Tag Archives: UART

USB to UART Converter with GPIO – MCP220


The Module is based on The MCP2200, which is a USB-to-UART serial converter which enables USB connectivity in application that have a UART interface. The device reduces external components by integrating the USB termination resistors. The MCP2200 also has 256-bytes of integrated user EEPROM. The MCP2200 has eight general purpose input / output pins. Four of the pins have alternate functions to indicate USB and communication status.


  • Supply 3- 5V DC
  • On Board TX & RX LED
  • USB activity LED outputs (TxLED and RxLED)
  • Mini USB Interface
  • 6 + 6 PIN Header Connector for I/O and RX-TX Signals
  • UART signal polarity option General Purpose Input/output (GPIO) Pins
  • Eight (8) general purpose I/O pins
  • Supports Full-Speed USB (12 Mb/s)

USB to UART Converter with GPIO – MCP220 – [Link]

Hacking a UART on a blood pressure cuff


moamindustries.com hacked an Omron RS8 blood pressure cuff by adding a UART interface to it.

As part of a prototype developed 12 months ago I was tasked with reading measurements from a blood pressure cuff [sphygmomanometer] in real time. Not surprisingly there are no consumer level devices that have a serial interface because what ‘normal’ person would want such a thing!

Initially we considered our own interface for a blood pressure cuff. Just run the pump and take the readings with our own processor and pressure sensor, how hard can it be.

Hacking a UART on a blood pressure cuff – [Link]

Serial Port Communication in C#


Maurizio tipped us with his latest article on how to use Serial Port in C#. The article does cover the basic code needed to achieve serial communication.

The serial port of the PC is a very important resource both in industrial environment and in home-made electronics, due to the wide popularity of the UART interface which is to be found on many microcontrollers or on many test and design instrumentation (programmable power supplies, multi-meters, oscilloscopes etc).

Serial Port Communication in C# – [Link]

Kinetis KEA128 StarterTRAK for CAN Applications

This reference design is a low-cost development kit based on Kinetis EA series MCUs that allows faster prototyping and tool reuse. This evaluation board features either one of the KEA128, KEA64 or KEA8 MCUs, depending on the board version. This particular design uses KEA128. The Kinetis EA series MCUs are a highly scalable portfolio of 32-bits ARM Cortex -M0+ MCUs aimed for general automotive applications. The family is optimized for cost-sensitive applications offering low pin-count option with very low power consumption.

This design utilizes a Kinetis KEA128 MCU, which has an ARM Cortex-M0+ core. Also, it features a CAN module, a UART module with LIN capabilities, a pulse width timer (PWT) and a keyboard interrupt module (KBI). All these peripherals along with standard serial communication protocols such as I2C and SPI offer flexibility for a wide variety of applications. The TRK-KEA board includes an onboard OpenSDA programmer and debugger, LIN physical transceiver, CAN physical transceiver, a light sensor, four LEDs and two pushbuttons for user interface.

With 2.7V-5.5V supply and focus on exceptional electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and ESD robustness, Kinetis EA series MCUs devices are well suited to a wide range of applications ranging from body applications, powertrain companion chips or generic sensor nodes, park assistance, pump/fan controller, and motorcycle CDI/EFI. In automotive body applications, the Kinetis EA series MCUs are a great option for entry level body controller or gateway module, window/roof/sun-roof controller, immobilizer or seat/mirror controller, ambient lighting, just to mention a few.

Kinetis KEA128 StarterTRAK for CAN Applications – [Link]

U8plus Smart Watch Quick Teardown


sodnpoo.com has reverse engineered a cheap smartwatch he found on amazon:

I noticed this smart watch on Amazon for the bargain price of £7.51, which was just too cheap to ignore – I didn’t expect much but I was quite surprised at how functional it actually was… Anyhow, it was never expected to stay in once piece for long, and after an hour I took the screwdriver to it.

U8plus Smart Watch Quick Teardown – [Link]

ESP8266 weather display – work in progress


Markus Hirsch is working on a ESP8266 weather display using an AVR mcu and an OLED display:

This is a little weather monitor. It has a 2.2″ color display and is powered by an AVR and the ESP8266. The AVR controles the display. The ESP has a custom firmware written in the Arduino IDE and provides all the weather data in a neat and very simple pre-parsed protocol. The AVR can obtain different data via a simple UART command. It is still in development. A 512kB serial SPI flash provides all the icons, images and palette data.

ESP8266 weather display – work in progress – [Link]

NerO – An Energy Efficient Arduino UNO Compatible Design


A reference design for an Arduino UNO compatible board based on the FTDI FT231X USB UART, delivers 5V at a full 1A without overheating.

The UNO R3 is the staple of most Arduino based projects but it’s been around for a number of years and many of the features have been improved for example by Adafruit and Sparkfun who make excellent enhanced UNO compatibles. However, our additional requirements for a full 1A current without excess heat dissipation and FCC/CE conformity led us to consider a new 3rd party UNO compatible reference design that met these requirements hence the inspiration behind NerO

NerO – An Energy Efficient Arduino UNO Compatible Design – [Link]

8V97051 Low Power Wideband Fractional RF Synthesizer

This design features a low power wideband RF synthesizer that is used in GSM receiver cards. It has dual differential and open drain outputs with frequency range of 34.375MHz to 4400MHz(in continuous range). The logic compatibility is 1.8V while the system is running on a single 3.3V supply. It has -143dBc/Hz Phase Noise (PN) performance at 1MHz Offset for every 1.1GHz output. It is also capable of mute function at RF_OUT that is accessible via mute pin or SPI command. It is low power with only 380mW average power consumption while RF_OUTB is not in used.

The design is comprised of 3 major parts. The first part consists of IDT8V97051NLGi wideband RF synthesizer/PLL supports the output frequencies with Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO). The temperature compensated crystal oscillator close to the RF input helps in the precision of signal while the other parts are filters that are used in various purposes like minimizing undesired noise. The second part consists of the USB 2.0 high speed to UART/FIFO IC that is used for system interface while the I2C-bus to SPI bridge IC controls the sequences, protocol, and timing of the signal. The last part is power supply management of the system in which it is provided with RC filters in every line to ensure minimal noise are included in the supply.

The design is applicable in multi-carrier, multi-mode Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) and Time Division Duplexing (TDD) base station radio card. It optimizes multi-service base stations during its service as a local oscillator that generates a large variety of frequencies to mixers while maintaining excellent PN.

8V97051 Low Power Wideband Fractional RF Synthesizer – [Link]



Mesa-Video : 800×600 Digital video for Arduinos


blackmesalabs.wordpress.com has build a video system for Arduino boards:

This post describes Mesa-Video, a low cost, low power, small size and fully Open Source Hardware and Software solution for providing 800×600 digital video for Arduino ( and other ) microcontrollers. Mesa-Video makes it quick and easy to display text and 24bit color graphics from any MCU using a single UART serial port pin. Applications for Mesa-Video are embedded projects requiring video output and embedded developers wanting real time visibility into their system operation. Mesa-Video is the 1st of multiple Mesa-Modules planned.

Mesa-Video : 800×600 Digital video for Arduinos – [Link]

MCP2221 HID Library


Zak’s Electronics Blog published a new library and breakout board for MCP2221 USB to UART interface IC:

This is a library for interfacing with the HID features of the MCP2221 USB to UART and I2C/SMBus serial converter from Microchip. The converter includes 4 GPIO pins, 3x 10-bit ADCs, 1x 5-bit DAC and more. Microchip does provide a library for interfacing with the chip, however it is supplied as proprietary DLLs. This project aims to be an open-source and multi-platform alternative. libraryThis library also makes use of HIDAPI.

MCP2221 HID Library – [Link]