GeekLAN

12/01/2014

Serial terminal on Nexus 7 with keyboard

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Venture37 @ 11:40 pm

Back in September last year at Wuthering Bytes, during a discussion about programming I thought I’d look into the availability of development tools on the android platform & was pleasantly surprised to find tool chains & IDE’s, not having a keyboard made even a simple hello world application painful to write though so I left it at that with the intention of buying a keyboard. I finally got around to buying a keyboard for my 2012 model, settling for a mobile bluetooth keyboard for nexus 7, first impression is the keys feel a little on the small size on but will see after a bit more use.

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I’m happy with the size & form factor, it reminds me of the Windows CE HP Journada PDA which are supported by NetBSD/hpcsh though the Journada’s were smaller.

As I have a OTG cable which allows me to connect USB devices to the nexus 7 which normally wouldn’t work (due to requiring host mode) I looked into the state of serial adapter support.

Prolific who produce a very popular USB to Serial chip (PL2303) have an app for Android, as I didn’t have a null modem cable at hand I couldn’t test functionality beyond seeing if the adapter is detected.

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For serial console on my Rasberry Pi’s I use a SiLabs CP2102 chipset USB to TTL & a FTDI FT232PL chipset adapter for BeagleBone Black. To connect both of these adapters to my Nexus 7 I used USB Serial Lite. At first the app seemed very unstable, becoming unresponsive after the first attempt to send something over the serial port, this turned out to be CR / LF not being enabled to send on transmit, having at least one of them above the text entry box on the TX row & ticked solves this issue.
There are many more apps available in the Play store for connecting to USB serial adapters but I couldn’t get any of them to produce output from the CP2012.
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