Tuesday, 23 August 2011

15. USB connector for the XProtolab

The micro USB port on the Xprotolab is actually a serial port with a USB connector. Connecting it up to the USB port on the PC gives power, but thats it. In order to use the serial port capabilities you need to have some hardware in between so that when you plug into the USB on the PC it thinks its a COM port.

Now in America, you can buy a cable from Gabotronics, however their distributor in the UK doesn't stock it. However Gabotronics do tell you how to connect one up... to a CP2102. Its a small chip. Fiddly soldering. But wait, there is something I can buy that will get me most of the way: TRIXES USB 2.0 To TTL Serial Converter from Play.com For £4.24 including shipping, I cant refuse. A CP2102 chip from Farnells cost £4.44+VAT.

All I need now is an old micro USB cable to dissect to connect to the Serial Converter.

Why do I want to do this anyway? Well they are designing an interface for the PC to communicate with the Xprotolab and you can also get screenshots (aparently). We'll see.

Another parcel coming then, its Christmas again :)

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