Introduction: FT232 Modification for Arduino Minis Etc.
FT232 Modification for Arduino minis etc.
If like me you ordered this particular model its a PITA that the selector switch does not change the VCC pin voltage.
Don’t worry there is a really simple modification. for that problem that gives you an extra feature (I didn't know until I finished the mod)
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Step 1: FT232 Modification for Arduino Minis Etc.
Before I connected mine to anything I tested the outputs with a meter as I fully expected the 5Volt 3.3 Volt selector to also change the VCC output.
It says 5V and by golly it is 5V regardless of the switch position.
Hmm my other FT232 was in use and I needed 3.3 volts for what I was doing.
Powered it up again and turned it over and measured the switch contacts in the 3.3 Volt position just to be sure ya know.
Cool both sides of the switch were 3.3 Volt.
Being a Millwright I am used to overcoming obstacles and in a small flash of genius (only a small flash mind you)
I knew I had some odd single header pins in my box. Took an extra-long angle pin and bent it back straight so it was offset by about 1.5 mm. as per the picture.
Removed the pin spacer too as its pretty much obsolete at this point.
Step 2: FT232 Modification for Arduino Minis Etc.
Fired up the soldering iron
Held the pin in a third hand type cheap soldering iron stand but I have seen me use fine nose pliers with elastic bands before now.
I hate how cheap those things are but they are always useful for crazy little jobs like this.
Held the FT232 in the other claw and soldered it across the two 3.3 switch points on the back (check you are on the correct pins otherwise you will end up with an extra 5 Volt pin).
It did move a little as you can see from the picture but it still turned out just fine and is actually very strong.
If you don't have a pin then a small piece of solid core wire would probable suffice just as well if you make sure the free end is slightly rounded. The pins are much stiffer than wire though so your choice.
Step 3: FT232 Modification for Arduino Minis Etc.
Double check visual and everything looks ok
So I powered it up and hey presto I do have my 3.3 Volts on the pin
Ok so now I move the switch to check I didn’t melt anything in this Chinese FT232 and it’s all good
Now I check the voltages once again with the switch in both positions, commonly called a “belt and braces” maneuver.
The bonus feature is that now I have both a 5 Volt available at the main header pin and 3.3 Volt available on the new header pin.
I did use it to program / flash an ESP8266 so I am sure its a very viable mod.