Instructables

Convert FTDI Cable to "FTDI Dongle" for XBee Adapter

Imagine you are testing a "Wireless" project that you would do outside of your office or home, for example using XBee Modules to control some kind of robot ,  RC car, weather balloon, etc. from your laptop.

You might encounter the problem that the same way I did, the (six feet long) FTDI cable that connected the Xbee module to the laptop. It is hard to find the place to put the Xbee module, since the laptop already occupied all the space on one's lap. Even if you put the Xbee module on some vacant space on the laptop, it keeps sliding off the because the weight of the FTDI cable keeps dragging it off , sending the Xbee module dropping to the ground.

Now, I do not have to deal with the problems any more!
I modified one of the FTDI cable that I had to be used as the way we use the Thumb Drive, FTDI Dongle, by eliminated the length of the FTDI cable.

Note: This instructable shows how to modify the FTDI cable to use with AdaFruit's XBee Adapter, because the Adapter is the FTDI-ready. The Adapter brought out the pins that compatible with FTDI socket, Ground, CTS, 5V, RX, TX, RTS. And I already have a couple of them available. You probably need to adjust the pin-out if you are going to use other type of XBee Breakout board.

And it works great!

Here is one of the project that I use these Wireless Xbee module to control the Robotic Arm.



 
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Absolutely AWESOME !!!

One question though....

Exactly what make/model number is that FTDI USB Module you used because it looks like a CHEAPER Alternative than buying the STUPIDLY EXPENSIVE 'Official' FTDI Dongles that are made for Arduino's and im sick & tired of the fact that i am on such a low income that i cant afford the expensive USB Dongles so am limited to using the expensive USB BUB II... ???

maybe an ebay link ? lol

many thanks in advance !!

Oh and again, DAMN-GREAT INSTRUCTIBLE !!!! !!!! !!!!
sath02 (author)  offtherails20102 years ago
Thanks for the kind words.

I can't remember where I bought a cable from. But this is the link to the original FTDI company.
http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/Cables/USBTTLSerial.htm

There are two versions, one for 5V and another one for 3.3V
TTL-232R-5V
TTL-232R-3V3
Mine is 5V version. I probably brought it from Adafruit or Sparkfun, I can't remember!
Might be available on eBay, I don't know. Good luck.

Your Most-Welcome !

You've done an OUTSTANDING job with this and documented it with clear pictures and really great instructions and i know how long it could take to write up a good/great instructable so high-praise is definitely needed !

Im really wanting to make a single-sided Arduino PCB but dont know how to use Eagle Software yet as i find it very difficult to make homemade double-sided PCB's as i am on very VERY Low Income so i make all my own PCB's but would you have any advice on anywhere i could pick up any good tips for using Eagle by any chance ???

Once-More, A Superb Instructable ! Keep up the great work !
sath02 (author)  offtherails20102 years ago

I found Sparkfun's series of Beginning Embedded Electronics tutorials are very useful to me especial from step 8 on, which shows how to create PCB using EagleCAD software, here is the link

http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/category/1

There are so many tutorials on how to make your own PCB in instructables.com, just use the instructables's custom search on the main menu tab bar, using keyword Printed Circuit Board, for example.
I found this one is helpful,
http://www.instructables.com/id/Turn-your-EAGLE-schematic-into-a-PCB/

Hope this help,
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