With serial and parallel ports being phased out on new computers, hardware designers and hobbyists have no choice but to convert the USB port back to RS232 serial. FTDI have a very nice chip that does just that, the FT232AM. This chip converts USB to a standard high-speed serial port. The bonus with FTDI is the drivers are already written for you. All you have to do is design the hardware and download the serial USB drivers from FTDI’s web site.
The schematic is quite simple, however the FT232AM requires a lot of external components to get it working. FTDI now have a FT232BM 2nd generation device. This device requires less external parts, therefore making it easier and cheaper to convert your old projects to USB!
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