September 13, 2010 AT 7:44 pm

NEW PRODUCT – FTDI Friend + extras – v1.0

Ftdifriend Lrg

NEW PRODUCT – FTDI Friend + extras – v1.0. Long gone are the days of parallel ports and serial ports. Now the USB port reigns supreme! But USB is hard, and you just want to transfer your every-day serial data from a microcontroller to computer. What now? Enter the FTDI Friend!

Ftdifriendback Lrg

The FTDI Friend is a tweaked out FTDI FT232RL chip adapter. Sure, like the well-known FTDI cable, it can provide power to your project and there are 4 signal lines for sending data back and forth. But the Friend can do much more! For example, you can change the signal and power lines to be either 3.3V or 5V. Arduino-derivatives and XBees use the RTS line for programming but what if you need that DTR line? Its there for you.
By default, we’ve set it up so that it matches our FTDI cables. The 6th pin is RTS (as of Arduino IDE v18 this will work perfectly for uploading to ‘inos), the power wire is +5V and the signal levels are 3.3V (they are 5V compliant, and should work in the vast majority of 3.3V and 5V signal systems).

And of course, we include a little extra – in this case its the extra-long headers that you can use to plug it into a breadboard, or a 6-pin extension cable (which will also let you rearrange the wire order). There are also blinkies, 2 red & green LEDs that pulse when serial is sent or received.

You can peruse the FTDI cable datasheet, FTDI FT232RL chip datasheet or the schematic/layout files at GitHub

In stock and shipping now, FTDI Friend is your friend, it is not your FTDI enemy.

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  1. A complete newb question….

    How is this different from the USBtinyISP AVR Programmer Kit and Bus Pirate – BPV3?

  2. What’s the best FTDI chip for SPI applications? The FT2232D can go USB to SPI but as far as I know, it only has a single gpio available as chip select to the spi device.

    I have 4 spi devices so I need an ftdi chip that has spi out, with 4 chip select gpios.

  3. mark, this is a pocket knife. the bus pirate is machete and the usbtinyISP is a spoon 🙂

    the usbtiny is specifically for programming raw chips, it does not ‘talk’ to bootloaders. the buspirate can do what the ftdi friend does but its much more complex/advanced.

  4. Looks nice. I’ll have to add a couple to my next order.

    One suggestion: If you make any revisions, would it be possible to add a couple mounting holes next to the USB jack? That way a couple L-brackets could be used to mount this behind a panel.

  5. Really nicely done!
    Small and powerful.
    Love the jumpers on the back!

  6. Why not pull the backside shorting pads for DTR, voltage level and power out to some pins so we could use simple jumpers for selection?

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