This is a basic breakout board for the FTDI FT232RL USB to serial IC. The pinout of this board matches the FTDI cable to work with official Arduino and cloned 5V Arduino boards. It can also be used for general serial applications. The major difference with this board is that it brings out the DTR pin as opposed to the RTS pin of the FTDI cable. The DTR pin allows an Arduino target to auto-reset when a new Sketch is downloaded. This is a really nice feature to have and allows a sketch to be downloaded without having to hit the reset button. This board will auto reset any Arduino board that has the reset pin brought out to a 6-pin connector.
This board has TX and RX LEDs that allow you to actually see serial traffic on the LEDs to verify if the board is working, but this board requires a miniB cable. The FTDI Cable is well protected against the elements, but is large and cannot be embedded into a project as easily. The FTDI Basic uses DTR to cause a hardware reset where the FTDI cable uses the RTS signal.
This board was designed to decrease the cost of Arduino development and increase ease of use (the auto-reset feature rocks!).
One of the nice features of this board is a jumper on the back of the board that allows the board to be configured to either 3.3V or 5V (both power output and IO level). This board ship default to 5V, but you can cut the default trace and add a solder jumper if you need to switch to 3.3V.
USB Serial Adapter
Posted by Matt on 20th Jul 2015
Definitely happy with this purchase. Price, shipping, delivery all great. One issue, these are configured for 3.3V I/O by default, not 5V as described. 3.3V is probably more common these days.
Received 3.3v board instead of 5v board
Posted by McKinnon R. on 15th Jul 2015
I ordered this board to program an ATMEGA328P chip (Uno bootloader, from cutedigi) with a 16Mhz crystal at 5v, but I received a (white) 3.3v chip with a similar appearance. I was disappointed, because I had been waiting eagerly for the package to come. I would give a much more positive review if I was able to use this board that I received in error to program the ATMEGA328P. Instead, I spent several hours digging through forums before I realized that the 3.3v chip was not what I had ordered (I selected the 5v chip to be compatible). I think that I may have even bricked my ATMEGA328AP chip in the troubleshooting process, but I have no way to tell. Not to be "that guy", but I'd really like to be sent a 5v chip, since I had a very limited budget and am now out of money after buying all of the parts that I needed to start with embedded systems. (I'd like to go to college to be an embedded engineer, and this is where I'm beginning, after learning analog electronics and C programming)
[CuteDigi] There is a soldering point on the back, you can actually switch the voltage level.