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Add USB to any PIC project for less then $3

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers' started by Mike - K8LH, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Mike - K8LH

    Mike - K8LH Well-Known Member

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    A new find for me but it's actually old info'. Now I can add USB to even the smallest 12F683 project using a $3 adapter. Yippee!!!

    [​IMG]

    Here's a link that explains how to modify a $3 Nokia CA-42 USB-to-Serial cell phone cable for use on your microcontroller projects;

    DIY USB to Serial Cable For $3

    I searched for "nokia ca-42" on ebay and found the following vendor selling a CA-42 clone for $2.68 including shipping (from China);

    USB CA-42 Data Cable, Buy it now $2.68, Free Shipping

    Regards, Mike
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  2. upand_at_them

    upand_at_them Member

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    Nice. I wonder about those cheap prices out of China with shipping included. I've seen them offer items under $1 with free shipping. You couldn't possibly ship international for <$1. Let us know if you buy one.
     
  3. AtomSoft

    AtomSoft Well-Known Member

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    Should have been called USB to TTL(UART) for Under $3
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Wp100

    Wp100 Active Member

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    Hi,

    Yes, think many of us would order some of them, but suspicious of the low cost / postage.

    The free shipping is an often asked question see this for one-
    what is Standard Int'l Flat Rate Shipping? in Community Help Boards in Community
    Doesn't really answer the question though..
     
  6. Hero999

    Hero999 Banned

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    I've bought a couple of those, one for my parallel programmer and another for my old printer.

    My current motherboard does have a parallel port but it's broken and it's cheaper than buying a new port. I bought mine off ebay for a bit less than the one linked above.
     
  7. Blueteeth

    Blueteeth Well-Known Member

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    I bought 4 of these for $0.99 each, pretty good for a simple USB-TTL. But be warned, you need to add a power mosfet if you need to use it to power your circuit if your circuit draws >100mA. Happened to me for hours until I realised...and it crashed my machine (blue screens).
     
  8. Mike - K8LH

    Mike - K8LH Well-Known Member

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    Well it was clearly stated in the article (post #1 link) about the 100-ma limit.

    What I'd like to know is where you found them for 99 cents?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  9. Oznog

    Oznog Active Member

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    Nice- I've used USB-to-RS232 adapter cables, but 1) it needs level-shifting hardware, and 2) it doesn't supply the 5v out. Now I'm betting that inside there there's logic-level serial IO traces which could be tapped into, and also of course the 5v is available in there somewhere. But the housing was cast into a monolithic case and I couldn't get inside it, well not without completely destroying the case. This cable seems nice.
     
  10. Oznog

    Oznog Active Member

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    I have. I forgot to put some flashlight O-rings on one order, so I filed another order with just a pack of O-rings just for kicks. I didn't seriously believe they'd ship an international package for a ~$1 set of O-rings. I figured they'd hold it until I came back and placed a "real" order again.

    Then, two weeks later, package arrives from China. Customs stamps and all. Yep, they shipped the O-rings, all alone.
     
  11. upand_at_them

    upand_at_them Member

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    Somebody must be stealing the boxes out of the factory. Then getting a deal at the post office.
     
  12. Blueteeth

    Blueteeth Well-Known Member

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    $0.99 from ebay :) Chinese ebay shop so shipping took about 2 weeks to the UK, but I wasn't in any hurry. Think shipping was 2.95 or something, which in fairness raised the average price of each cable. This was about two years ago?

    The prolific chip they use is pretty good, but obviously only works with a USB-serial driver. Still, the extra lines on the chip (which you can solder kynar wire to) are handy for resets and simulated button pushes for testing.
     
  13. Mike - K8LH

    Mike - K8LH Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for info' Blueteeth. I see now some 99 cent cables on ebay but they want $5 for shipping.

    I just purchased one of the $2.68 (free shipping) cables so I'll see what I get here in a couple weeks.

    Regards...
     
  14. Blueteeth

    Blueteeth Well-Known Member

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    Most welcome, if anyone wants a schematic of the cable (which is pretty basic) I can knock one up in eagle...although I'm sure the original article provides everything one needs.
     
  15. Mike - K8LH

    Mike - K8LH Well-Known Member

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    Just received my CA-42 cable today and managed to install the Prolific PL-2303 driver. The cable is recognized and shows up correctly as Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port (Com 5) in Device Manager on my XP-SP2 machine but with an error message; "This device cannot start. (Code 10)"

    Did anyone else order one of these $2.68 cables from the vendor I mentioned earlier?

    Mike
     
  16. atferrari

    atferrari Well-Known Member

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    Why SP2 only

    Hola Mike,

    Not trying to derail the thread: why you do not have already SP3 for XP?
     
  17. upand_at_them

    upand_at_them Member

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    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  18. Mike - K8LH

    Mike - K8LH Well-Known Member

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    Hi Agustín,

    You're right. I looked and I'm running XP-Pro with SP3. Sorry about that...
     
  19. Mike - K8LH

    Mike - K8LH Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  20. upand_at_them

    upand_at_them Member

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    Is it just the cable, or do you have the cable connected to something? I would think the cable wouldn't work until a device was connected.
     
  21. Mike - K8LH

    Mike - K8LH Well-Known Member

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    I have the TX and RX wires connected together (loopback test). I'm going to try it on my wife's Vista notebook later today. I think I may just have a bad cable...
     

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