16 Sep 2010
After a brief summer break, we're back with more modules to help you play with microcontrollers. The biggest request we've had is for USB modules - learning how to program USB devices and also for USB to Serial converters.
It doesn't take a genius to see where this is going. We present the USB2Serial module, which is based on the fabulous PIC18F14K50 microcontroller. Yep, it's a USB to serial converter, entirely based on a micro instead of one of those boring fixed USB devices such as the CP2102 or FT232RL. Because it's based on a micro, it's completely and totally hackable. Of course, a simple USB to serial converter would be, well, too simple, so we've added a couple of push buttons, three LEDs and broken out all the unused pins (these could be used for DTR/DCD etc, or anything else you chose).
These are fully complete modules and they've just come back from our new manufacturing partner. The aim is to have the module work as a standard USB to TTL serial converter out of the box, with the possibility of changing it however you want. It supports 5v and 3.3v with a simple jumper change, so if you want a USB module to experiment with, this will be perfect for you. Not only that, we've made enough of them to get them at an outrageously low price. Seriously, you're going to want to grab two or three.
We're just putting the finishing touches on the software which will be released as part of the open source PicPack library, so please check back soon for purchase details, datasheets, tutorials and so on.