What is it? The USB-TTL Adapter is a compact electronic module that lets you supply power to and provide communication with your solder-less breadboard-based circuits. I designed it to use with the Breadboard Arduino kit. Its space-saving design allows you to use most of your breadboard area for your circuits, plus it gives you a nice, modular connection (USB mini-B) to your PC, laptop or USB power bank.
Why do it? The USB-TTL Adapter performs the semi-complex task of translating the standardized communication protocols used by modern computers into a much simpler asynchronous serial port that uses TTL voltage levels. Now your low-cost micro-controllers can talk directly to a PC without the overhead of writing (or adapting) your own USB drivers. Additionally, the USB-TTL adapter provides a simple way to power your breadboard-based circuits from either your PC or a USB power bank.
Benefit & value: The USB-TTL Adapter is remarkably compact, taking up just the absolute minimum area in one corner of your solder-less breadboard, yet providing both power and communication options. It is based on the popular FTDI232R device and is supported by all the best operating systems. The carefully designed connectors bring out all the necessary (and clearly labeled) signals to your circuit using the least amount of space, leaving more area for your next great invention.
Who benefits? Students learning about micro controllers, including the Arduino, can get right to work on their projects without having to decode complex USB protocols or worry about power management. Engineers can prototype new proof-of-concept circuits quickly and dependably. Teachers can use this modular building block and not be distracted with driver issues or complicated wiring.