FTDI cable replacement with FT231X

Economic USB serial converter using the chip FT231X

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This is an economic DIY USB serial converter based on the chip FT231X

I´ve been using for years the FTDI cable, is a really handy tool for debugging and really compact, so I end up in most of my projects having a dedicated pin header for this cable.

The problem begins when you need more of these little guys, because you lost them, you let them or just, because you need to use ALL of them. I think the performance is great, but paying 15£ for that when someone is a hobbyist is a bit excessive.

Some people will think, there are plenty of devices in Ebay, Amazon..... for less than 1 or 2£ which will to the same job. Well..... Yes and No, after this post, I think more than one will evaluate when something is suspiciously cheap. It doesn´t mean all the cheap devices are "fake", I´ve been using some of the prolific converters and the performance was fine (most of the times, I don´t recommend using them in critical applications with flow control)

Not everything is perfect, even I found flow control issues in the FT232RL when switching flow control on and off, I had to unplug and plug again to make it working fine again. So, as an electronic enthusiast, I decided to do something about that, then checking the list of potential devices, my attention was called by one of the series X of FTDI. The price was attractive, and so far, I didn´t know anybody using this chip, but... I like FTDI support and performance, so ...why not?.

In a couple of hours I had my design ready, and excited to get my new PCBs. In some weeks, they arrived, so I soldered a couple of them as soon as I could and I proceed to test them.

To say, I had to update my FTDI drivers, but apart from that, the device is performing successfully!!! Even the issues when the flow control is disabled and enabled seems to be solved in this device, so I was more than happy.

This is probably not the cheapest USB serial converter you can find, but I was enjoying building it, probably the cost of the whole device was less than 5£, but from now on I think I will replace my old 232RL wich this one.

  • 1 × Peri USB - Serial PCB
  • 1 × USB connector Mini B
  • 1 × PESD5V0U1BB ESD and TVS Suppressors / ESD and Transient Voltage Suppression (TVS) Diodes and Array
  • 1 × FT231X FTDI USB serial converter
  • 2 × LED Fiber Optics / Emitters

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  • 1
    Step 1

    Gerber files are available on demand @

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