FTDI USB - As good as they claim?

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Can I flash the AVR?

Sure, if it has a bootloader already on it.

Does it just act like a serial link

From the AVR's point of view, yes. From the PC's point of view, its a virtual COM port

like I could talk to it using Windows Terminal?

Yes

Would I have to write a PC program to communicate with it?

Strictly speaking, no

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j_sorensen wrote:
I'm kind of fuzzy on this. If I connect an AVR project to a PC using this Silabs chip, then what can I do with it? Can I flash the AVR? Does it just act like a serial link, like I could talk to it using Windows Terminal? Would I have to write a PC program to communicate with it?

j.


As far as the AVR is concerned, it might just as well be talking to a MAX232 chip. At the PC end, if you install the virtual com port drivers, the the PC believes that it's talking to a conventional com port.
P.S. I'd still like to know if anyone's managed to buy the Silabs part in the UK.

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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John_A_Brown wrote:
Has anyone managed to purchase a CP2101-EK in the UK?

You can order it from Digikey UK:
http://uk.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...

Price is £ 27.49

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AndersAnd wrote:
John_A_Brown wrote:
Has anyone managed to purchase a CP2101-EK in the UK?

You can order it from Digikey UK:
http://uk.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...

Price is £ 27.49

From what I've read, that's really ordering from the states, big delivery charge.But many thanks anyway.

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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John_A_Brown wrote:
From what I've read, that's really ordering from the states, big delivery charge.But many thanks anyway.

Shipping charge:
£12.00

Handling Charge:
A £10.00 handling charge applies to all orders less than £75.00. This fee will be waived on orders of £75.00 or more.

So if you order other things at the same time so the total will be more than £ 75, then you will save the £ 10 handling charge and only pay the £ 12 shipping charge.

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John_A_Brown wrote:
I'd still like to know if anyone's managed to buy the Silabs part in the UK.

You can also buy it from Farnell UK:

CP2101EK http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/endeca...

Quantity  Price 
  1 -     £39.29

CP2101 https://secure.farnell.com/jsp/e...

Quantity  Price 
  1 - 9   £4.16  
 10 - 99  £3.40  
100 -     £2.88
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Anders,

Thanks again!

John Brown

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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Hey guys,

Excellent find regarding the CP2101 chip! I'm going to be using it in a project in the next couple weeks with a piece of hardware that is designed to either communicate with a PC over USB, OR communicate with another piece of hardware hopefully also using USB to minimize extra connections.

My question is regarding connecting two pieces of hardware together over USB, both of which using CP2101 chips. Specifically, is this possible? Is the chip designed just to communicate with it's drivers to function properly? I would assume that they've built in the functionality for two CP2101 chips to communicate with each other seamlessly just like a direct TX/RX connection, but I find no mention of this in the data sheet.

Thanks for any insight!

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jimbotko wrote:
Hey guys,

Excellent find regarding the CP2101 chip! I'm going to be using it in a project in the next couple weeks with a piece of hardware that is designed to either communicate with a PC over USB, OR communicate with another piece of hardware hopefully also using USB to minimize extra connections.

My question is regarding connecting two pieces of hardware together over USB, both of which using CP2101 chips. Specifically, is this possible? Is the chip designed just to communicate with it's drivers to function properly? I would assume that they've built in the functionality for two CP2101 chips to communicate with each other seamlessly just like a direct TX/RX connection, but I find no mention of this in the data sheet.

Thanks for any insight!


As far as I know, (and I now have the dev kit) the CP2101 is a USB slave device, so the answer is no. You could probably communicate between two PC's by using two CP2101s back to back, but that's about it.

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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John_A_Brown wrote:

As far as I know, (and I now have the dev kit) the CP2101 is a USB slave device, so the answer is no. You could probably communicate between two PC's by using two CP2101s back to back, but that's about it.

Ouch. Anybody know of any of these one-chip solution deals for a USB master? :(

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jimbotko wrote:
Ouch. Anybody know of any of these one-chip solution deals for a USB master? :(

Yes, Cypress Semiconductor makes USB Embedded Hosts, you can use this in one end and use CP2101 as slave in the other end.

http://www.cypress.com/products/...

http://www.cypress.com

http://www.cypressmicro.com

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a bit delayed but..

does exist any or planned any chip like FT232/254 etc in
DIP package ?
i mean SMD are fine and even hobyist can solder them but as easy
and especialy at HOME made PCB (at least not everyone)

imho a FT232/245 in DIP package it should sell lenoughp in hobyist/prototyping market
just like vast majority of them use DIP mcu's
(its also easier to stick in a breadboard )

there is IgorUSB ofcourse (i have not rtry it yet though) except this ?

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plouf wrote:
does exist any or planned any chip like FT232/254 etc in
DIP package ?

Just use one of these DIL boards, they are made for this purpose:
Evaluation Kits : http://ftdichip.com/FTEval.htm
FTDI Evaluation Kits - Dual in Line Modules: http://ftdichip.com/FTModule.htm
3rd Party - Dual in Line Modules: http://ftdichip.com/3PModule.htm

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yes i know about these but the cost increased ,
33USD from just 6.75USDof single chip and a usb conector + crystal do not cost
the 26.25 of the diffirence,
epsecialy if its hard to impossible to find a distributor in your country
(greece) and exespt the extra cost it also add extra time to get one
and you think twice if you burn one (;))
i have order a few PCB in a pcb maker here to solder a few FT245/32 i just get...

i can live with that offcourse but makes my life harder :wink:

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AndersAnd wrote:

Yes, Cypress Semiconductor makes USB Embedded Hosts, you can use this in one end and use CP2101 as slave in the other end.

http://www.cypress.com/products/...

http://www.cypress.com

http://www.cypressmicro.com

Hmm, from the data sheet it looks like these chips are much more difficult to implement. I assume that the CTS/DTS/etc emulation on the CP2101 would no longer function as that must be implemented by the PC drivers.

Has anybody used those chips that can comment on how easy they were to integrate? I'm basically just sending a receiving simple serial streams of data, and would like the ability to connect to the PC or another mini-PC like device that is just a uC with some display hardware, all over USB.

I've only got about 4-5 weeks from today to do all of the programming / hardware design / PCB fabrication / testing, which is why I'm turned off by any chips that seem like they would take a significant investmen in time to learn how to use properly.

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Yes USB Hosts are much more complicated to implement than USB slaves.
I would forget about this idea with only 4 weeks, it's also much more expensive.

Why don't you just connect your two devices by simple RS232 DSUBs instead. When you want to connect it to a PC's USB instead, then just use a readymade USB<->RS232 adapter cable and plug in the DSUB instead. This is very easy two implement.

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AndersAnd wrote:
Yes USB Hosts are much more complicated to implement than USB slaves.
I would forget about this idea with only 4 weeks, it's also much more expensive.

Why don't you just connect your two devices by simple RS232 DSUBs instead. When you want to connect it to a PC's USB instead, then just use a readymade USB<->RS232 adapter cable and plug in the DSUB instead. This is very easy two implement.

I would love to, but I need a reliable data rate of preferrably 920.6 kbps. This seems difficult to guarantee over RS-232.

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Then use RS422 or RS485 instead, it uses differential data transmission and are more reliable than RS232 single ended transmission.
It's very common in industrial applications.
http://www.rs485.com/rs485spec.html

You can use an USB to RS422/485 converter to interface it to your PC. Youcan buy these converters readymade or make your own from one of the chips mentioned in this topic.

FTDI has an application note on how to make USB to RS422/485 converters.

You can use standard Cat. 5 twisted pair network cable for your RS422/485 cable.

Compnies like Maxim makes RS422/485 to TTL UART level translators.

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AndersAnd wrote:
Then use RS422 or RS485 instead, it uses differential data transmission and are more reliable than RS232 single ended transmission.
It's very common in industrial applications.
http://www.rs485.com/rs485spec.html

You can use an USB to RS422/485 converter to interface it to your PC. Youcan buy these converters readymade or make your own from one of the chips mentioned in this topic.

FTDI has an application note on how to make USB to RS422/485 converters.

You can use standard Cat. 5 twisted pair network cable for your RS422/485 cable.

Compnies like Maxim makes RS422/485 to TTL UART level translators.

The current plan has been to use RS422 between the slaves and the master, with an additional USB chip for a USB slave connection between the slaves and the PC if need be. I was just looking for a "slicker" solution that would let me just plug the USB cable in to the master.

I hadn't considered just using RS422, and then unplugging the RS422 cable from tha master and plugging it in to an RS422 to USB adapter to a PC... that may be an option.

I'll probably just stick with RS422 between the master and slave, and have USB available on the slave so it can talk to the PC at the same time if need be. I'm not sure if I'll go with an actual RS422 chip or just encode the RX/TX lines with LVDS between the two boards (probably works out to the same number of chips in the end either way). :)

Thanks for the input!

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plouf wrote:
yes i know about these but the cost increased ,
33USD from just 6.75USDof single chip and a usb conector + crystal do not cost
the 26.25 of the diffirence,
epsecialy if its hard to impossible to find a distributor in your country
(greece) and exespt the extra cost it also add extra time to get one
and you think twice if you burn one (;))
i have order a few PCB in a pcb maker here to solder a few FT245/32 i just get...

i can live with that offcourse but makes my life harder :wink:

Don't forget the I2C eeprom he has on the board hehe..

It's worth it. You have to remember he has to have the little 24 pin dip circuit board made in a board house and these costs all add up in the design.

From the standpoint of ease of use, they are worth the $30! Mouser Electronics sells them now too.

I use them daily at 3 mpbs and have no issues ever.

Regards

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sxpilot450 wrote:
Don't forget the I2C eeprom he has on the board hehe.
Just a minor detail, but it's not an I2C EEPROM, but a Microwire 93C46 EEPROM.
FTDI chips can't use I2C EEPROMs.
The 24xx series are I2C EEPROMs, the 25xx series are SPI EEPROMs and the 93xx series are Microwire EEPROMs.

Last Edited: Sun. Oct 31, 2004 - 06:04 PM
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sxpilot450 wrote:
plouf wrote:
yes i know about these but the cost increased ,
33USD from just 6.75USDof single chip and a usb conector + crystal do not cost
the 26.25 of the diffirence,
epsecialy if its hard to impossible to find a distributor in your country
(greece) and exespt the extra cost it also add extra time to get one
and you think twice if you burn one (;))
i have order a few PCB in a pcb maker here to solder a few FT245/32 i just get...

i can live with that offcourse but makes my life harder :wink:

Don't forget the I2C eeprom he has on the board hehe..

It's worth it. You have to remember he has to have the little 24 pin dip circuit board made in a board house and these costs all add up in the design.

From the standpoint of ease of use, they are worth the $30! Mouser Electronics sells them now too.

I use them daily at 3 mpbs and have no issues ever.

my point was that i only need ft232 and if they exist in DIP package it would cost me
lower

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plouf wrote:
my point was that i only need ft232 and if they exist in DIP package it would cost me
lower

You can't use the FTDI chip for anything without the surrounding external components like crystal, capacitors and resistors.
I most designs the EERPOM is used too.

I don't think they will ever make a DIP package, beacuse the hobby market is way to small to make any money by doing this.
And for professional use, the costs for the DIL PCB with all the components is very small.
It's also a high-speed design, so it's important to make a good PCB layout to avoid EMI problems. This is easier with an SMD package than a DIP package mounted in a socket.
I have also used the FTDI chip for hobby use, and I must say that I prefer SMD packages instead of big DIP packages even for hobby use.

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AndersAnd wrote:
sxpilot450 wrote:
Don't forget the I2C eeprom he has on the board hehe.
Just a minor detail, but it's not an I2C EEPROM, but a Microwire 93C46 EEPROM.
FTDI chips can't use I2C EEPROMs.
The 24xx series are I2C EEPROMs, the 25xx series are SPI EEPROMs and the 93xx series are Microwire EEPROMs.

Thanks for the correction. I thought they were using I2C. As you can see, I am just an end-user of the DLP products ;)

I wish I could find a USB 2.0 version of this type of device.

Regards

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Now that I have my CP2101 evaluation kit Silicon Labs have released the CP2102, which is recommended for new products! Typical.
However, now that I have the FTDI and the SiLabs parts, I think that I'm right in saying that the FTDI part has built-in RS485 half-duplex funcionallity, whereas the SiLabs does not.
I e-mailed SiLabs, and, if I understand the reply correctly, I would have to control the RTS line from my PC program to control the transmitter enable. In view of how clumsy this can be from Windows, I shall be choosing FTDI for anything involving RS485.

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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CP2101 and CP2102 are pin compatible, so you should be able to to replace the CP2101 with the CP2102 on the Eval. kit. But it require a hot air gun to desolder the old device.

I tried to make a quick comparison of CP2101 vs. CP2102 features. The CP2102 improvements over CP2101 are higlighted with red text:

CP2101 Features
USB Function Controller and Transceiver
- USB specification 2.0 compliant; full-speed (12 Mbps)
- Integrated 512 byte EEPROM for vendor ID, etc.
- Integrated transceiver; no external resistors required
- Integrated clock; no external crystal required
- USB suspend states supported via SUSPEND pins
Asynchronous Serial Data Bus (UART)
- All handshaking and modem interface signals
- Data formats supported: 8-bit; 1 Stop bit
- Parity: Odd, Even, No Parity
- Baud rates: 300 bps to 921.6 kbps
- 512 byte receive buffer; 512 byte transmit buffer
- Hardware X-On / X-Off handshaking
- Event character support
Power-On Reset Circuit
Supply Voltage

- Self-powered: 3.0–3.6 V
- USB bus powered: 4.0–5.25 V

CP2102 Features
USB Function Controller and Transceiver
-USB specification 2.0 compliant; full-speed (12 Mbps)
-Integrated 1024-byte EEPROM for custom Baud rates, vendor ID, etc.
-EEPROM security lock function
-User programmable custom Baud rates
-Integrated transceiver; no external resistors required
-Integrated clock; no external crystal required
-USB suspend states supported via SUSPEND pins
Asynchronous Serial Data Bus (UART)
-All handshaking and modem interface signals
-Data formats supported: 8, 7, 6, 5-bit; 1, 1.5, 2 Stop bits
-Parity: Odd, Even, Mark, Space, No Parity
-Baud rates: 300 bps to 1 Mbps
-576-byte receive buffer; 640-byte transmit buffer
-Hardware and X-On/X-Off handshaking
-Event character support
Power-On Reset Circuit
Supply Voltage

-Self-powered: 3.0–3.6 V
-USB bus powered: 4.0–5.25 V

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I'm lookin into using the cp2102 in a project, and i was wondering how you configure the baud rates, mfg id, serial number, and all the other configurable stuff. i think i found some place that said you could configure the dev board via usb, so im guessing that the chip itself is configurable by usb also? what software or drivers or whatever will i need to configure it?

The downside to being better than everyone else is that people tend to assume you're pretentious.

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For my application I used the VCP(Virtual Com Port) drivers supplied by Silicon Labs. They take care of all that stuff. As far as the PC end is concerned, it's just another COM port, and as far as the other end is concerned it's a asynch serial stream at logic levels.
If you need to do something else, then I believe that SiLabs provide a bunch of DLLs that you can use.

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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krazykarl wrote:
I'm lookin into using the cp2102 in a project, and i was wondering how you configure the baud rates, mfg id, serial number, and all the other configurable stuff.

Read Silicon Laboratories Application Note AN144:
www.silabs.com/public/documents/...
And download the AN144SW software utilities:
www.silabs.com/public/documents/...
This is used to change Vendor ID (VID), Product ID (PID), Serial Number, Product String etc.

Baud rate are set inside Window/Linux/MAC OS X, just like you set the baud rate for a normal serial port. You don't need the config software to cange the baud rate.

CP210x drivers can be downloaded here:
www.avrfreaks.net/phpBB2/viewtop...
Or just install the CP210x Windows driver with Windos Update.

Also download Serial Communications Guide for CP210x:
AN197 www.silabs.com/public/documents/...
AN197SW www.silabs.com/public/documents/...

And CP2102 EVALUATION KIT USER’S GUIDE:
www.silabs.com/public/documents/...

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I recently had to choose between the FTDI chips and the CP2101. I chose the CP2101 because it doesn't need as many external components. The extra size of the FTDI chip means extra board space, that and the extra components make the cost significantly greater.

Digi-Key has it for $5.70.

I was scared spitless of trying to prototype a 28 pin part that was 5mm square and has the pins under it. I used solder past, an ordinary toaster oven with a themocouple probe connected to a multimeter and hand controlled the temperature. Worked like a champ! It was vastly eaiser than my past clumsy attempts at soldering soic parts.

If you decide to go this route, I can get you more info on how to solder the thing.

Good Luck

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smileymicros wrote:
I was scared spitless of trying to prototype a 28 pin part that was 5mm square and has the pins under it. I used solder past, an ordinary toaster oven with a themocouple probe connected to a multimeter and hand controlled the temperature. Worked like a champ! It was vastly eaiser than my past clumsy attempts at soldering soic parts.

If you decide to go this route, I can get you more info on how to solder the thing.


Here's a good guide on how to use a toaster oven for soldering:
http://www.seattlerobotics.org/e...
The method used with this toaster oven is based on "IPC/JEDEC J-STD-020C - July 2004":
http://www.jedec.org/download/se...

But I have also read about other members hand soldering the CP2101 IC with good results.

Also check out the Circuit Cellar AVR 2004 Design Contest, there's an AVR regulated soldering oven based on a standard toaster oven:
Low-Cost Reflow Soldering Oven: http://www.circuitcellar.com/avr...

Attachment(s): 

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So I've integrated the CP2101 in to a project and it's working just fine, however I'm having a configuration problem. I had planned on interfacing it with a Windows PC at 921600 baud, but in the device manager configuration for the CP2101 serial port, the highest baud rate that is available is 115200 baud. The CP2101 specs clearly say 921600 max... am I missing something? Perhaps one of you can help me out! Much appreciated, thanks.

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jimbotko wrote:
So I've integrated the CP2101 in to a project and it's working just fine, however I'm having a configuration problem. I had planned on interfacing it with a Windows PC at 921600 baud, but in the device manager configuration for the CP2101 serial port, the highest baud rate that is available is 115200 baud. The CP2101 specs clearly say 921600 max... am I missing something? Perhaps one of you can help me out! Much appreciated, thanks.

I don't know the answer, but maybe it's a Windows problem?
Normal serial ports does not communicate faster than 115200 baud.

Silabs have their own user forum, I would reccomend to ask CP210x related questions there instead. Silabs staff answer questions in their forum.
http://www.cygnal.org/scripts/Ul...

Maybe you can already find the answer in their USB forum:
http://www.cygnal.org/scripts/fo...

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I think I found the answer about CP2101 baudrate here:
http://www.cygnal.org/ubb/Forum9...

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I am surprised that people are having so much trouble with the CP2101. I used it in a project for a client and had no problems. Tested on XP, 2000, and 98se. I used the John Hind article on MSDN:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnma...

To build a C# control that underlies a Windows graphical output panel. The Hind code is excellent and covers all bases from the PC side and it has an excellent article written for it on the above link.

I formerly used C++, but C# is so much easier and perfectly suitable for most PC to Microcontroller Graphical User Interfaces applications. I haven't run into any speed problems yet, but I'm not streaming video either so I can't say about the upper end of the USB speed range.

Maybe this is a little off the main topic, but I figured some lookers might find the link useful.

Good Luck

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CP210x is now supported by Silabs USBXpress tool:
http://www.cygnal.org/ubb/Forum9...

www2.silabs.com/tgwWebApp/appmanager/tgw/tgwHome?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=GenericContentPage&contentObjectId=/public/web_content/products/Microcontrollers/USB/en/USBXpress.htm

Quote:
USBXpress™

The USBXpress development kit provides a complete host and device software solution for
interfacing CP210x devices and C8051F32x microcontrollers to the Universal Serial Bus
(USB). No USB protocol or host device driver expertise is required.

The USBXpress development kit includes Windows device drivers, INF driver installation files, host
interface function library (host API) provided in the form of a Windows Dynamic Link Library (DLL) and
device firmware interface function library (device API). Note the Keil 8051 tool chain is required to use the
device firmware library.

The USBXpress development kit now includes support for CP210x USB to RS-232 devices.

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AndersAnd wrote:
jimbotko wrote:
So I've integrated the CP2101 in to a project and it's working just fine, however I'm having a configuration problem. I had planned on interfacing it with a Windows PC at 921600 baud, but in the device manager configuration for the CP2101 serial port, the highest baud rate that is available is 115200 baud. The CP2101 specs clearly say 921600 max... am I missing something? Perhaps one of you can help me out! Much appreciated, thanks.

I don't know the answer, but maybe it's a Windows problem?
Normal serial ports does not communicate faster than 115200 baud.

Silabs have their own user forum, I would reccomend to ask CP210x related questions there instead. Silabs staff answer questions in their forum.
http://www.cygnal.org/scripts/Ul...

Maybe you can already find the answer in their USB forum:
http://www.cygnal.org/scripts/fo...

Thanks for the input! As it turns out, the baud rate selected in Device Manager under the fake COM port doesn't really mean anything. Anything program that connects to the COM port with adjustable baud rates can override this... I selected a custom baud rate of 921600 in my favorite terminal program, and BAM it works no problem. :)

I really like this chip!

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