First Serial Com Success for FOMOphobia 3

I’ve been struggling to make my little microprocessors talk to my BetaBrite LED Signs. They use standard old skool RS232 connections using their own mysterious proprietary protocol.  But with the Raspberry Pi and then with the Arduino I had no luck.


James loaned me an ancient and colorful Toshiba laptop which had a serial port (and a parallel port!) in back.


I whipped up an RS232 DB9 to RJ12 cable with all my new-found knowledge and steadily growing pile of electronics parts.


I couldn’t figure out how to make hyperterminal on the laptop transmit the null characters (x00) the BetaBrite needs, so I broke down and downloaded a tiny hello world app.


As soon as I pressed Send, my message flashed into life across the BetaBrite.  Woot!

So apparently, it is possible to talk to these things, something I guess I knew, but hadn’t yet seen.  Now if I can get the RPi to speak standard RS232 instead of its timid TTL levels using a MAX3232 device, I’ll be golden. Then maybe I can get to the huge list of things that need to get done to complete this project.

3 thoughts on “First Serial Com Success for FOMOphobia

  1. Reply James Nov 9,2013 1:08 pm

    Yay, so cool!

    I keep that laptop because I have an ethernetparallel port adapter that I drive my 10 year old laser printer which is still rock solid. The only way I can program the adapter is with that laptop. I only need to program the adapter to change it’s IP address so that’s not too often. I will now be even more careful with it :-)

  2. Reply kai Nov 9,2013 1:59 pm

    Congratulations! I’m so glad you figured this out.

  3. Reply Jeremiah Nov 9,2013 6:16 pm

    Awesome! You kids ever heard of a usb > serial adapter. works wonders.

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