Getting a Esduino Communicating with Mac OS X

Just a word of warning everybody, we are going down super duper mega geek territory here. If you’re not sure what a Esduino is you’ll not give two shits about this post. This is mostly a guide for myself to serve as a reminder of how to get this thing running again should I forget. Since the information has potential to be useful to others out there I figured I post it up on a public page.

I’m not going to waste time explaining what an Esduino is beyond it being a Arduino board that uses a 9S12 microcontroller as its core. If you don’t know what it is chances are this guide is useless to you.

The Esduino by Technologicalarts comes with a FT232R USB to serial port converter built in. There are no built in drivers for this chip in Mac OS X thus you need to install them. The drivers can be found here (for Windows, Mac, and Linux). The installation guides can be found here. Summed up all you need to down is download the appropriated driver (I used the virtual COM port driver instead of the D2XX driver as I’m used to working with virtual COM ports) and install it.

Once the driver is installed you can plug your Esduino into one of your USB ports. You’ll notice nothing happened, that’s normal. In truth something did happen though, two new files were created in your /dev directory (if you’re unfamiliar with the UNIX underpinnings of OS X just ignore this part, it’s really irrelevant). The two new files will be called /dev/cu.usbserial-xxxxxxxx and /dev/tty.usbserial-xxxxxxxx with the xxxxxxxx being the serial number of the device you plugged in. The Esduino will also appear in the System Profiler under USB. I’ll make a quick note that those two files in your /dev directory will only appear when you plug the Esduino in, if you don’t see them you’re device probably isn’t plugged in.

Now your computer is communicating with the Esduino board, what’s next? Well you need to interact with it. All Esduino boards come pre-loaded with an application. This application can be interacted with through the virtual COM port. First before you begin flip the switch on the microcontroller into the run position. In order to communicate with the virtual COM port I found a good program called CoolTerm. Open CoolTerm and open the options dialog (click on the toolbar button labeled Options). Under the Serial Port Options group select usbserial-xxxxxxxx from the port combo box and then click the OK button. Now that you’re back to the main window click the Connect button on the tool bar and press the enter key. A text menu should appear and you’re up and running.

Yes this is the kind of thing I do for fun. See how messed up I am?