USB projects, where do I start?

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by BlackCow, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. BlackCow

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 11, 2009
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    So far any projects I have worked on, that communicate to a PC, do so through RS232. I would like to use USB instead but I don't know where to start.

    Do they make a simple USB chip like they have UARTS for serial?

    I've also heard of using PIC micro-controllers to communicate via USB. I have only worked with 16Fxx series PICs, would those work?

    Thanks.
     
  2. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    It's called an FT232R or if you want a PIC the 18F2550 is a popular choice.
     
  3. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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  4. MMcLaren

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2010
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    Another alternative: Stick with your regular PIC devices and modify a $2.68 (including shipping) Chinese clone Nokia CA-42 usb-to-serial adapter cable.

    You can't access the USB 5v signal through it but it does make a nice inexpensive interface without adding all of the USB code overhead to your projects.

    I even use it for serial USB access with bit-banged serial drivers on little 10F' and 12F' projects.
     
  5. BlackCow

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 11, 2009
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  6. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    Lots of USB analyzer software out there.
    http://www.usblyzer.com/
    Also Jan Axelson's USB complete book would be a must read.
     
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  7. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    Well the expensive ones from LeCroy cost several thousands. Believe me, when you're trying to figure out why your device won't get past enumeration $400.00 is nuthin'. The software ones don't present the information in the most understandable way.

    I second the recommendation on Jan Axelson's books.
     
  8. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
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    I've had good success with a MAX3421, a port sniffer, and careful monitoring of the status port.

    There are a number of USB class protocols. My suggestion would be to pick one and learn it thoroughly.
     
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