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- Andy Wood
July 30, 2015, 9:56 pm
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So I got a few of these, mainly to talk to Arduino boards.
As my PC has a real old-style serial port I foolishly though that these
might be less troublesome than USB-serial converters (think FTDI gate).
To cut a long story as short as possible - I had endless trouble with these.
One kept latching up and overheating. None of them worked to program an
Arduino board, and they could not even consistently pass an echo test.
I identified two possible causes. Firstly there is no decoupling of the
supply on the board, and secondly, left to its own devices, the MAX3232 chip
has a floating logic level input. Both of these are contrary to
recommendations in the MAX3232 data sheet I turned up.
I grounded the unused input on one of the boards, and added a decoupling
capacitor, and while it is still not entirely trouble-free, I did finally
manage to program an Arduino with it.
I guess a further possibility is that I may have avoided the hazard of
counterfeit USB chips, only to encounter fake MAX3232s. I note the term
"domestic MAX3232" on the manufacturer's web site - whatever that means. For
some other similar boards they mention that the chip is made in China, with
similar "cautious to buy" warnings.