Cheap way to communicate with a pc

Hey guys,

I have nearly finished my project, where I am building sensornodes and sending data to a central station via 433MHz. This central station/hub should be connected to a pc, which then does further processing.
I am writing my programms using the arduino IDE but arduinos are overkill for this, so I used a ATtiny 85 which I can conveniantly also programm via arduino IDE.
For the receiver I could also use an ATtiny85, but then I do need a cheap (and easy) way of getting this data to the pc (via USB).
Are there any cheap and easy ways to get USB support for my ATtiny (must be available in Germany/Europe)?

Thanks for your help!

I think you are looking for an FTDI cable.
Should be something similar in Germany/Europe like:

Thanks, but these seem to be a little expensive. For 20 dollards I can nearly use the Arduino too.
I did found something about VUSB, a softwareside USB thingy, but I would still need the physical connection. Does anyone have an idea what I need to look for when I want a USB connector/cable with pins at the end to solder to my board?

If you PC has a serial RS232 port look at using a MAX232 chip.

Also look at eBay:
Ex.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/221003654108?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

If you go on ebay, you should be able to find any number of "serial to usb" converter solutions for low cost - for instance:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-3V-5-5V-FT232RL-FTDI-USB-to-TTL-Serial-Adapter-Module-for-Arduino-Mini-Port-/380717046158

Just search on "serial usb arduino" on ebay (or even google); at one time, there were tons of cheap cables out there (many for cell phones) that people were hacking.

cr0sh:
Just search on "serial usb arduino" on ebay (or even google); at one time, there were tons of cheap cables out there (many for cell phones) that people were hacking.

Cheaper than that!

The correct search term is "USB TTL", otherwise you will get RS-232 adapters which you do not want. Some of the USB to TTL adaptors are misleadingly labelled as "RS-232" anyway. Clearly the sellers are not engineers (and if you look at the other things they sell, this becomes blindingly evident!). :astonished:

for VUSB you’ll need some extra components:

  1. a pull-up resistor (1.5k or 2.2k, depends on VCC)
  2. data+/- resistors (22~68 ohm) x 2
  3. data+/- zener diodes (3.6v 1/4w or 1/2w) x 2
  4. a USB wire of course… just grab whatever USB Male A to Male A you have, cut them in half, so you get 2 of them… (you have to solder the pins by yourself, tho)

these components should be really cheap, like USD$1 for 1+2+3, and $2~$3 for 4.

I am writing my programs using the arduino IDE but arduinos are overkill for this,

Why? If you are going to deploy 1000 systems, I see your point. If only 1 or 2 please use an Arduino. Even a USB connected mini-Arduino can be obtained for <$20. Perhaps even cheaper on eBay.

@joe Yeah for 1 or 2 this may be a good idea, but:

  1. I want to learn :slight_smile:
  2. I will need one at the moment but I plan using about ~10-20 of them

Still I did some research and for now the digispark seems to be a nice and affordable solution (even works with an ATtiny 85 too). One thing I could not find out though: how do I get data from the digispark back to the pc (constantly). Does it act like a COM Port like the arduino uno does?

PS or the adafruit trinket, but that one needs a USB cabel too and otherwise seems to be pretty much the same...

  1. I will need one at the moment but I plan using about ~10-20 of them

This attitude will bite you in your rear end. That is, if you plan on distributing a design, you definitely want the best design. V-USB (Trinket, Digispark) is a USB 1.1 HID compatible technology with significant issues on USB 3.x+ hardware. Also, V-USB has Linux and iOS issues. I have several years of experience with this and I would never sell this technology in todays marketplace.

Do yourself a favor and read the Trinket forum at Adafruit. Put on your big-boys briefs and buy a real USB-TTL serial adapter with the latest driver support.

Ray

Breakout boards of CP2102 are very cheap(<3$). They are USB to TTL converters and they work great. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=m570.l3201&_nkw=CP2102&_sacat=0

saravananm92:
Breakout boards of CP2102 are very cheap(<3$). They are USB to TTL converters and they work great.

More like $1!

@ northernbeach: Spam??

saravananm92:
Breakout boards of CP2102 are very cheap(<3$). They are USB to TTL converters and they work great. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=m570.l3201&_nkw=CP2102&_sacat=0

This seems to be a good idea. Cheap and support for USB 2.0. Should be working with softwareserial, right?!