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Author Topic: Need help using Arduino R3 as serial-to-usb converter (to program something)  (Read 948 times)
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Cape Town, South Africa
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I have researched (and learnt quite a bit), but I have little experience in programming and only really understand basic sketches so far. I would like to use the Arduino R3 (more specifically, the usb to serial converter chip) to program a full-size hobby radio.

I have connected my radio to the Arduino appropriately (5V, Rx, Tx, Gnd) and put the Arduino into Tristate mode (apparently you have to do this..), but I seem to be lacking appropriate drivers. I basically want my Arduino R3 to function exactly like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-2-0-UART-TTL-6PIN-Connector-Module-Serial-Converter-CP2102-New-/350499583299 . Please note that I am not being super cheap. To get something like that where I live would take at the very least a month. Some people also say that I should remove the Atmega chip. The ultimate goal is that I have a device, with drivers, on a com port and not just an "unknown device".

So, my questions are: leave the Atmega on, or remove it? and which drivers do I need?

Thanks smiley
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"R3" is a version. I assume you have the Arduino Uno R3 ?
http://arduino.cc/en/Main/arduinoBoardUno

To change the firmware of the ATmega328P or the small usb-to-serial atmega, you have to be an experienced user. Don't even try that, it probably will make your Arduino Uno unusable.

What would you like to achieve ?
Do you want to control the radio with the Arduino ?
Or do you want to control the radio with the PC via the Arduino ?
Is the radio controlled by a serial port with logic TTL signal levels ?

In this situation, a SoftwareSerial port is used. The normal serial port to communicate with the PC and the SoftwareSerial port to communicate with the radio.

What you want is also possible (RX and TX to radio) and you can write a sketch that doesn't do a thing, so the ATmega328P doesn't use the RX and TX pins.

Can you write a sketch to the Arduino and see messages in the serial monitor ? That is only possible if the PC recognizes the Arduino as a serial port.
Also another serial port terminal program could be used.
Connecting to the radio uses that same serial port on the PC.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 04:04:29 pm by Krodal » Logged

Cape Town, South Africa
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Yes, I do mean Arduino Uno R3. I want(ed) to control/program the radio with the PC via the Arduino. If it helps, I have a link to the radio http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__9042__Hobby_King_2_4Ghz_6Ch_Tx_Rx_V2_Mode_2_.html .

I found almost exactly what I need one minute after I posted. For some reason I couldn't get it to work, but maybe you could help me understand? Here's the link http://aeroquad.com/showthread.php?2587-T6-TX-Cable-alternative If you're keen to help me out!

Just to make it clear: it has been done before, but I get the feeling people leave out things which they think are obvious, but to the not-yet-professional tinkerer like me aren't :/

Thanks so much!
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Left Coast, CA (USA)
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No problem doing what you want. First the driver is installed the first time you plug the arduino into the PC and follow the driver installation steps in the arduino guide, once that is done you have only to find out what PC comm port number the PC assigned to the USB serial converter chip on the Uno as you will need to know that information for any other PC software application that uses the com ports for doing whatever it is they do. you can do that by just launching the arduino IDE software and looking at the tools/serial port menu to see what com port number showed up when you plugged the board in that wasn't there before the board was attached to the PC.

 As far as removing the 328p chip or not, it's really your choice. A simple wire jumper from the shield reset pin to a ground pin will also effectivly remove the 328p chip from effecting any of the I/O pins. Then you are free to use shield pins 0 and 1 to allow TTL level serial communications to and from an external device and a attached PC. Remember that pin 1 will be for serial data going from the external device to the PC and pin 0 will be serial data from the PC to the external device. Also don't forget you have to have a ground connection from the arduino to the external device's ground.

Lefty
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I agree with retrolefty.

Try the Arduino Uno with the Arduino software (the IDE). I you have that running the computer has assigned a COM port for the Arduino Uno.
If you download the Arduino software, the drivers are included. Unzip the software and install the driver.
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Cape Town, South Africa
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It's working! Somewhere along the line the drivers for my arduino seemed to have been deleted, so I reinstalled them, did what you said, and learnt something.

Thanks a lot for the help!

Now, just to check, do I somehow close this thread or credit you/rate your answers?

Thanks again!
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You don't have to close or credit something. It's okay as it is.
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