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I want to send serial data from my laptop to a Teensy LC chip through the laptop's USB port. I am not sure how to do this. From reading I have found two possibilities, which both seem to have problems:

  1. Get a USB to serial adapter cable, connect the USB to the laptop, the serial to a MAX232 chip, the MAX232 chip to the UART serial on the Teensy. The ambiguity in this option lies in the fact that the MAX232 chip requires a minimum 4.5V input, and the specs on the Teensy LC say it has 3.3V and one 5V digital output (would this one output be compatible with a MAX232?). Also, it has only 3.3V input, so it sounds like 5V coming from the MAX232 chip would be too much (I guess I could incorporate a chip like https://www.adafruit.com/product/735 ?). Now if I were to go this route with a Teensy 3.1, which says its input pins are 5V tolerant, its voltage output is also only 3.3V (and there is no mention of any 5V output). I guess the answer here would be to incorporate a chip like https://www.adafruit.com/products/1787 ?

  2. The second possibility I looked into would be a USB-to-TTL adapter cable to go straight to the Teensy LC, but I read somewhere that the serial UART with Arduino is different in some way and I wasn't sure if the serial communication coming through the USB-to-TTL cable would be compatible with the Teensy. I was looking at one of these cables at Sparkfun, and I think I would connect the TxD from the cable to the RX on the Teensy, the RxD from the cable to the TX on the Teensy, and the GND cable to a ground on the Teensy.

Could someone point me in the right direction regarding sending serial data through a laptop's USB out to the Teensy?

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    Is there any particular reason why you don't want to use the existing USB connection for serial communications? – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jul 5 '16 at 7:34
  • Yes. I was going to use the usb port to connect to another laptop as its keyboard, and transfer the incoming serial keystrokes to the other laptop through the teensy usb-keyboard interface. – clearcom0 Jul 6 '16 at 9:26
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Your second option is the easiest.

a usb to ttl adapter cable to go straight to the Teensy LC, but I read somewhere that the serial UART with Arduino is different in some way

Without seeing what you read, perhaps they were just talking about the fact that the Arduino is not "true" RS-232, it's only at TTL (or 3.3V) levels.

and wasn't sure if the serial communication coming through the usb to ttl cable would be compatible with the Teensy.

It should be compatible, especially since you note that the Teeny is 5V-tolerant.

I was looking at one of these cables at sparkfun, and I think I would connect the TXD from the cable to the RX on the Teensy, the RXD from the cable to the TX on the Teensy, and the GND cable to a ground on the Teensy.

That's it in a nutshell!

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