Just look at this intentionally confusing banana Arduino

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I bet that giving most people a serial Arduino would confuse them even more than a banono.

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It would have to be pretty big cereal to fit an Arduino on it. Maybe weetabix.


On the newer models, there isn’t really such a thing, since the MCU does USB vaguely natively; but don’t the serial boards have pretty much 100% the same board layout, save for a MAX232 level shifter and DB-9 connector rather than the FTDI bridge chip and USB connector?

They might well spend some time puzzling over how to connect the device to their heathen contemporary computer; but the board layout should clue them in to the fact that it is an arduino; but with some kind of mutant non-universal serial bus.

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Should fit, possibly even room to spare. If you are good with PBC drill bits and silver conductive pens, you could probably even assemble that circuit on a reasonably flat and durable cereal chunk, with some care.

There haven’t been official serial Arduinos for a while. They used a few small transistor subcircuits to do the level shifting.

I might do an RS422 serial Arduino this summer, as my electronics work resumes.

Do you have a particularly long cable run in mind, or some sort of neat and now somewhat obscure hardware you are chatting with?

I have lots of old RS422-equipped Macs, not too obscure, by my standards. It is damp here near the coast, so an old PowerBook I can bring out to the garage seems preferable to my newer systems.

I did some comparisons a few years ago, and found that native RS232 was often a lot faster than the USB->RS232 conversion, making it more useful for real-time work.

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I thought this was Doctorow’s beat. Is the disease spreading?


The more, the merrier!

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Banana peel for scale.

You just reminded me of running a 200M RS-422 cable run from a BBC Micro to a Unix box, in the days when Ethernet was interesting but a lot of people still wondered if it would ever work properly.

I certainly don’t miss some of the nasty things that could happen to multi-drop wiring(hooray for dealing with terminators and trying to isolate faults!); but RS-422 and 485 did have admirable abilities to at least work adequately on really long runs of very unimpressive cable. Now that ethernet is so cheap and ubiquitous, it’s pretty hard to argue with something that can be switched and routed around so easily(not that serial protocols couldn’t, in principle; but even basic RS-232 serial console servers are expensive, uncommon, and quirky; while it’s downright expected of ethernet); but it still falls flat at lengths substantially shorter than the ones that the older protocols could tolerate slowly but otherwise without incident.

This is probably a “Really, really, you’ll wish you didn’t wish for that. Just walk away.” thing; but it would be kind of neat if wired ethernet pulled a few tricks back from its wireless counterpart and had more flexible support for degraded link rates over either longer or lousier cable. Yes, fiber is nicer and more elegant; but sometimes what you have is a couple of crufty twisted pairs and you’d really like a stable link of some speed; rather than intermittent or total failure to get a 100/1000mb link.

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A lot of old buildings have legacy telephone wiring. I’m not sure you would want to use it given an alternative, but it is more secure than wireless if you want to wire up a security system.

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