There are a number of USB-RS232 adapters available, among them Silabs, FTDI, Prolific and WCH.
The Silabs CP series adapters have been reliable but not very widely used.
The Prolific adapters are, well, prolific… but given their major compatibility problems and poisoned drivers, they are not a good choice.
FTDI was a good choice until they distributed through Microsoft Windows Update their device poisoning trick to disable chips they thought counterfeit… though they seemed to have backed away from that action.
The new kid on the block is an adapter by Chinese company WCH, chips that appearing in lots of low cost devices, eg Arduino Nano clones with WCH adapters instead of FTDI selling for around A$3+ on eBay whereas the FTDI equipped Nanos are more like A$12.
This article compares the WCH CH340G and FTDI FT232RL.
The Fox flasher MkII is designed to run directly from a 1S LiPo battery at 3.8-4.3V. The battery can be charged by a simple voltage limited charger to 4.1V with a small loss in capacity. This article describes a simple solar charger for such a battery.
The regulator uses a TL431 precision programmable reference in a simple shunt regulator.
This project was designed ad-hoc as a learning exercise for a friend who ‘needed’ to acquaint himself with Arduino.
What better than a practical exercise that demonstrates some key advantages and disadvantages of the Arduino environment.
The project was a simple digital thermometer to display normal environment air temperature, say from -20° to 50° using common and inexpensive Arduino hardware with firmware developed on the free Arduino IDE, all using hardware that was on hand. Continue reading Arduino thermistor thermometer – a tutorial
A range of inexpensive serial to Hitachi style LCD interfaces are becoming available.
This article describes the settings for one sold by eshoppingcity1 (and others) on eBay (about A$6 for 5 inc post at the time of writing but they are getting cheaper). It uses the Philips PCF8574T I2C expander chip which is supported by the user developed Arduino LCD Library V1.2.
Fox flasher MkII described a LED driver for an animal deterrent using a Chinese 8051 architecture microcontroller, the STC15F104E.
Above, the schematic. A very simple circuit with just a handful of electronic components (one capacitor, two resistors, one LDR, one Polyswitch, 4 x LEDs and the MCU). Continue reading Fox flasher MkII #3