Any handhelds or other devices with serial RX/TX?

Discussion in 'Other Handhelds' started by sjheiss, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. sjheiss
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    sjheiss Newbie

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    So, lately I have been getting into electronics. I've gotten myself an Arduino Uno with some things to play with. I almost had my Arduino working with my jailbroken iPhone 4, which has serial RX/TX, but the phone is old and wouldn't work.

    For some reason I am really infatuated with the idea of controlling commercial devices with my own software and hardware, and controlling other things with those devices, so I've been looking for something cheap I can use to do that. :) With the iPhone you can make a serial cable to control the Arduino, or have the Arduino control software on the iPhone. I was able to do that, but since my phone was corrupt, it was rebooting every time I ended the serial connection, but that's not the focus of this thread.

    What I'm looking for is a handheld device that has serial (or parallel) RX and TX lines that I can write software for to control an Arduino and vice versa. I've thought about getting a used Android phone, which would be easier to work with than an iPhone on my shitty hackintoshed laptop.

    Another device I've looked into is the Pocket Station. It has parallel RX/TX, so I'd need a parallel-to-serial shift register, but that shouldn't be a problem. It's far more limited in functionality than an Android phone, but it would be cool to have one since not many people do and I love obscure things.

    I do not know of any handheld gaming devices with serial or parallel possibilities, but I don't know of any better place to ask a question like this.

    TL;DR What handheld computer would you recommend for interfacing with an Arduino or other similar development board via serial or parallel? I'd prefer to spend under $30, but can go no higher than $50.
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    You might be able to score an old palmtop type thing for next to nothing, they often had serial ports and SDKs. Though every time one crosses my bench I have a quick scout for batteries (which are invariably dead or dying) and they cost quite a bit more than I would care to pay for such a thing.

    For the most part though serial ports are the domain of industrial electronics and similar things these days. A pity I agree as I have a hard time getting serial ports on computers and certainly do not expect them any more, in some ways this is not so bad as USB has risen up to do a lot here instead.

    I do have to mention the GBA, indeed I really should mention http://gbatemp.net/threads/basmic-ide-for-gba.354201/ which is almost tailor made for what you want (though probably not towards the arduino side of things unless you do it yourself, though if you are doing your own serial protocol anyway.....).
     
  3. sjheiss
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    sjheiss Newbie

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    Well, I don't want a serial or parallel port on my computer (which with my laptop I know would be impossible), but on the device itself. The Arduino uses standard TTL serial input and output, so you can directly interface with other TTL serial devices, like the iPhone.
    there
    The creator of bASMic says that the programming is done on the GBA itself... I'd much rather do it on my laptop. I assume the link port on the GBA uses serial as opposed to parallel? I'd thought of getting a GBA to make homebrew on, so if I could make use of the serial link port too, that'd be hitting two birds with one stone. :)

    The only problem with the GBA is that you need something like the EZ Flash IV, which I have not seen for less than like $35-50, so that would be a bit much. Or is there an alternative to that cart?
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The computers thing was more me mourning their passing, somewhat before I even really appreciated them.

    Anyway yeah the link port is largely serial. It is not quite TTL but certainly able to be interfaced with them.

    GBA flash carts... given the choice I probably would go in an EZ4. However if you only want a bit of code you could use a 3 in 1 (though you would really need a DS to flash it), build your own basic cart or.... send a program down the serial port and have it boot of that.

    Links I probably should have given last time around
    http://chishm.drunkencoders.com/SendSave/index.html
    http://reinerziegler.de/GBA/gba.htm
    http://www.devrs.com/gba/
    http://nocash.emubase.de/gbatek.htm#gbacommunicationports
    edit I will leave it below but I accidentally linked the old GB stuff rather than the GBA
    http://www.robmeerman.co.uk/downloads/Project Report.pdf (warning PDF, though probably the most direct towards what you want).
    Original GB link.
    http://marc.rawer.de/Gameboy/Docs/GBProject.pdf
     
  5. sjheiss
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    sjheiss Newbie

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    Hmm... the multiboot cable seems the cheapest, but I'd prefer to be able to save the programs and boot them at will, so an EZ4 would be best. A GBA from Ebay and an EZ4 looks like it'd be a total of about $50. That's a bit much when I could get a used Android phone for the same price or cheaper, but I'll think about it. I'm going to a large used electronics store tomorrow, so maybe I'll luck out and find a GBA.