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FTDI FT230X USB-Serial BoosterPack

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Yeah, I'll populate 30 of those and send'm to bluehash.   Tapatalk Mobile Device    

Here's a boosterpack breaking out the FTDI FT230X, a simple USB-UART adapter chip (similar to the FT232RL but with less crap, also less cost). Should allow custom UART speeds and good driver support

IIRC some FTDI chip model was recalled because of a silicon bug. That caused the shortage.

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They're already produced and shipped (waiting on their arrival).  Shame too, that was pure laziness on my part... Don't know what I was thinking!  I found some more mistakes on my F5172 LP board, and while the FT232RL redo is already in production I am making changes to the FT230X-based F5172 board to clean up some of these mistakes.  (Still keeping that one with 2-sided components though)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Alright so I'm going to scrap the boards I have, as they use the hideously expensive PTH USB connector, there are obvious decoupling cap layout issues, and I think there's some cash to be saved on the LDO too. (Seems like it's easier to cut my losses on the boards IMO)  I also have a ton of cheap SMD USB mini-B connectors now...


But I redesigned it, and I like this a lot better-






OSHpark gerbers: OSH_FT230X_BPak.zip

Seeed/ITead gerbers: Seeed_FT230X_BPak_5x5.zip

Schematic: DipTrace Schematic - FTDI_FT230X_BoosterPak_draft3.pdf


Using the TI TPS78233, which is around $0.50/pc instead of $1+ like the TPS77333, only catch is it outputs 150mA instead of 250mA and doesn't have a RST output to hold the MCU suspended.  Plus the bottom has been chopped a bit so it doesn't cover the buttons as much.  Sounds like SugarAddict has a board in the works though, so I'll hold off on these unless folks are interested.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all,


Those are some pretty awesome boards! I'm interested in how oPossum made the usb stick plugin part? I'd like to do the same with a FTDI but with a SMD MSP430G2553 attached to it, so I can use an app running on the computer (like Noduino) to individually control  the leds.  Is there a schematic anywhere for the usb stick version that would be ok to share? I'll happily contribute mine back of course :-)



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The USB connector is drawn to the official spec. A plastic shim is required with common 1.6 mm boards for proper fit and insulation of the mini-b pads.


The shim stock I use is 0.015" for glue or 0.0125" for adhesive tape. McMaster Carr 9513K22 & 9513K21.

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Its interesting to look at the different regulators your boards are using. The Microchip one gives 250mA but at the expense of a higher quiescent current (1.6uA) than the 0.5 - 1 uA the T I one takes for more money and less current (150 uA). I have seen Rob use a different regulator that outputs 800mA, but it drives some less so...


Was this in your mind when choosing or did you go with what you guys were already familiar with?

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Somehow I think you could squeeze that board even smaller; I see a buch of vias that are redundant and you might be able to scrape off some caps/resistors or replace them by smaller versions. Ideally the board would be as wide as the USB connector all the way through. Also, when using this one to plug into a USB socket, you must remove the tracks for the mini USB socket, as they'd get shorted out (alternatively have little thinner board and put some insulation on it)

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Richard: I used the MCP1700 because it is low cost, readily available, and provides a good amount of current. It is my favorite small LDO. The LM1117/LD1117 are popular LDO for up to 800 mA.


RoadRunner: That board is Open Hardware, so you can hack away at it. A narrow version would be really cool. Maybe also something that would fit in a USB stick plastic case.


The extra vias are to reduce resistance in the traces that carry power - it is intentional.


When a 2.0 mm board is used, Kapton tape can be used to cover the MiniB connector pad. It is also possible to drill a few vias to disconnect the traces.


Family photo of my FTDI boards:



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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone have an opinion on whether the ferrite bead can be safely omitted from the board? What about the other passives (there are 9 in all!)?


I have a cheap breakout board from ebay based on FT232RL that does away with most suggested components (only has two small caps), and it seems to work perfectly fine. I wonder where to draw the line in simplifying the design.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think I figured out what I'm going to do with this design.  The run of 20 boards with incorrect decoupling cap setup + using the hideously expensive PTH USB ports is still on my desk sitting unused, until now...


Received a run of 6 small boards from OSHpark that adapt the PTH pinout to SMD USB mini-B, which is substantially cheaper.  I think the OSHpark boards add roughly 45 cents to the BOM but with the USB ports coming in just over 50 cents it's still shy of the $2+ for the PTH USB connectors.

The main decoupling cap of interest is on the Vcc5V, and there is room for me to scratch off the soldermask close to the pin and solder my cap there instead.

Got a board all built out, my camera's upstairs so I'll take pics tomorrow or later, but it does show up in Windows as an FTDI with a COM port and I've already reprogrammed the EEPROM to flip-flop the TXD/RXD LEDs.


For the store, I'll see if I can solder up as many of these as I can--soldering the USB ports, FTDI chip and supporting caps/resistors, Fuse for the 5V rail, 4.7uF cap for the 5V rail, headers & jumpers for the TXEN/RXEN and leave it at that.  The buyer can source the TPS77333 regulator if they want it providing power to the board and the requisite BOM for those (including headers & jumpers for LDO_EN and LDO_RST).  I have sampled TPS77333 from TI before, so the user may be able to get it for free.  Or they can choose the 3.6V of that LDO.

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