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Old Apr 21, 2015, 02:07 PM
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USB to serial converters...?

... Is there such as thing as a 'universal' USB to serial converter? I have a number of RC-related devices which offer (as an option) firmware upgrades, programming or setup via USB and related software. For example, ESCs (Castle USB link), Quark gyros, MicroBeast 3-axis helicopter gyros, Xaircraft multirotor controllers, FyeTech products, etc.... Can a single adapter handle a variety of devices, or are they each brand-specific? All the ones in question have a USB connector on one end and a standard 3-wire servo connection on the other, but are there differences in protocol, or other factors? (My electronics knowledge started disappearing when vacuum tubes fell from favor...)
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Old Apr 24, 2015, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRCnut View Post
... Is there such as thing as a 'universal' USB to serial converter? I have a number of RC-related devices which offer (as an option) firmware upgrades, programming or setup via USB and related software. For example, ESCs (Castle USB link), Quark gyros, MicroBeast 3-axis helicopter gyros, Xaircraft multirotor controllers, FyeTech products, etc.... Can a single adapter handle a variety of devices, or are they each brand-specific? All the ones in question have a USB connector on one end and a standard 3-wire servo connection on the other, but are there differences in protocol, or other factors? (My electronics knowledge started disappearing when vacuum tubes fell from favor...)
Kinda confused as you mentioned USB on one end and 3 wire servo on the other because this is a USB to serial adapter.
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Old Apr 24, 2015, 01:04 PM
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Sorry for the confusion. I'll try to clarify with an example:
The Microbeast 3-axis stabilizer for helicopters can be programmed from a PC.. but only if you have the USB adapter shown at the top of this page:
http://www.beastx.com/eng/products_accessories.php
Other devices Castle ESCs, etc.) offer the same optional USB cable and a converter or adapter (that goes between the USB cable and the device). That adapter usually has a micro- or mini-USB input and a servo connection for output. I'm guessing that the adapter's purpose is to convert USB-level signals into something acceptable to the ESC, but what else does it do, if anything?
They all seem to require the same SiLabs CP210x driver on the PC side... so what happens if I try to (for example) use a Hyperion ESC programming cable/adapter to connect a MicroBeast controller to the PC? Would it work, or do I really need the same-brand adapter for every PC-programmable device?
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Old Apr 24, 2015, 01:17 PM
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Yeh those are most likely brand specific although some may work. Hit or miss most likely miss
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Old Apr 26, 2015, 11:25 AM
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USB to Serial ... Answered (sorta)

I did some testing this weekend and determined that, in some cases, these adapters are compatible.
My original question was posed because I had a MicroBeast 3-axis heli gyro that needed a firmware update, and the BeastX-brand USB adapter was not locally available. I already had on hand a number of adapters from Hyperion, Castle, Xaircraft, and others.
I already had the required USB driver installed, so I fired up the BeastX software and connected the MicroBeast to the PC using a Hyperion USB cable and adapter that is normally used to program Hyperion digital servos. The software and driver did in fact recognize, and communicate with, the MicroBeast, and was able to capture and properly display the device's serial number and existing firmware level.
I then downloaded the required firmware update file and was able to install it
with no errors.
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