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View Full Version : About the Serial to USB Adaptor Damage.



Joe
02-09-2005, 02:43 AM
Hi,

I bought an USB adaptor (not from Parallax) and I would like to
know if an USB adaptor could damage a Basic Stamp.

Of course, an USB adaptor made in Parallax must not damage
the BS, but do you know if other USB adaptors made damage
the BStamps?

Thanks: Joe

Gadgetman
02-09-2005, 04:02 AM
Why not test it with a less valuable piece of equipment first?
Like a Palm or other Serially connected PDA http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

Seriously, unless the USB adapter is dumping serious amounts of magic smoke, it's not likely to damage anything.
RS232 ports are rather robust, and the worst that would happen anyway is that you blow out the level-shifting chip(A MAX232 chip I think) and that can be replaced if you send it in.

What is more likely, though, is that you don't get any response from the BS2, particularly if it's a cheap adapter as some of these takes certain 'shortcuts' in regards to important signals.
That's why Parallax recommends the FTDI version as they KNOW it works OK.

If anyone wonders what 'magic smoke' is, it's smoke that is stored inside chips and which makes them work. This can be proven by the fact that when you let the smoke out, the chips no longer works... http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smile.gif
All the nonesnse about silicone and tracks too thin to be seen by the naked eye is just a clever diversion to hide from the world that magic works...

Beau Schwabe (Parallax)
02-09-2005, 04:46 AM
Gadgetman is right!!! ... here is some magic smoke that I am putting together right now!!!

BTW) I know magic - http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/yeah.gif

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Beau Schwabe - Mask Designer III

National Semiconductor Corporation
(Communication Interface Division)
500 Pinnacle Court, Suite 525
Mail Stop GA1
Norcross,GA 30071
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Gadgetman
02-09-2005, 05:32 AM
Cool....

Don't see any smilies, drawings of robots, signatures or jokes, though...
(There's a website dedicated ot such, somewhere)

Beau Schwabe (Parallax)
02-09-2005, 05:55 AM
No hidden drawing in this one... keep in mind that this is a very small portion of the entire chip. The image above measures
800um x 650um. The overall chip will be about 4000um square. To put that in perspective, a single DOT from a 300dpi printer
measures about 85um in diameter.

1 inch = 25400 microns

Although I did write a piece of BMP to SKILL code (the language that the CAD software uses) that would create a
DRC (Design Rule Check) compliant rendition of any BMP file we sent to it.... Originally we did this to easily place a
customers logo in the silicon, but a co-worker of mine wants to slip a mug shot of himself for a design review prank.

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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Beau Schwabe - Mask Designer III

National Semiconductor Corporation
(Communication Interface Division)
500 Pinnacle Court, Suite 525
Mail Stop GA1
Norcross,GA 30071
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Gadgetman
02-09-2005, 06:06 AM
So....

No way you could slip in something like 'Stamps Rule!' or anything?

I mean; what's the use of such great opportunities if they're not misused from time to time? http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

I should probably not ask what it is you're designing...
(There's probably all kinds of NDA's and such )

Beau Schwabe (Parallax)
02-09-2005, 06:19 AM
Sorry, I can't mention what this does...


There are two scenario’s that would happen if I place 'Stamps Rule!' text in a design...

1) It would disappear due to a hierarchical flattening process.
2) It would be discovered during a design review and most likely removed.

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Beau Schwabe - Mask Designer III

National Semiconductor Corporation
(Communication Interface Division)
500 Pinnacle Court, Suite 525
Mail Stop GA1
Norcross,GA 30071
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

allanlane5
02-10-2005, 02:25 AM
Some things really are too important to screw around with.

Thanks for the picture Beau, it's good to know somebody is doing productive engineering in America still.

And to the OP -- yes, it is really hard to damage the stamp from a USB to Serial converter -- I'd say almost impossible, if all you did was connect the thing.

And yes, there are LOTS of 'PDA' interface USB cables which won't work with the BS2. The vendors take too many short cuts (to cut the price) with the "handshake" signals the BS2 uses to control the download process.

The KeySpan 19HS, and the FTDI units (and the older BAFO units) all work very well. I'm not fond of Belkin, but some people say they work (just NOT the 'PDA' versions).