I have a few MakerBot Mightyboards running off ATmega1280 chips that can no longer use their standard USB port to connect to a computer (to make a long story short, there's a little inductor that blew up between the USB port and the 8u2 chip and it is essentially impossible to replace). I have noticed, however, that they have headers for the RXD1 (PD2) and TXD1 (PD3) pins on the 1280 as seen in this picture:
Would it be possible to hook up an external 8u2 (or similar) chip programmed as a USB to serial converter (something like this) and use it as if it were the normal USB port (e.g. for uploading firmware)?
(I wanted to add atmega1280 as a tag, but it doesn't seem to exist)