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Thursday, May 19, 2011

OK, OK, I won't cut open the USB cable,,,

I foolishly thought I could just open that baby up and work on it like the old serial port cables. I have been told (many, many times) that this can't be done. Man, you know things are getting complex when the cables have schematics. G8INE sent me the above diagram of a USB-Serial converter cable. E-bay here I come!


  1. The FT232 is the chip of interest here. That MAX213 is a buffer with a charge pump to get the +12/-12 RS-232 signal levels.

    FTDI's simple USB-to-serial chips are very handy, something hams should know more about. They come with drivers for PC/Linux/Mac and good documentation and tutorials on the web. You can get a nice breakout board from Sparkfun:

    73 de KC7IT

  2. Bill, The FT232AM chip in that particular adapter is obsolete. I suggest you look for an adapter with an FT232RL or FT232RQ device in it. A UC232R-10 is a good choice.

  3. Roll the dice and get a no-name adaptor from eBay or buy a Keyspan adaptor. More money, less frustration. (Usual disclaimers apply)

    73.......Steve Smith WB6TNL
    "Snort Rosin"

  4. Those adapters go for $12 to $18 on Amazon. Just make sure that they have drivers for your version of Windows.


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