I am working on a project that requires a UHF reader development kit that can communicate using either RS232 or by USB. Via USB and a Serial terminal, I have been able to send commands to the reader as well as analyze its response.
My goal is to send these same commands to the reader, but through an Arduino Nano. My first instinct was to use the RS232, converting the signal via a MAX232. However, this is for a school project, and my advisor preferred I try to work with USB. I am familiar with UART communication, and I've been under the assumption that USB operates using UART.
I had purchased a USB converter that gives me access to the pins, but it had two additional pins than I was not expecting: CTS and DTR. I attempted to communicate despite these pins (just leaving them open, and connecting Rx, Tx, Vcc and GND as I normally would). When plugged into the UHF reader, the device did power on (as it draws power from the USB connection), however, it did not receive the output signal from the Arduino Nano.
I know that my baud rate and other settings are correct, because, as I have said, communicating via USB and a Serial terminal gives me no problems. My initial thought is that I need to properly connect the CTS and DTR pins, but immediately I could not find a good reference on how to do this, and I am not entirely convinced this is the issue. My other thought was that perhaps I am writing out my HEX values wrong from the Arduino, using a line similar to the following, where "UHF_Reader" is defined by SoftwareSerial:
However, it appears to me from research that this is indeed the correct way to output HEX values via serial.
My final attempt to resolve this was to connect the micro-USB from the Nano to the USB of the reader, and then use Software Serial in conjunction with the USB converter to analyze the output on a Serial terminal, while powering the Nano via a 5V power supply. However, since the reader draws power from the USB port, it did not even turn on when I attempted this (I am assuming that the Vcc can only be supplied from the USB end?). Regardless, this attempt proved useless as well.
If anyone can offer any advice, or point me towards any references for something similar, I would much appreciate it! I have spent a while on this, and I just can't figure out what the problem is.
For reference, the reader I am using is found here: UHF Reader
And the USB converter I am using is here: USB Converter