Incorporate FTDI USB-to-serial chip in design?

I wish I could just plug a microUSB cable into my Gl.iNet router, and have a COM port show up on my PC. It would make getting to the bootloader & linux console so much easier. If you were to hook up the handshaking signals to some GPIO, even better.

Have you considered designing in an FTDI USB-to-serial IC?

If not that, doing something similar to the PoE support, and lining up some pads for D+/D- from the microUSB connector with the existing TX/RX/Vcc/Gnd pads? I did look into soldering to the microUSB pins myself, but they’re pretty small and access is blocked by the vertical USB-A socket on the AR150.

Yes, I know it would add cost, but for the convenience of not having to crack the case and wire up an external board, it’d totally be worth it. Plus it would make ‘tinkering’ so much easier for people who don’t already have such things lying around at home.

Given your support for makers (which is awesome!) I hope you’ll consider this.

  • Paul

Hi Paul,

We thought about this. Yes, the main problem is cost, and space.

The USB-to-Serial is implemented in Domino Pi (http://domino.io/#!domino/pi/pi.md), but not the mini routers. You know, for the mini routers, we sell a lot to businesses which don’t need the USB-to-Serial IC. So if you need this IC, we may need to design another board, which we prefer not to do it. If you are a developer, you probably don’t mind using the boards without case, like Domino Pi. After you finish your firmware, just flash into the mini router with case.

Actually, you can try to connect UART and wire through the holes on the case and use it.

FTDI chips are expensive, but if you take WinChipHead CH340g, they only cost 0.32USD:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/CH340G-SOP-16-WCH-USB-to-serial-chip/32322980219.html

This one is large and difficult to fit in the router.