Easily add a UART (serial interface) via a USB port of your Windows, Linux, Mac computer
They are far away on days when serial and parallel ports met frequently. This period is that of the reign of USB. Unfortunately, from an electric point of view, the USB is not technically as simple as the serial port. This is a thorny problem if you only need to transfer your day's "serial" data from your microcontroller or computer.
But what to do then??? Introducing the USB converter <-> FTDI series (the "FTDI Friend" as so warmly called by Adafruit).
The converter uses a FTDI FT232RL component assembled and "materially prepared" to render great services. This convertor can also power your projects and send/receive data via its 4 lines of communication.
But this converter does even better, you can change the output power supply (and signals) to 3.3V or 5V.
The Arduino and XBees derivatives use the RTS signal for programming but what if you need the DTR signal? Well, it is also available on this adapter.
By default, this card is designed to match an FTDI cable. The 6th pin is the RTS signal (since Arduino v18 this signal is used to load your programs more easily on the card), the power supply is also set at +5V and the signal level at 3.3V (they are 5V compatible and should operate with a large majority of systems using 3.3V and 5V signals).
And of course, we have included a small extra - in this case, it is an extra long pin-header that you can use to connect this converter directly to a breadboard. It also has 2 LEDs (red and green) directly on the card that flash when serial data is sent or received.