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11245 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 12, 2014 2:06 PM by noobish RSS
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May 5, 2014 11:07 AM

Computer connection to project

As I'm working on some projects, I've been using an RS-232 interface with my computer and it's been working alright so far.  But, are there any recommendations you have out there for computer/project communications?  Is it getting easier to interface with USB?  Because the connection would be a lot easier if I could drop the RS-232 logic level converter and the USB-RS232 converter and go directly to a USB mini or micro.


If it is getting easy to USB, are there any recommendations on what platforms to use?  Or any interfacing tidbits that would help?


If not USB, any other recommendations?


Thanks for your help!

  • LanceLK Novice 42 posts since
    Apr 4, 2014
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 21, 2014 2:45 AM (in response to JohnDavis)
    Computer connection to project

    as far as i know, the main difference is speed... if you have an option for USB, chose USB

    • Riley Apprentice 75 posts since
      Apr 7, 2014
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 23, 2014 3:41 PM (in response to LanceLK)
      Computer connection to project

      But isn't USB harder to implement?  I've had a little success getting RS-232 to work with PuTTY (using an RS-232 to USB converter) but I don't even know where to start with USB.  Could I still use PuTTY?  What do I need with my microcontroller?

  • baycollie Novice 4 posts since
    May 29, 2014
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2014 12:42 PM (in response to JohnDavis)
    Computer connection to project

        There are inexpensive USB to TTL converters on the market that will handle the translation from USB to TTL voltage levels. The Arduino uses an atmega 16u2 to do this. The 16u2 is an avr with USB built in. If one wants to make a USB to TTL converter, the schematic is part of the Aruino UNO R3 schematic, The firmware for the 16u2 is included with the arduino software. I built a standalone USB to TTL converter using the Arduino design and firmware, though I think it would be less expensive to buy one than make it.

  • noobish Novice 2 posts since
    Aug 12, 2014
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 12, 2014 2:06 PM (in response to JohnDavis)
    Computer connection to project

    First getting into this i used the firmata library with an arduino and software from processing to imporve a tester that was outdated and, frankely, a POS. Control is all done on the computer which sends simpe read/writes to the arduino, but there were some bugs along the way. 1.5 yrs later the only issues I have relate to worn cables or othe rbroken mechanical peices. Knowning what I know now, I probably would have the micro do more of the control side and send results to the computer so that the interface would need less I/O, but to late now and old folks that are set in their ways do not like change. Unless of course its one the I implemented to keep track of serial numbers and user stats, and place info on the eeprom so if it is sent back there is some info there to figure what happened and prevent future errors.

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