FTDI Cable 5V

The FTDI cable is a USB to Serial (TTL level) converter which allows for a simple way to connect TTL interface devices to USB. The I/O pins of this FTDI cable are configured to operate at 5V.

The FTDI cable is designed around an FT232RQ, which is housed in a USB A connector. The other side of the cable is terminated with a 0.1" pitch, 6-pin connector with the following pinout: RTS, RX, TX, 5V, CTS, GND (RTS is the green cable and GND is black).

This cable has the same pinout and functionality as our FTDI Basic Breakout board; you can use it to program your Arduino Pro, Pro Mini and Lilypad. For use with those boards, align the black and green wires of the FTDI cable with the 'BLK' and 'GRN' labels on the PCB.

There are pros and cons to the FTDI Cable vs the FTDI Basic. The FTDI Basic has great LED indicators, but requires a Mini-B cable. The FTDI Cable is well protected against the elements, but is large and cannot be embedded into a project as easily. The FTDI Basic uses DTR to cause a hardware reset where the FTDI cable uses the RTS signal.


FTDI Cable 5V Product Help and Resources

SparkFun USB to Serial UART Boards Hookup Guide

February 18, 2016

How to use the SparkFun FTDI based boards to program an Arduino and access another serial device over the hardware serial port, without unplugging anything!

How to Install FTDI Drivers

June 4, 2013

How to install drivers for the FTDI Basic on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Connector Basics

January 18, 2013

Connectors are a major source of confusion for people just beginning electronics. The number of different options, terms, and names of connectors can make selecting one, or finding the one you need, daunting. This article will help you get a jump on the world of connectors.


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • rxn / about 8 years ago / 1

    Took a while of frustrating debug to realize that my cable had a counterfeit FTDI chip in it; FTDI bricked it giving it a PID of 0000 but it still showed up in windows and spit out "NOT GENUINE DEVICE" or similar when receiving bytes over the UART.

  • robbage / about 12 years ago / 3

    If you're a radio enthusiast, I successfully programmed Yaesu, Icom, Wouxun, Puxing and Baofeng radios with this cable. Should work with Kenwoods and many cheap Chinese radios as well. Works well as a C-IV control cable with Icom HF radios. Add an optocoupler and it will work as PTT control with Ham Radio Deluxe, AGW Packet Engine and similar. Email me if you want more info.

    • Member #468913 / about 11 years ago / 1

      I would like more info. Where can I find your email address? Robert

      • robbage / about 11 years ago / 1

        In my Sparkfun profile...

        • Member #557988 / about 10 years ago / 1

          I can't find it in your profile. It's probably in some stupidly obvious location.

  • Does this cable do auto-reset for the Arduino?

  • esmphoto / about 14 years ago / 2

    the cable is 1.8m or about 6ft long

  • Member #629183 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Can I use this one to program my arduino Fio ?

  • Cottoa00 / about 10 years ago / 1

    I just received the the FTDI 5V cable to use instead of the FTDI basic on a mini-B cable.

    When switched from basic to cable got avrdude error msg "avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00". Had the error before when setting up the basic but was due to improper board setting in arduino IDE. Had selected "Arduino MIni with ATMega 328" when realized my board was Pro... further down in the list "Arduino Pro Mini 5V....".

    Drivers were installed when plugged in cable (COM8 vs basic on COM 7). When connect cable to USB get power to Arduino but fails upload. Checked that black lead is on GND pin....any suggestions?

  • Member #566794 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Does the driver for this work with Windoze 8.1? My "old" cable didn't work with my new laptop.

  • Member #576351 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Would this work with a Raspberry Pi? I'm planning on plugging the USB end to the Pi, and the other end to a coin acceptor (the one that Sparkfun sells). thanks!

  • dsffasdfdsafadsfasdfadsf / about 10 years ago / 1

    Will this work with 3.3v Sparkfun brand arduinos?

    • M-Short / about 10 years ago / 1

      Yes and no. 3.3V Arduinos for the most part are not any different then their 5V versions with the exception of the voltage regulator and the speed (16MHz is not in spec for 3.3V so we use 8MHz). These boards will run just fine on 5V. But you are running them at 5V so make sure you don't have anything connected to the VCC line that can't handle 5V.

  • fortneja / about 11 years ago * / 1

    I found the VCC (red) and CTS (brown) wires swapped on the female header. I kept getting "USB port shut down due to too much power" warnings until I poured over the schematic and discovered the manufacturing defect. A quick swap, and it's good to go. Not a deal-breaker, but something to watch out for.

  • iRow / about 11 years ago / 1

    Would this work for the EL Sequencer?

  • MrAureliusR / about 11 years ago / 1

    I've been looking for a cable that has the 6-pin flat connector at BOTH ends and I can't seem to find one on here or on Newark Canada... don't know what the issue is. I'll probably end up buying the connectors and the metal crimp inserts and making my own cable... seems like a lot of work. I mean, the PicKit needs a similar cable, why aren't they sold on here? Kinda crazy...

    • It sounds like you may be looking for just a jumper cable. Something like this, perhaps?

      • robbage / about 11 years ago / 1

        I could do with a 10 pin version of that lead

        • I honestly haven't seen a 10 pin version anywhere to recommend where you could buy one, but you could use a 4 pin glued to a 6 pin jumper wire, to hack your own 10 pin version relatively easily.

  • Member #219678 / about 11 years ago * / 1

    I bought one of these to use as an interface cable to my HF radio and it worked well until I damaged the cable. So I bought two more (for redundancy this time) and get this -- neither of my new builds will transmit to the radio at all. The damaged cable still works but I don't consider it reliable. However, since neither of my new cables work I am stuck with the old one. I compared the connections I made for my working cable to the new cables and verified they were wired the same.

    So my only thought is that something changed in the build of the cables I just received. Maybe the wire color coding changed? Or the internal circuitry?

    Sitting here in a funk as my only working cable is the "bad" one, after wasting $50 to build up a pair of new cables ($18/cable plus $8/connector) that don't work.

    • robbage / about 11 years ago / 1

      What HF are you using? I can suggest some mods which might help

  • Awww, why not populate the TXLED and RXLED and use a translucent potting compound? :-)

  • Member #125120 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Does this work with windows 8? I have 3 little $3 USB to 3.3V TTL boards that no longer work as well as a USB to serial cable. These all use a Prolific chip that seems to be "obsolete" so I'm looking for a replacement.

  • Member #360180 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Bought the cable, and I have been trying to get it to work with an "arduino" I made (I whipped up an ATMega328p with headers, reset switch, and 5v regulator), and I conected GND to GND, VCC to VCC, RXD on cable to TXD on ATMega, and then TXD on cable to RXD on ATMega, and finally RTS to reset, but when I try uploading, I see that it resets because my blink program starts again, but then in the Arduino IDE it fails with

    avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00

    Any ideas?

    • airspoon / about 10 years ago / 1

      Yes, you're probably not choosing the right board under the tools option in the Arduino IDE. Should be an extremely simple fix!

    • Member #337567 / about 12 years ago / 1

      I am getting the exact same issue, cannot figure this out. If anyone can help, would greatly appreciate it.

  • cm22 / about 12 years ago / 1

    If you don't need all the fancy flow control and stuff, you can make your own cable for about $3. I built one myself and I can vouch that it works. It's just a TxD/RxD/GnD. Here's the tutorial: http://jethomson.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/diy-usb-to-serial-cable-for-3usd/

  • THEbatzuk / about 12 years ago / 1

    I'm planning to do some PIC microcontroller to PC communication, according to what I've been reading this will do that job, is that correct?

  • If anyone is having problems having this cable show up as a USB device and a com port, simply wiggle it around in all directions slowly and carefully. Once you get your computer to recognize it and have it install the drivers, you will be set for plug and play operations.

    If you successfully get the drivers installed and it comes up as a com port and it disappears/reappears constantly, the cable may have a loose connection and you should contact technical support.

  • jakek / about 12 years ago / 1

    I just received this cable and, I am having trouble with it. Should I return this item?

    When I plug it in, nothing appears as /dev/ttyUSB*. After plugging in, it isnt listed when I run "lsusb". However, when I do "lsmod | grep usb", I can see the driver:

    usbserial 37203 2 ftdi_sio,pl2303 usbhid 41905 0 hid 77367 1 usbhid

    I am running ubuntu 11.10. "uname -a"

    Linux jake-PC 3.0.0-15-generic-pae #26-Ubuntu SMP Fri Jan 20 17:07:31 UTC 2012 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

  • r0b0t dj / about 12 years ago / 1

    Just received and tried to use this cable with the Ethernet Pro Arduino (DEV-10536) but can't get any of three different Macs to recognize the cable. I've installed the most current drivers from FTDI but the computers never see it. I have an Arduino Mega that is recognized properly. The ethernet pro does turn on and run its OOB blink code, but sometimes will instead just turn on its led dimly and do nothing. Thinking either the cable or the board is bad but not sure. Anyone run into this before?

  • Member #186833 / about 13 years ago / 1

    Hey just wondering which is more suitable for the ArduIMU the 5v I/O or the 3.3V I/O. Just wanted to check before I release the magic smoke.

  • This cable worked like a charm on my Cypress PSOC-5 evaluation board. Up and running in 1 min. Now able to send Rx and Tx commands like a champ.
    To note: Rx relative on the "FTDI Cable Schematic", means the Tx on the micro controller. Tx on the "FTDI Cable Schematic" means Rx on the micro controller. (You probably know this, but I have had "fun" learning serial ports :))
    Like mentioned below, I'm interested in seeing the cable being able to handle loads larger than 70mA. I have personally tested this cable to 70mA as well and will hopefully soon test it to higher values.

  • (duplicate message removed)

  • When we are going to get these more?

  • Member #115363 / about 14 years ago / 1

    How long is it?

  • I think that it would be pretty awsome to see one of these with an ATMEGA8u2, like on the Arduino Uno... It would be faster... Just saying... These are cool too, but you caould add it along side.

  • yror10 / about 14 years ago / 1

    is the rts signal any different or worse than dtr?
    and are they nearly in because i really need one as opposed to buying an ftdi basic. :)

  • Is there a good tutorial and parts supplier so i can make my own custom wiring harnesses like this?

  • yror10 / about 14 years ago / 1

    stock ?!?!

  • Rotciv / about 14 years ago / 1

    What is the maximum current this cable can supply through the 5V wire?
    The schematic shows an inductor in series with VBUS which becomes 5V.
    Maybe in the next revision, have another leg of VBUS that connects directly to 5V.

    • N8B / about 14 years ago / 1

      An initialized USB port can typically supply 0.5A@5V however some ports that are part of hubs or integrated into other devices source down to 100mA when initialized.
      I also don't think the inductor inside the cable is 30ohms because I have used this cable to power devices that were drawing 70mA. At 70mA there would be a 2.1V drop across the inductor bringing the necessary 5V down to 2.9V, a little low for a 5V system. So the cable can certainly handle 70mA :)

      • co_buckfast / about 12 years ago / 1

        The inductor on the schematic is most likely a ferrite bead and the 30 ohms is the impedance at a fairly high frequency like 100 MHz. The dc resistance is more likely 30-50 milliohms. Having said that, SparkFun should probably place a note on the schematic describing both the AC and DC resistances to better inform their customers.

  • James12 / about 14 years ago / 1

    Yeah.. I ordered 2 of the 5V boards about 3 days ago. This would have been even better since I plan on soldering some headers and long cables to it.
    Cool product, but now I'm forced to find a reason to buy it (like everything else on this site)

    • Possible reasons:
      -credit card balance dangerously low
      -too many projects, not enough FTDI
      -first one on your block to have one
      -just because.

  • SlyVixsky / about 14 years ago / 1

    bought the FTDI 5V board a week ago to go with my new pro mini...for the extra $5 i think i would have ordered this instead just because of the convinence of the built in cable :)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

Based on 31 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Works great!

The device would seem to have the authentic FTDI chip since the Windows driver loaded nicely (not bricked or blocked as for fake chips). Cable works nicely with my Arduino Mini Pro programming.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Easy to use with no setup required

The FTDI cable worked as received. On plugging it in, Windows automatically installed the necessary drivers and I was able to use the cable together with my Arduino right away

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Works fine!

Does everything it should do.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Works well. No issues

Does what its supposed to when connected to the mega pro. Use to load sketches and receive serial data. Works just like a USB cable on a regular Arduino. I have the FTDI break out board also but prefer this cable for simplicity's sake.

Serial Communication with AVR microcontroller

Hooked it up, plugged it in, worked first time. What else could you want?

0 of 1 found this helpful:

Did the job!

It worked! I did have to go into Windows Control Panel-Device Manager, find the COM port and use the Advanced settings to change from COM11 to COM1 for my application, but otherwise, it worked without a hitch.

The link provided to the driver in the item description was especially helpful. I know buying a cheaper one can be risky, but these are priced high, so for my next one I bought it for less than half the cost of this one...we'll see how it goes.

This cable was just what I needed

Even though I only needed the CTS of this cable it worked when one I got from China did not.


Good quality FTDI cable.


I am not a programmer or developer. I am a musician using eurorack modular equipment. I had some modules that needed firmware updates and this cable got the job done. The USB cable was a better choice for me over the basic breakout board because of convenience factor. With this and some jumpers cables I will be able to update any module that uses this method for updating.

Does exactly as it claims

Great little device. You need a usb cable for the FTDI breakout anyway, why not just get one built in?

Great tool for development

A must have for communicating with boards using terminal programs like RealTerm and PuTTY. Plop a serial header on your PCB and you are off to the races.

FTDI Cable

Works as advertised... wires are a little on the small size.

I love these things!

I call these "magic cables". I buy them 5 at a time, and I'm up to at least 20 by now. I use PIC micro-controllers on wire-wrap boards for most of my projects. This cable provides two-way communications with the PC, and even powers the PIC. It works great with custom VB.NET apps, or PuTTy, a free terminal program. It even works reliably up to 2 MBaud through the Windows COM port interface! I dread the day when they are no longer available, hopefully many years from now.

This thing has been a pain since I bought it.

I needed a 5V TTL serial adaptor a few months ago. I decided I didn't want to gamble on a fake FTDI chip so I bought from Sparkfun. The application is an 8192 baud serial link for GM cars. Due to the odd baud rate, the only two chips that will work well are FTDI's FT232R series and the Silabs CP2102 series...and since it's standard TTL, that makes the FTDI the easiest solution.

Well, it's been an absolute nightmare to keep this thing working. One download, it's fine, the next, it's corrupting the firmware in the car's computer. Pull everything, put it on the bench, different wiring, different computer, different PC, same issues-sometimes it works, sometimes it's garbage. No rhyme or reason to it, I can't even get the thing to fail a loopback test-but you can't send data over it reliably. Even tried talking to the arduino with it, same results...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I hope the next one works better than this one.

What you're trying to do is possible, but involves modifying either the driver or the FT232R IC with some other software. FTDI has some documentation on getting non standard baud rates to work by changing the divisor used by the chip internally and/or modifying a standard baud rate to work at the non-standard one. Take a look at these links, they should help: http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/AppNotes/AN232B-05_BaudRates.pdf http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/AppNotes/AN_120_Aliasing_VCP_Baud_Rates.pdf

Missing RS232 Signals

This cable works fine if you are using the assembly in a 3-wire mode but if you need to use it in a full-handshake UART mode, this cable is missing critical signals. I'm not certain why the folks at Sparkfun just didn't bring out all the RS232 signals from the FTDI IC and let the user decide which to use.

Works great!

It does what it's supposed to do. Easier to use than the breakout board.

Haven't used it yet as this will be part of winter projects.

Too many outdoor projects to complete before snow is dumped on us. When the weather gets cold the Arduino projects are on the bench for learning and building.

Works great but too expensive

This work exactly like I need and the quality is so much better than the knock offs. Just wish it wasn't so expensive. Doubles my BOM cost.

Exactly what I needed

Used this with the Pro device. Works great.

Used Mac and Windows 10, both work fine.

Easiest to Use Development FTDI 5V Serial To Date

There was no special driver to install due to fake chipset. Contains the real thing chipset! Windows 10 recognized and setup the correct driver with no issue! Supplied sufficient power to Arduino Pro Mini 5V for proper operation.

FTDI Cable

Works great to clean up my RigExpert AA-30.zero antenna analyzer setup.

Works great with 8052-BASIC MCU trainer I'm making.

I'm using this cable to interface with the serial terminal pins on a 8052-BASIC MCU (circa 1984) that I'm in the process of building into a trainer. I only need to use the Rx, Tx and ground ground pins. The FTDI USB drivers automatically installed as normal and it worked the first time and continues to work...

work perfect

I use this with an 1802 Membership Card, connected to a Gentoo Linux workstation, and I/O at any baud rate supported by the 1802 firmware works.

Thanks for the review, and for mentioning the 1802 Membership Card. I'll have to check that out!

Works, but shoddy workmanship

Update: I learned an important lesson with this product. If it does not work right, contact customer support and they will make it right. I did not do that, and thus mu original bad reviews. BUT, it seems SparkFun reads reviews. The cable was replaced and it works as I originally expected, so I have updated this review to 5 stars. Thank you to SparkFun for actually reading reviews and acting on my disappointment. Impressive customer service. I am once again a happy SparkFun customer. :-)

Original review:

This does what it is supposed to, but for the price, the cable's quality is crap. Right out of the box, if the cable flex's the wrong way, it disconnects. I can still make it work by being careful, but some quality control at Sparkfun would be nice.

I have enjoyed other things I have purchased, but this one gets a FAIL.

Sorry about that, it sounds like you received a defective cable. We will reach out to you to get this fixed!

Great Purchase!

Works perfectly.

Gets the Job done!

The cable itself works flawlessly programming the pro minis. Only complaint is that the white pinout has rubbed off so I had to add tape to label the pins.

Great for roomba interfacing

Works with Windows 8.1 and is great for roomba SCI interfacing.