-Nokia phone USB cables and modifying them for comms work with small processors. It's at:
http://www.electro-tech-online.com/micro-controllers/104270-add-usb-any-pic-project-less-then-3-a-2.html

Apparently it is possible to get various cables of this description from Ebay's Chinese merchants (there's another kind?) and slice-and-dice them for use with breadboards IF you have some hand-eye co-ordination and patience. Some of the correspondence goes to another hacker site that discusses how THEY did it. When you're done, this produces TTL level signals (0 to 5V), not RS232, so chips like the MAX232 are unneeded.
Myself, I HIGHLY recommend that you buy the Nano-Serial Comms Cable for $17.00, as these guys talk about badly modified cables not only being injurious to your circuits but also your bods. And finding proper drivers to use is somewhat hit and miss. But I've seen a few requests here about the cheapest way to get started with processors (read: Atom parts) and, for $3 or so, this sure qualifies for "cheap"!
Later.

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