- Basic breakout board for the FTDI FT232RL USB to serial IC
- Works with official Arduino and cloned Arduino boards
- Can be used for general serial applications
- 3.3/5V output (switchable via Jumpers)
- The RX and TX pins might be inverted on some units
The DFRobot FTDI USB to Serial Basic Breakout Board (3.3V/5V) 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 3.3V 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.
There are pros and cons to the FTDI Cable vs the FTDI Basic. 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. This board was designed to decrease the cost of Arduino development and increase ease of use (the auto-reset feature rocks). Manufacturer's Arduino Pro and LilyPad boards use this type of connector.