USB category

PopCom – Identify your COM ports

avishorp has written a small program that pops up a message whenever a serial port over USB device is plugged in, that is available on GitHub (code).

PopCom is a COM port plug-in/plug-out notifier. Whenever a USB device that emulates a COM port is connected to the computer, a pop-up will be displayed, describing the device that has been plugged in and the COM number assigned to it. This pop-up helps determining the COM number assigned to each device, a number that is required for communicating with it.

PopCom – Identify your COM ports – [Link]

Tiny-PAT – USB-C power adapter tester

A small, open, affordable USB-C power adapter tester is live on crowdsupply.

We are quickly entering the age of USB Type-C. This “jack of all trades” port is appearing in more and more new electronic devices.

USB Type-C helps to reduce reliance on proprietary power adapters and USB cables; you can move to a single, robust, and compact solution that works on all devices. USB-C is quickly replacing various USB-B and USB-A connectors and cables with a standard that is meant to be “future-proof.”

As more and more of our devices will be using USB-C power adapters, it is essential that developers and manufacturers have an easy way to test their USB-C power adapters during development and manufacturing.

That’s where the USBCEE Tiny-PAT comes in – it’s the world’s smallest, fastest, easiest, and lowest cost USB-C power adapter tester.

Tiny-PAT – USB-C power adapter tester – [Link]

uArt- A small Solution For a Big Problem

Coming soon to Crowd Supply is the ultimate USB-UART converter. μArt is a device that offers safe and reliable USB-to UART conversion. The voltage levels, electric potentials, and communication speeds are no longer a concern, and it can be used for data exchange or for Programming Arduino or ESP. μArt was designed for enthusiasts and professionals and for users in general who want to save money, time, and hardware without compromising quality.

The device has the size of two coins and was designed to tolerate user’s mistakes without getting damaged or damaging the connected hardware.

The device features a working voltage of 1.8 to 5.4, up to 3 Mbaud transfer speed, complete galvanic isolation, reverse polarity protection, pullups on all inputs, voltage autosensing, cross platform support, GPIO pins, LEDs etc. The complete features can be found on this website.

All characteristics mentioned before make it perfect for working with computers, microcontrollers, FPGAs, and low power electronics. Also, it is fast enough for transferring high quality stereo audio.

The safety features protect your computer and other hardware, and it protects the device even if you mix up the power pins.

μArt also includes characteristics that make it more efficient. It helps avoid noise because of the filters and isolation and the converter will automatically use the correct voltage levels for UART communication.

Regarding design, the device its very user friendly and many features were added to avoid mistakes. For example, the four LEDs indicate power, RX/TX activity and feedback about the connected device, it also has readable labels which minimize user errors. It is compact and comes with a transparent case that give mechanical and electrical protection. Finally, μArt has cross platform support with drivers for Windows, Linux, MacOS etc.

All of this in a small device that provides reliable and safe functionality. The device will probably be a success when it launches in crowd supply, but we have yet to see how it performs and all the applications that it will have. There is still no date for the launch, but you can sign up to be notified when it does in the crowd supply website.

UPDATE 08/08/2018: The campaign is launched on crowdsupply and back is starting from 32USD.

FTDI USB-to-serial converters to drive SPI devices

Scott W Harden writes:

The FT232 USB-to-serial converter is one of the most commonly-used methods of adding USB functionality to small projects, but recently I found that these chips are capable of sending more than just serial signals. With some creative programming, individual output pins can be big-banged to emulate a clock, data, and chip select line to control SPI devices.
This post shares some of the techniques I use to bit-bang SPI with FTDI devices, and some of perks (and quirks) of using FTDI chips to bit-bang data from a USB port.

FTDI USB-to-serial converters to drive SPI devices – [Link]

CANable: the open source USB to CAN adapter

An open-source USB to CAN adapter:

It supports CAN bit-rates of up to 1 Mbit/s. The product comes with an open-source SocketCAN driver software. It features a Micro-USB connector and a 4-pin screw terminal with CAN_H, CAN_L, 5-V supply, and ground. The CANable device is a hardware clone of Eric Evenchick’s CANtact project, an open-source USB-to-CAN hardware adapter

CANable: the open source USB to CAN adapter – [Link]

BML GPIO-14 USB Board for PCs

BML project for using a $2 FTDI FT260Q for adding 14 bits of GPIO to any PC via USB with no device drivers required.

Ever miss the simple days of using a PC’s LPT1 parallel port to bit-bang GPIO over 8 output pins and 4 input pins of the DB-25 connector? I sure do. My first design project as a BSEE graduate in 1993 was to design a LPT1 controlled test fixture for the Motorola MDT-9100-T data terminal (shown below). Those were the days. By multiplexing 12 parallel port pins into 74HC dip CMOS latches and transceivers my test jig tested all the IO signals of the MDT-9100s 386sx motherboard. All of the diagnostic software could be written in C on my Windows 3.1 desktop thanx to this versatile interface. Those were the glorious simple days of computing. Sigh…. Then USB came along and killed the wonderfully easy parallel port interface.

BML GPIO-14 USB Board for PCs – [Link]

USB Adaptive Charger (2.7A per port) with Wattmeter

A 10.8A, 4 port USB charger with a wattmeter and adaptive intelligent charging.

It works by taking any DC input between 7V to 17V, from an AC/DC adapter or car adapter. It can be used anywhere with wall outlets, car power ports, lead-acid batteries, DC-output solar panels, and lithium-ion battery packs (2S, 3S, and 4S).

It then drops the voltage down to 5V and intelligently adapts to match the maximum current the device being charged would accept. We believe it is the most powerful 4-port USB charger at 10.8A. No device is throttled when every port is in use.

USB Adaptive Charger (2.7A per port) with Wattmeter – [Link]

Infinite Noise true random number generator

This is an Open hardware USB true random number generator coming soon on

The Infinite Noise TRNG is an affordable and secure true random number generator (TRNG) based on a modular entropy multiplier technique that continuously loops over previous random output, gathering randomness from the noise of the hardware components along the way, to generate the next random output. The simplicity of this technique makes it quite robust to common attacks like signal injection. The openness of the implementation makes it and easy to inspect and verify, as all security hardware should be!

Features & Specifications

  • Default 30 KB/second of random data
  • No firmware
  • “Whitening” implemented in the driver
  • Comes with polycarbonate enclosure
  • Immune to power supply noise and RF interference
  • Uses only stock components
  • Health monitor built into host drivers
  • Multiplatform driver support (Windows, Linux, and also ARM-support)
  • Fully open source (see GitHub repo)

Isolated USB to UART Converter for Arduino Pro Mini

Simple, tiny USB to UART converter with digital isolator working between 2.5V and 5V up to 3Mbaud, with the Arduino Pro mini connector.

It’s a USB to UART converter with a digital isolator at the UART side. It has a micro USB for connecting to the PC and a 6 pin header with the same pin-out of the Arduino Pro mini board.

The chip FT231XQ is used as interface between the USB and the UART protocol, while the Si8642 is used for isolate the board from the PC. This converter is very useful if you are working on some projects and worrying about short circuit with the main power supply. Because the isolator isolates the two sides therefore there is no electrically connection.


  • Original FT231XQ: Compatible with almost all the operating systems and capable of variety baud rates from 300 baud up to 3 Mbaud
  • Original Si8642BB-B-IS1: Low-Power Quad-Channel Digital Isolators with isolation rating up to 2.5kV
  • Size of 40 x 17 mm
  • 4.1 mm isolation between the two sides guarantee an electrical isolation up to 1kV
  • Working between 2.5V to 5V.
  • TX and RX LEDs indicators.
  • Micro USB connector.
  • Standard 2.54mm 6 pins female header.
  • Protected by a transparent heat shrink sleeve.

The board is live on kickstarter available for funding and has 24 days to go.