DB9 form factor USB-RS232 replacement

If you’re attached to that favorite DB-9 interfaced device you should look into this part. FTDI is selling a USB-RS232 adapter as a replacement for DB-9 connectors. They come with USB male or female connections depending on the application and have the same serial footprint and pinout to which you’re accustomed. Using converter cables is just fine but this simplicity requires a few minutes of desoldering, rather than redesigning, etching, and populating a board in order to give that older design built-in USB connectivity.

[Thanks Juan]

Comments

  1. biozz says:

    very nice drop in replacement! but for close to $22 each its not to cheap

  2. K313k says:

    Been waiting for something like this for so long. Half of my micro controllers are about to get a makeover.

  3. cde says:

    Compare this to a 3~4 dollar cell phone usb/serial cable, and a standard panel mount mini usb at ~1 dollar, no thank you. I do not have a burning hole in my wallet.

    That said, it is ingenious.

  4. K313k says:

    3-4 dollar Ser-USB cable! Where?!

  5. Sprite_tm says:

    UNfortunately, those cell phone cables usually sport a PL2303 or other Chinese brand of USB-to-serial convertor chip. These seem to have trouble with at least my Linux-system at high baud rates. I usually use FT232-based boards: they aren’t cheap but I’ve been known to push 1MBit over them without dropping bytes.

  6. Erik says:

    @k313k
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5859 is $3.85 shipped but it takes a month to get to your door

  7. Erik says:

    Oh, and the DX one for 3.82 is a PL2303 chipset which modern Linux kernels support – the ones I ordered from there work well & I haven’t had any issues… yet

  8. Regulus says:

    I bought a Nokia cable for $3, shipped.
    It was a piece of junk, even when it worked.
    It had Tx and Rx and GND, and that was it. The rest of the pins on the chip were under black epoxy, and the damn thing was too unreliable to use for anything important.
    Bought a $25 one with a warrantee and everything’s been perfect.

    Why would you want to have one expensive device attached to each older thing you want to use? A good cable is worth so much more.

  9. rbjacobs says:

    …this is some amazing timing, now my project at work will not need a board redesign, and we can keep using the existing case injection moulds!

    Thanks HackADay!

  10. Webmoocher says:

    @Regulus –
    I agree, there is really no substitute a good Ser-USB adapter cable, especially if you are making connections to multiple devices as I do with satellite equipment.

  11. Hitek146 says:

    Some of you guys are missing the point. Sure, for the average hacker, these would not be cost beneficial, but for a manufacturer that has an in-production design using a DB-9 connector, this is a drop-in replacement to update the features of their product…

  12. Taylor Alexander says:

    Yeah, FTDI is awesome. Our products use a 2.5mm stereo mini jack for RS-232 output, and we have had to ship USB-serial adapters along with our 2.5mm-DB9 cable for the last few years. Then they came out with the USB-RS232 cable with the converter built into the USB plug, and we can now ship a much nicer looking cable to customers without having to modify our actual product at all!

    Many of you will say that $22 is a lot of money for something like this (the cables i mentioned are $22 also), but if this is a product for a real company that is just trying to cheaply move forward, this is worth every penny.
    -Taylor

  13. Holy crap that’s cool. I almost want to drop one of those in an ancient ‘headless’ server I have sitting in a closet so I can actually get it up and running. :D

    But an FTDI cable would probably be more reasonable… Not as cool, but more reasonable.

  14. NatureTM says:

    I really like doing things cheaply, not gonna buy one.

  15. Whatnot says:

    Now NASA and the FAA can update some of their stuff :D

  16. Paul Potter says:

    Very clever design. Pure brilliance.

  17. Chris99 says:

    Now this is pretty sweet! I have a number of old devices this would be perfect on.

  18. Shadyman says:

    Argh!

    You know when you have an idea for something really cool, and then don’t do anything about it, and then someone else makes it?

    Yeah, it’s like that.

    /Sigh.

  19. Macpod says:

    This is one of those great ideas that makes you ask “Why didn’t I think of that”

    … kinda like surge protectors built into wall sockets. Hmm

  20. Parker says:

    This looks great. Maybe not for hobby products, but works for conversions on the cheap.

  21. Jon says:

    Are the male and female really usb connections? or different pinouts for boards with male or female RS-232 connectors on them, which I suspect is more likely.

  22. mafoose says:

    I’m going to be updating my Megasquirt with these babies!

  23. Don Kiddick says:

    Looks very nice, maybe a good mod to make to your own PC to save having cables lying all over the place.

    However if (when) I am working on a project that needs USB, I will simply wack in a UM232R module. No need for overcomplicated layout or parts list, just buy the £12 unit and solder it into a DIP footprint on the board:

    http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/EvaluationKits/UM232R.htm

  24. salec says:

    It would have been even more awesome if we previously had RS232 to TTL modules in this form factor. Now we get to keep our rs232 interface circuits and certainly there are their counter pairs inside these modules, which makes two unnecessary level translations and pushes the price up. I like idea of small number of user accessible contacts, though. SSOP package kept me on the distance so far (I can’t be bothered to go through board design and manufacturing ordeal for my one-off projects). I’d rather have some fairly simple (from users’ POV) D+,D- -> Rx,Tx; 5V supplied; 8 pin IC; generic blackbox. That would at last be a MAX232 killer. Until something like that comes around, it will still be much simpler to ignore USB for all small projects and have one USB-to-serial cable handy.

  25. MoJo says:

    The Nokia cables are about £1 each off ebay (delivered) and work perfectly.

    The best thing to do is pop open the plastic housing on the USB end and access the PCB. It will have at a minimum RX, TX and GND. All but one of mine has a 5V pad but if your does not you can just take it off the USB plug if you need it.

    You can also replace the USB plug with a socket or wires quite easily, ideal for building into a project case.

    The FTDI chips they use are OK with both 5V and 3.3V signalling.

  26. macona says:

    I was down at FTDI today. These will not be shipping till June maybe July. The difference between the make and the female are the pins on the board side as they are flipped. They say they have gotten a lot of interest sine they announced them on their site.

  27. HeyAllen says:

    I’m eying these as an option for my MegaSquirt as well.

    That being said, I already have a FTDI USB-RS232 adapter cable, due to having gotten a few different flaky cheap adapter cables off of ebay and elsewhere.

    For some applications, the cheap implementations may work. For others that push higher data rates, and expect a solid connection, they can fail miserably.

  28. octel says:

    looks more like a DE-9 to me

  29. Danni says:

    Hi FTDI here, We will have Stock in mid June, Yes they are $22 for one off, the reason being some of the components inside are expensive, and on Long lead times… due to the response we are trying to further increase production, if you are intending to use volume, please contact us.
    Best regards

    Daniel

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,434 other followers