USB to I2C interfaces
In the good old days of DOS, you would create an add-on board that would connect to the parallel port and then run
some magic to control simple tasks. There were many compilers for programming languages in DOS and together with
the VGA screen and keyboard allowed practical applications.
That all ended when PC makers decided to skip COM and LPT ports from there laptops. No need for serial, when you have USB, was their motto. And that was the end of the hardware driven directly from a PC.
But recently I ran into some nice gadgets that bridge the gap between USB and tinkerer. One of them is the UBW (see navigator) but it is hard to control in Oberon or Modula-2 from Linux. And the other options are in this topic. My first attempt was with an Ebay bought gadget, a USB / I2C interface, based on a chinese chip, the CH341 (see navigator). It failed, but it taught me I needed a similar device based on an FTDI chip.
I found one, made by Adafruit which is a trusted supplier of all kind of electronic gadgets, for the Raspberry Pi, among others. And the dutch supplier, Hobby Elektronica sells a lot of other Adafruit toys. There are even nice gadgets on Deal Extreme for ridiculous prices, but also at ridiculous shipping times... So I ordered a bag full of nice, ready made, toys (on 'breakout boards') to play with. Interesting concept. The days of a Linux computer runnig all kinds of tasks are coming back....
And since the AdaFruit FT232H board offers so many purposes and chances, I decided not to put it in the SBC 2.0 section but to give it its own section: right here.
Bit banging via USB
After my experience with the CH341 "Usb to serial" chip (see navoigator), I deciced to take the western route again
and try to find something similar, but now based upon an FTDI chip(set). I ended up at AdaFruit, a company similar
to SparkFun. They make a lot of nice gadgets. Some of them are in the picture above.
The line of thought at this moment is:
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