Missing serial ports on MacBook Air

Hi, I’ve been trying to use my Mac’s serial port with my Arduino Mega, and it’s only offering me the bluetooth ones. I’ve tried Cool Term and ZTerm. Same thing.

Is there a setting somewhere that I’m missing?

Thanks in advance.

I don't think the MacBook Air has a serial port. Did you mean USB? If you have the older Arduino MEGA you need the FTDI drivers to talk to the FTDI USB-to-Serial chip. If you have the newer Arduino MEGA 2560 you shouldn't need to install drivers.

thanks. Yes I meant USB.

Is there a table that lists which boards use which protocol?

I was trying to work with a Leonardo, and I wasn't sure which format it used.

Thanks for the help!

The basic Arduinos before the UNO (NG, Diecimila, Duemilanove, MEGA) used an FTDI chip and need an FTDI driver. On the UNO and MEGA 2560 they replaced the FTDI chip with a small Atmel processor (ATmega8u2 or ATmega16u4) that has built-in USB support. Those models don't need a driver as far as I know. The Leonardo uses an Atmel processor with built-in USB support (ATmega16u4) as their main processor so they also don't need a driver.

Some very small models and specialized models don't have USB support. They require a USB-to-TTL-Serial cable, often called an FTDI Cable because they are often based on the same FTDI chip used on older Arduinos.