Found! A Decent USB to TTL Serial Adapter for MacOS

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,464
My main platform is the Mac. I use Mac notebooks and desktop machines. I have Windows machines for when I can't avoid it, and Linux machines for servers and special cases (e.g.: Kali) but I prefer to stay with MacOS.

Since Big Sur, finding a solid, easy to deploy USB TTL serial adapter has been a pain. Well I found one that works really well so I wanted to let others in my situation know about it. You can get them on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078W5L8W1/) and probably other places as well.

They are based on the CP2102N chip which just worked for me, plug and play. They include all the serial lines, but they aren't all broken out by default.

Here's the layout:

1617647507040.png
Now the observant among you might have noticed the pin labeled 5V0, what about 3V3 which is more and more needed? Well, the place inside that doesn't have the a header soldered in, includes, among other things, 3V3. So, I popped open the case with a spudger and clipped the 5V0 pins little right angle part off, desoldered the stump, insulated the pad with kapton tape, and soldered a jumper from the 3V3 pad to the back of the clipped pin.

The 3V3 is marked on the other side of the board, but it is the square indexed pin on the unpopulated header. Works like a charm. The RTS pin even works perfectly to program Arduino Pro Minis when connected to DTR with no push the reset at just the right time messing about.

So, cheap and functional, and just a little work if you need 3V3. It comes in a package of two, so I now have a 3V3 and a 5V0, carefully labeled(!).

If you don't care about the case, you can just take it off and solder a header on the unpopulated pads to get 3V3 and a bunch of other RS-232 pins including RI, DCD, DTR, and DSR.
 
Last edited:

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
2,058
Have people found any significant faking of CP2102 in the same way that we've seen with FTDI chips? I've lost count of the numbers of adapters I've had die on me, been DOA or not been capable of functioning above 115200baud. Sadly some of the devices I need USB-serial for require FTDI chips for their integrated drivers...
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,464
Have people found any significant faking of CP2102 in the same way that we've seen with FTDI chips? I've lost count of the numbers of adapters I've had die on me, been DOA or not been capable of functioning above 115200baud. Sadly some of the devices I need USB-serial for require FTDI chips for their integrated drivers...
My biggest problem has been with the Prolific chips but I can't get the FTDI dongles to work on the Mac at all. I have a decent FTDI dongle that works with Windows 10 though.

I wish it wasn't so much a special case thing where you have to know that certain adapters supposedly equivalent work with certain hosts and certain targets. I am documenting every successful pairing.
 
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