The FTDI SmartBasic is a variation of the classic FTDI Basic board. This board was designed to allow you to connect a second device to the hardware serial port on an Arduino Pro, Pro Mini, or other USB-less board without compromising the ability to bootload code from the Arduino IDE.
The hardware routes the serial signals from any board which uses the standard FTDI header footprint either to the programming PC via a USB-to-serial bridge or to any other device with an FTDI header.
Normally, to use a device which requires a serial-port resource on an Arduino board, you would have to use a software serial port or plug and unplug the device during programming. The SmartBasic board adds a multiplexer to the serial port pins coming from your Arduino, which allows the application code to switch the serial signals from the USB port to another device. No special code is required to enable programming.
The SmartBasic uses a genuine FT232RL chip and the TS3USB221A signal multiplexer from TI to make connecting to multiple serial devices easy. On the board you will find two main sets of headers: CLIENT is basically the same as the output header on the standard FTDI Basic board; HOST can enable the application code to route serial data from the hardware port to either the USB serial bridge or the device connected to this header. With this compact design and the power of TI's TS3USB221A multiplexer, you should find no issues switching high-speed USB signals.
Note: The board does not come with any pins or sockets. It operates at 5V by default. A solder jumper can be removed and re-soldered to change the operating voltage to 3.3V. The USB connection is micro-USB.
FTDI SmartBasic Board Resources
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