Android USB to serial ttl?

I have a cheap android tablet I’d like to interface to various microcontroller stuff. I’d like to do it via serial. USB to ttl. Has anyone done this?

I was thinking I would start with a cable like this:

One end goes in the Android mini USB, the other plugs into the Pololu CP2104 micro usb:

And from there, ttl serial to my Attiny serial port? Or that’s what I would like, something really simple and easy.

Any ideas? Would I need to wire the cable as an OTG on the Android side?

On the app side, I wanted to use the PyGame for Android python package and just open /dev/ttyUSB0 or something like that?

Ideas appreciated.


Hello, Martin.

If your Android tablet has a Mini B receptacle, it is unlikely that it supports USB OTG. In the USB OTG specification (revision 1.3, from December 2006) they make it pretty clear in section 6.1 that a device that supports On-The-Go should have a Micro-AB connector. (Also, in section 3.10, they mandate that a device with a Micro-AB connector should support On-The-Go.)

I recommend looking for a tablet that supports OTG or using an Accessory Development Kit (ADK) board such as the Arduino ADK. The idea of the ADK is to have a microcontroller board that acts as a USB host so it can talk to an Android device that acts as the USB device.

Your question reminded me of this project, where someone used OTG on an Android phone to talk to a Maestro:


Thanks for the links.

Hmm, just getting into this so my info threshold is low. I’d prefer something not Arduino, just a single chip or breakout board.

How about the FTDI chip?

Anyone have any experience with this?

I’m looking for a super simple solution to use my android tablet as a user interface to a ‘thing’ that has a ttl serial port on it.