RS-232 USB madness

If you’ve been amused by the lengths people go through to speak to a serial device these days. [timmeh] just took the cake. He build his own frikkin’ tiny RS-232 to USB interface with the diminutive SIL CP2101. The package on it is QFN-28 (If PLCC is Darth Vader, QFN-28 is his mean little brother.) That said, if you prefer to work with stuff that talks TTL or RS-232, this could be a handy add-on to pop a USB port on your project. (Oh, look, they have samples…) Sure, we’ve beaten the serial connections to death, but they’re so handy we just can’t resist. It may be a decent way to add a serial port to your laptop. (Picture this: dell’s bluetooth cards are usb devices – you could add one of these without even voiding your warranty.)


  1. Tobias says:

    I’d say that your better off by using a FT232R from FTDI ( ). It comes in a much more handy SOIC package which can be soldered more easily.

  2. akmixdown says:

    I’ve personally used the heat gun method to re-reflow boards which had become unstable, and htese were not low-pin-count devices either (256-ball MAPBGA, 90-ball VBGA and 64-pin EasyBGA parts) — I found the trick was to use a non-contact thermometer and aim it at the part you wanted to reflow, warm up the entire board and then center in on the part. I brought the surface temp up to about 230-250 degrees C and it seems to work very well. None of the 0603 parts or larger tantalum or electrolytic caps on the other side fell off, either, which was a bonus. :-)

  3. fieryluyngs says:

    That’s all well and good, now when is somebody going to make something like that for my older midi gear?

  4. meme says:

    Well, fieryluyngs, “somebody” already did:
    And if you didn’t know it already, Thorsten Kloose’s site is great anyways!
    Cheers everybody.

  5. I’ve been using ft232 for the same purpose to add a console port on a Slug:

    One could use it with no special tool for soldering.

  6. nak says:


  7. Wolf says:

    hmm, I wonder if this method could be used on freescale’s accelerometers withough damadging them? what do you guys think?

  8. timmeh says:

    Lol you should have warned me… It’ll cost $12 to get that site back up…

    but instead how about this

    shoulda used imageshack in the first place

  9. Juan Cubillo says:

    Site is down due to “Account over bandwidth”

  10. steve says:

    this is more like it nice hack keep up the good work

  11. HaX80r says:

    Google’s Cache grabbed it before the site’s bandwidth maxed out.

    Serial ports rock. You can do _anything_ with them.

  12. ejonesss says:

    i think a requirement to posting a hack is not to use the so called free hosting sites. or hack a day should host the images

  13. timmeh says:

    instead of the cache which has no images, just go to where I rehosted the whole site.

  14. emulator says:

    The new host works great – thank you!

  15. Ipsylon says:

    Very nice IC – I just requested samples.
    Earlier I was using FT232BM but it is much more intergrated circuit (CP2101). In FT232BM projects it was need to use external oscillator and here if you request professional pcb boards you could put everything on USB plug :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,407 other followers