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PICList Thread
'[AD] New TTL to RS-232 converter'
2005\03\20@195312 by olin_piclist

face picon face
I don't know how many times I've built up a quick TTL to RS-232 converter on
a protoboard, or included the circuit on prototype boards for debugging.
About a month ago this came up again.  I was transitioning a board from the
debugging version to first manufacturable prototype, but several people
would still need to access the debugging serial port from a PC.  At
manufacturing time this port is used to set configuration and is accessed
from the bottom of the board via pogo pins.  I wanted to take up minimal
space for debugging support, so I added a 4 pin header with 5V, GND, RX, and
TX.  We are getting a bunch of boards made that various people need to work
with, so this time I decided to do the TTL to RS-232 converter right.

Instead of just making the dozen or so to cover the immediate need, I made a
bunch and they are now available for sale.  They are $25 in singles, or $89
for a 5 pack.  For details, go to http://www.embedinc.com/products and check
out the RSLink.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\03\20@210323 by Dave Tweed

face
flavicon
face
olin_piclist@embedinc.com (Olin Lathrop) wrote:
> Instead of just making the dozen or so to cover the immediate need,
> I made a bunch and they are now available for sale. They are $25 in
> singles, or $89 for a 5 pack. For details, go to
> http://www.embedinc.com/products
> and check out the RSLink.

Looks good, except that your usage of the terms "mark" and "space" in your
description is contrary to convention. A serial line idles in the "mark"
state (TTL high, RS-232 negative voltage) and a start bit is the "space"
state (TTL low, RS-232 positive voltage).

-- Dave Tweed

2005\03\20@233901 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Or you could buy the same thing from me for $17 built into a DB9 back shell,
with a cable, with RTS and CTS also converted

http://www.piclist.com/techref/io/serial/RCL1.htm

And I just got the next shipment, so I'll be removing the "Backordered" sign
first think Monday morning.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2005\03\21@024308 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Mar 20, 2005, at 8:38 PM, James Newton, Host wrote:

>>
>> I don't know how many times I've built up a quick TTL to
>> RS-232 converter on a protoboard, or included the circuit on
>> prototype boards for debugging.
>>
I was looking at building a couple myself, recently.

Is it just me, or is the 'standard' max232 pinout REALLY SUCKY?

 :-(
BillW

2005\03\21@032010 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
James Newton, Host wrote :

> Or you could buy the same thing from me...

Are you sure  ???
The page says: "Available In the USA"...

Regards,
Jan-Erik.


> for $17 built into a DB9 back shell,
> with a cable, with RTS and CTS also converted
>
> http://www.piclist.com/techref/io/serial/RCL1.htm




2005\03\21@034901 by ThePicMan

flavicon
face
At 18.03 2005.03.20 -0800, you wrote:
>spam_OUTolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com (Olin Lathrop) wrote:
>> Instead of just making the dozen or so to cover the immediate need,
>> I made a bunch and they are now available for sale. They are $25 in
>> singles, or $89 for a 5 pack. For details, go to
>> http://www.embedinc.com/products
>> and check out the RSLink.
>
>Looks good, except that your usage of the terms "mark" and "space" in your
>description is contrary to convention. A serial line idles in the "mark"
>state (TTL high, RS-232 negative voltage) and a start bit is the "space"
>state (TTL low, RS-232 positive voltage).

What is exactly the "break condition", by the way?

2005\03\21@042715 by Lee Jones

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face
>> RS-232 (EIA/TIA-232)

> What is exactly the "break condition", by the way?

In asynchronous mode, each "byte" (data payload may vary from
5 to 9 bits, 8 is most common) is enclosed between a start bit
and a stop bit.

When idling (no transmission), the line sits at negative voltage.
A start bit is a positive voltage for 1 bit time.  This is followed
by the data bits of either voltate.  The byte is terminated by a
stop bit of negative voltage for 1 bit time or longer.  If the stop
bit is missing, then the UART will generate a framing error.

A break is when the line is left in the postive voltage level for
many character times (usually 100ms to 300ms (some old equipment
had the concept of short breaks and long breaks)) to force an
exception through the framing error process.  Formerly, it was
for an out-of-band interrupt from the terminal to the host.

                                               Lee Jones

2005\03\21@043758 by ThePicMan

flavicon
face
At 01.34 2005.03.21 -0800, you wrote:
>>> RS-232 (EIA/TIA-232)
>
>> What is exactly the "break condition", by the way?
>
>In asynchronous mode, each "byte" (data payload may vary from
>5 to 9 bits, 8 is most common) is enclosed between a start bit
>and a stop bit.
>
>When idling (no transmission), the line sits at negative voltage.
>A start bit is a positive voltage for 1 bit time.  This is followed
>by the data bits of either voltate.  The byte is terminated by a
>stop bit of negative voltage for 1 bit time or longer.  If the stop
>bit is missing, then the UART will generate a framing error.
>
>A break is when the line is left in the postive voltage level for
>many character times (usually 100ms to 300ms (some old equipment
>had the concept of short breaks and long breaks)) to force an
>exception through the framing error process.  Formerly, it was
>for an out-of-band interrupt from the terminal to the host.

Thanks, now it's all clear, you write like a perfect manual. ;)

>
>                                                Lee Jones

2005\03\21@072239 by olin_piclist

face picon face
Dave Tweed wrote:
> Looks good, except that your usage of the terms "mark" and "space" in
> your description is contrary to convention. A serial line idles in the
> "mark" state (TTL high, RS-232 negative voltage) and a start bit is the
> "space" state (TTL low, RS-232 positive voltage).

Oops.  I just updated the web page to remove mention of "mark" and "space".

*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\03\21@082429 by olin_piclist

face picon face
James Newton, Host wrote:
> Or you could buy the same thing from me for $17 built into a DB9 back
> shell, with a cable, with RTS and CTS also converted

Well it's not the same thing, but certainly similar.  Yours is the choice if
you want RTS and CTS.  Mine will be more handy if you don't want to put the
specific 6 pin connector on the board that yours requires.

I noticed that it's not actually your product, but you say you are selling
it.  How does that work?  Is piclist.com set up as an online store with a
standard markup?  Who does the order fulfillment?  Who handles the support
issues?  Or is this product a one-off special case that you arranged with
the designer?


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\03\21@083632 by olin_piclist

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> Is it just me, or is the 'standard' max232 pinout REALLY SUCKY?

It is what it is, although I would like to see a few pins moved around too.
For example, all the TTL signals on one side and the RS-232 signals on the
other.  All the various charge pump caps accross adjacent pins.  Oh, well,
it's just something you deal with like most any other IC.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\03\21@084054 by olin_piclist

face picon face
ThePicMan wrote:
> What is exactly the "break condition", by the way?

A break is when the line is held in the non-idle state for more than a whole
character time.  The receiving UART detects this by the stop bit not being
the right polarity, since a valid stop bit is at the line idle level.  This
is usually called a "framing error" in receiving UART documentation.  Note
however that framing errors can be caused by other things, like a buad rate
mismatch.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\03\21@085359 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Sun, 2005-03-20 at 23:43 -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> I was looking at building a couple myself, recently.
>
> Is it just me, or is the 'standard' max232 pinout REALLY SUCKY?

What don't you like about it? I'd say it's pinout makes a good amount of
sense. TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\03\21@090814 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 09:20:09 +0100 (MET), Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:

> James Newton, Host wrote :
>
> > Or you could buy the same thing from me...
>
> Are you sure  ???
> The page says: "Available In the USA"...

And when you click on the <Buy Now> button, it shows the price as $19 in the shopping cart, not $17.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\03\21@110734 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 21, 2005, at 5:53 AM, Herbert Graf wrote:

>> Is it just me, or is the 'standard' max232 pinout REALLY SUCKY?
>
> What don't you like about it? I'd say it's pinout
>  makes a good amount of sense.

Like Olin, I'd like to see all the ttl levels on one side of the
chip and non-ttl on the other side.  I note that TTL logic has
been doing this sort of thing for a while (74x573 vs 74x373, etc),
I was just sort of hoping for similar care on what I thought were
more modern chips...

BillW

2005\03\21@122402 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
It came out at $19 + $5 S/H.

But I bought it anyway.

--Bob

James Newton, Host wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>>{Original Message removed}

2005\03\21@141542 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
OOPS! I've fixed that. Thanks for letting me know!

---
James.



{Quote hidden}

> -

2005\03\21@142810 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
I've added an international shipping option. And before some one asks, yes
it really does cost that much for me to ship it internationally. I have
found that I need to send via registered mail to avoid loss in customs and
that requires a trip to the post office, standing in line, etc...

If you want one or two I can probably work out something less costly for
trusted members of the list. (why did I say that....)

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2005\03\21@143625 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
>
> Dave Tweed wrote:
> > Looks good, except that your usage of the terms "mark" and
> "space" in
> > your description is contrary to convention. A serial line
> idles in the
> > "mark" state (TTL high, RS-232 negative voltage) and a start bit is
> > the "space" state (TTL low, RS-232 positive voltage).
>
> Oops.  I just updated the web page to remove mention of
> "mark" and "space".

For information on that subject see:

http://www.piclist.com/techref/io/serial/rs232sigs.htm

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
.....jamesnewtonKILLspamspam.....piclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com



2005\03\21@154613 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
> Or you could buy the same thing from me for $17 built into a
> DB9 back shell, with a cable, with RTS and CTS also converted
>
> www.piclist.com/techref/io/serial/RCL1.htm
>
> And I just got the next shipment, so I'll be removing the
> "Backordered" sign first think Monday morning.

I have good news and bad news:

The good news is: Several people just ordered (apparently based on this
thread?) and I have been able to fill those orders. If you were charged $19
rather than $17, please let me know and I will refund the $2. The price
should have been $17 plus $5 S&H but for a little while the PayPal amount
actually came out as $19 due to fumble fingers on my part.

The bad news is: I'm out again! So the "backorder" has to stay on the site.
I do have another batch on order and it should arrive before the 28th.

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
EraseMEjamesnewtonspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTpiclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com



2005\03\21@171624 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
James Newton, Host wrote :

> I've added an international shipping option. And before
> some one asks, yes it really does cost that much for
> me to ship it internationally.

So, if I understand correctly, that's an *additional* $10
to the $5, for a total of $15 in shipping, right ?
Fine...

> I have found that I need to send via registered mail to
> avoid loss in customs and that requires a trip to the post
> office, standing in line, etc...
>
> If you want one or two I can probably work out something
> less costly for trusted members of the list. (why did I say that....)

Now, let me help you. I've at several occations helped US'ers
that have been totaly perplexed when asked to ship "overseas"...

The "Global Priority Mail - Flat-rate Envelope (Small)"
costs $5 to ship to Sweden. It can take up to 4 punds
and up to a size of 6" x 10".

One standard (3 meter) RS232 cable with a 9-pin DB
connector at each end is about 0.5 punds. Now your
cable is just 0.1 meter, so it probably weights way
less then my 3 meter cable. Let's say 0.2 punds anyway.

So, all i all, you could probably ship something like
between 10 and 20 of your RCL-1 in one of those
flat rate envelopes for  $5.00  to Sweden.

If the size (6" x 10") of the "small" flat rate envelope
isn't enough, there is a "large" one that takes up to
9-1/2" x 12-1/2" (still up to 4 pounds) that ships to
Sweden for $9.00

$15 shipping for *1* unit? He he... :-)

Heck, I got a copy of the "USB Complete" shipped in just
a few days using the $9 flat rate Global Priority Mail envelope.
And that was over 2 pounds...

Now, with that said, yes I know, it's up to the seller
to set the price and for me to either accept or just
forget about it. I've no problem with that... :-)

See also :

http://ircalc.usps.gov/
for an international shipping cost calculator and :

www.usps.com/global/globalprioritymail.htm
for info about the "Global Prioroty Mail" offers.

The whole idea that shipping "international" or "overseas"
is something "special" is just ridiculous, IMHO.

Best Regards,
Jan-Erik.



2005\03\21@172801 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
The $2 are on their way to you via PayPal. Sorry about that.

---
James.



{Quote hidden}

2005\03\28@050941 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Hi.
About finding the page with the "RSLink" TTL/RS232 converter...


Olin Lathrop wrote :

> For details, go to
> http://www.embedinc.com/products and check
> out the RSLink.

Now, this URL *does* work, but...

If you start on the EmbedInc *main* homepage and select
"Design" -> "Product Descriptions" from the main menu,
you end up on a page with the URL :
"http://www.embedinc.com/products.asp"

Note that the only difference is the ".asp" extension.
This is *not* the same page as the one without the .asp ext.

Quite confusing, IMHO.

B.t.w, is it possible at all to find the TTL/RS232 page
if starting from the main EmbedInc home page ?

Best Regards,
Jan-Erik.



2005\03\28@084207 by olin_piclist

face picon face
Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:
>> For details, go to
>> http://www.embedinc.com/products and check
>> out the RSLink.
>
> Now, this URL *does* work, but...
>
> If you start on the EmbedInc *main* homepage and select
> "Design" -> "Product Descriptions" from the main menu,
> you end up on a page with the URL :
> "http://www.embedinc.com/products.asp"
>
> Note that the only difference is the ".asp" extension.
> This is *not* the same page as the one without the .asp ext.
>
> Quite confusing, IMHO.

I agree.

> B.t.w, is it possible at all to find the TTL/RS232 page
> if starting from the main EmbedInc home page ?

No.  The problem is that someone else created the main pages using some tool
to "automatically" create them, and I've been trying to arrange for them to
update the appropriate links.  This is taking far longer than it should.  I
suppose I could upload the HTML and try to edit it manually, but was hoping
I wouldn't need to resort to that.  The stuff produced by the layered
software looks like gobbledygook.

I'll try to look at this tonight.  I'm getting fed up waiting for this other
guy to fix this too.  Sorry about the confusion.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\03\28@142138 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote :

> > B.t.w, is it possible at all to find the TTL/RS232 page
> > if starting from the main EmbedInc home page ?
>
> No.  The problem is that someone else created the main pages
> using some tool to "automatically" create them, and I've been
> trying to arrange for them to update the appropriate links. ...

Ah, I see. He, I've just begun using something similar to produce
my own "new" home page (new domain that will replace the one
you have linked to on your PIC dev-toolkit page, b.t.w. I'll let you
know in due time, of course).

This is also a point-n-ckick, drag-n-drop kind of tool where
you never see the HTML (well in the final "built" site, yes).

So far it looks good. If I run into similar problems, I just
hope that everyone have forgotten about that I said
anyhing about your site... :-)

Jan-Erik.

PS:
The tool I use is available here if someone is interested :
http://www.effectivestudios.com/Overview.htm.



2005\03\28@201530 by olin_piclist

face picon face
Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:
>> No.  The problem is that someone else created the main pages
>> using some tool to "automatically" create them, and I've been
>> trying to arrange for them to update the appropriate links. ...
>
> Ah, I see. He, I've just begun using something similar to produce
> my own "new" home page (new domain that will replace the one
> you have linked to on your PIC dev-toolkit page, b.t.w. I'll let you
> know in due time, of course).

I just looked at the stuff on our web site, and what a mess.  Some of the
words are in images instead of text.  I guess that explains why the page
doesn't resize properly.  I really dislike these web pages designed more to
show off the web designer than the content, and that detract from usability
on top of the.  I like it even less when it's my own web site.

I managed to find where the PRODUCTS link was and changed it to "Standard
Products" and redirected it to the products.htm page.  Unfortunately the
"Designs" heading turned out to be buried in an image somewhere, so I guess
I'm stuck with that.  I guess missing content is better than misleading
content.

In the mean time, you can still view all the PIC related products at
http://www.embedinc.com/products.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\03\29@162805 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Just a quick note to let everyone know the TTL-RS232 converters are back in
stock, for the moment, at
http://www.piclist.com/techref/io/serial/rcl1.htm and that I have raised the
price by one whole dollar to $18 each.

I have only a few left from this last shipment, but more will be on the way
in the next few weeks.

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
KILLspamjamesnewtonKILLspamspampiclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com



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