The Serial Port is Dead! Long Live the Serial Port!
test the C bus exactly as you did the D bus, but note that
you cannot use both busses for general bit-banged I/O at
the same time.
The World’s Smallest Moving
have the book: Virtual Serial Port Cookbook (414 pages)
to help you learn much more about .NET programming
with the serial port class; how to write a full-featured
Developer’s Terminal; how to write the programs shown
above; and more details on how to use the FT232R for
14 I/O lines in bit-bang mode. NV
Refer to the schematic in Figure 17 to wire up a
breadboard as shown in Figure 15. You can download
the software shown in Figure 16 to run this device from
smileymicros.com or www.nutsvolts.com.
Not all the characters that show
on a seven-segment LED are like
those in the Latin alphabet. You will
need to remember what K, M, W, X,
and Z look like (see Figure 16).
The rest look like the capital or
lower case versions of the actual
The Seven-Segment Test Program
will also allow us to set or clear
each segment, select a character to
show from a font matrix, show the
whole font one character at a time,
output the classic ‘HELLO WORLD’
at the press of a button, and we
can enter a string of characters up
to 64 characters and have them
scroll on the seven-segment LED by
flashing each character in sequence.
Some folks think you need to
show at least six characters or so
at one time and that to show a
longer message, you need to scroll
the characters. And while that is
certainly easier to read, using one
seven-segment LED will get the
message across if the reader
pays attention and accepts a few
Joe Pardue can be contacted via email at email@example.com. He has
a BSEE and operates www.smileymicros.com from the shadows of the
Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. In addition to the Virtual Serial
Port Cookbook, he is also the author of C Programming for
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As you can see from this article,
you can do a lot with the FTDI
FT232R IC on a printed circuit
board designed to be used on a
breadboard. If you want to go
deeper with the device and the
programs shown in this article,
smileymicros.com and Amazon.com
Smiley Micros carries the
hardware kits for the projects
shown in this article.
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SEMICONDUCTORS • PASSIVES • INTERCONNECTS • ELECTROMECHANICAL • POWER
June 2008 63