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March 7, 2016 AT 4:41 pm

Raspberry Pi 3 UART speed workaround

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If you’ve started to play with the brand new Raspberry Pi 3 you might have discovered, like Ladyada did on this live stream, that the serial UART pins don’t behave exactly like they did in the past.  Brian Dorey has a great blog post that talks about one of the Pi 3 changes to use the hardware UART of the chip to talk to the Bluetooth module.  A consequence of this change is that the UART pins on the GPIO header, like you might use to connect to a GPS device, a serial cable, etc., now use a ‘mini-UART’ that’s tied to the CPU speed.  This means the GPIO UART might not have a stable baud rate as it changes with the CPU speed.

Brian’s blog post mentions a workaround from the Pi foundation to disable Bluetooth, however he also found a great way to remap the GPIO pins to use the hardware UART and the Bluetooth module to use the mini-UART.  There might still be issues with Bluetooth using this option, but it’s great to have in case you need a very stable UART on the GPIO pins.  Check out Brian’s post for all the details.


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