Make your Arduino USB for only 1 dollar!

hi there! I'm really anxious about try this idea! Here is very hard to find ftdi chips and also they cost a lot, another problem is soldering smd and find a breakout, so you'll spend a lot to build your own ftdi conververt. but one question, has anyone tried this cable on Linux? is there any driver? I'll try it as soon as possible!

has anyone tried this cable on Linux? is there any driver?

The "Prolific" chipset used on the CA-42 is one of the most popular USB/Serial converters in the consumer space, and it's well supported by most operating systems (it even worked fine on my Mac.) But I've had troubles with the DKU-5 that some other people have mentioned. Some of those seem to have the TI chipset, and it is NOT well supported except by windows :-(

I've done this with a CA-42 cable that I got from Deal Extreme:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.446

It worked fine with Linux, MacOS X and Windows (Windows needed a driver installed). It shows up as a USB serial port in Linux, as expected. I used a TO-92 size 3.3V regulator to supply power to the CA-42 from a 5V AVR development board.

I used a TO-92 size 3.3V regulator to supply power to the CA-42 from a 5V AVR development board.

Huh? You have to supply the CA-42 cable with 3.3 volts?

You have to supply the CA-42 cable with 3.3 volts?

Yes, according to those web pages that document the method, and the Prolific chip's data sheet. It's surprising, but the Prolific chip is not powered from the USB port, but from the phone (in the original setup).

Which web pages, please? All of the CA-42 pages I've looked at suggest the Prolific chip is powered from USB port. I only came across a couple pages that said otherwise but they were describing the DKU-5 cable. For example, here's an excerpt from this page; http://buffalo.nas-central.org/index.php/Use_a_Nokia_Serial_Cable_on_an_ARM9_Linkstation.

pin 4 (sticks out a bit further)+3.3v this is used to power the transceiver on the DKU-5 cable I have (red), but not the CA-42

Hey Guys,

May I ask if the CA-42 cable starts up ok with nothing connected at the Phone end of the cable?

I just received my CA-42 yesterday ($2.68 from China) and installed the PL-2303 drivers from the Prolific web site on an XP-Pro SP3 laptop and on a Vista Home laptop but after the device drivers are matched up and installed after plugging in the CA-42 both laptops report the same "Unable to start (Code 10)" error. I'm thinking I have a defective cable.

May I ask if the CA-42 cable starts up ok with nothing connected at the Phone end of the cable?

I have two varieties, and they both show up with nothing connected on the phone end. One is from ebay seller "topvshonw" and the other from ebay seller "mehonblue"

Thank you Sir. I’m going to assume I’ve got a bad cable. It’ll be interesting to see if Chinese seller will replace this $2.68 item.

I just received a replacement CA-42 cable from the Chinese vendor today but I have the same "Cannot Start (Code 10)" error on the XP-SP3 laptop (PL-2303 driver 2.0.13.130) and on the Vista laptop (PL-2303 driver 3.3.10.140).

Is it possible I'm using the wrong drivers or could I have another problem?

Thanks in advance guys. Mike McLaren, K8LH

It's workin'... Hoo-rah!!!

I ended up using an older driver (PL-2303 v2.0.2.5 for XP) from here;

http://www.usglobalsat.com/download/546/win_drivers.zip

I have just bought a DKU 5 cable, but I have had no luck using it with my mac. When I plug it in hardware growler spots it and reports it as a USB-UART controller and system profiler shows this:

Product ID: 0x0232 Vendor ID: 0x6547 Version: 0.01 Speed: Up to 12 Mb/sec Manufacturer: ArkMicroChips Location ID: 0xfa230000 Current Available (mA): 500 Current Required (mA): 500

However I am unable to locate the serial port in /dev anywhere and the arduino IDE cannot find it either.

Do I need a specific driver? Is there a file I need to edit? Does it involve the sacrifice of a chicken?

Help!

Do I need a specific driver?

Yes, I think you do. The manufacturer's name, ArkMicroChips, should be a clue. The normal Arduino USB-to-serial chip is made by FDTI. My CA-42 cable uses a chip made by Prolific Technology. Both these chips have drivers built-in on Linux (which OS are you using, BTW?), but the Ark chip probably does not.

The manufacturer's name, ArkMicroChips, should be a clue.

Well gee, I never would have thought of that on my own! ;D I have already searched for a Mac driver from ArkMicroChips and I haven't had any luck. I was hoping that someone might know where I could get one, or might know that I was doing somthing wrong.

I am running OSX 10.6.3

Oh well, if it doesn't work at least it only cost me £3 on eBay and now I have some nice 3 core cable!

Thanks for your continuing help and support folks. This community is very good. :)

Chris

Got my cheap CA-42 cable from a Hong Kong vendor today. Just to be different it has 4 wires, wired to Gnd, TX,RX and USB VBus. Ignoring the Vbus and powering the Arduino (home brew with 5v 328 chip) seperately it works fine on Ubuntu pressing the reset at the opportune time. Its detected as a PL2303 and installs as a standard ttyUSBx port. It took a long time to come but the UK ebay page is:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280450361448&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

Flushed with success, I dug out another one I failed with a while back, again a CA-42, externally looks almost identical, but had 3 core cable and didn't work, It received with lots of errors but wouldn't upload. Ubuntu reports and loads the device fine (identically to the working one), I guess its a bad one, the downside of paying next to nothing on Ebay..........

I have already searched for a Mac driver from ArkMicroChips and I haven't had any luck.

Ah, you didn't say that in your original message! I think the only way forward is to find that driver, somehow.

Ah, you didn't say that in your original message!

Sorry, that was my fault there. i hace found a driver for Linux, but as yet none for Mac and I am fairly sure that Linux drivers don't work on the Mac. Rats.

Looks like I wasted £3. :(

Great tip! I finally have an alternate way of uploading sketches :)

After reading this thread I picked up a DKU-5 cable from

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/DKU-5-USB-DATA-CABLE-For-NOKIA-7250-3220-6100-6610-6820_W0...

It has a prolific PL-2303 and a 3 core wire.

orange = GND blue = RX red = TX

I've tested it with my 5 volt board and it works fine.

I too got a DKU-5 with 3 wires. But I had the TX/RX colors the other way around. Even though I measured the pinouts beforehand, I managed to confirm Murphy's law and switch them. Thankfully, the DKU-5 held (might be because I had a 220 ohm on the TX from an arduino, just in case).

This guy have a really nice writeup on the nokia serial converter: http://www.uchobby.com/index.php/2009/10/04/diy-usb-to-serial-cable-for-3/#more-492

EDIT: Forgot to say, I found a tip in the link above helpful: The one about finding X and waiting X seconds after clicking upload, since there is no auto-reset. For me X was 2 seconds (give or take). Only tried twice so far, and I don't remember which bootloader I have on my breadboard arduino thing. Probably ADABOOT.

sorry... just to feed my curiosity.. this can be used in the arduino 0018?