| Hacking Palm Cable |
Last Modified: 2006-08-09
This page shows how to make a Palm cable using a level-shifter kit, and 4-conductor cable, and a serial hotsync cable. It requires soldering and modifications to the serial hotsync cable. You may also be able to make a Palm connection by attaching a DB9 serial interface connector to your serial hotsync cable. You'll probably need a null modem adapter between the hotsync cable and serial interface connector. An additional serial interface extension cable makes it easier to route the serial connection into tight quarters as you may find in a PPRK platform.
This hack is applicable for all handhelds with a universal 16-pin connector, such as the m500 series, m125, m130 and the i705. This cable hack may allow you to interface these Palm units to your BrainStem controller or other microcontroller.
This examples uses the Belkin Palm Serial Sync Cable (Item #: 20078577, Style #: F3X1082-03) which can be found at OfficeMax or other dealers of Belkin products.
The Belkin 16-pin Universal Cable
Once you have the Palm cable, you'll need our RS-232 level Shifter Kit. You may also find it useful to invest in the Acroname 4-conductor cable w/connector which is a pre-crimped 4-Pin connector with a Molex housing. This extension cable is useful if you are plugging it into a Acroname Standardized Serial port. Of course, you can also use any wires and crimps you may have in your posession. If you use your own wires, you may want to chose a different color wire for each of the four connections.
The Level Shifter Kit
You'll want to follow the instructions that came with your level shifter kit, and build that first or use the serial interface connector. Once you have a serial interface connector, determine how long you want the cable to be for your application. Once you have cut the cable to the length that you need, cut away about 3/4" of the black housing to expose the color wires inside. You'll want to cut the housing carefully so you don't cut into the wires inside. Once you've completed this step, you can cut off the wires that you will not be using. For this interface, you need the yellow, brown and blue wires. Blue is GND, Yellow is HRX, and Brown is HTX. Take your wire stripper and remove about 1/8" of the insulation on each of the three wires, as shown in the photo below.
Stripped off ends of the Universal cable.
Now that you have the Level Shifter board built and the cable ends stripped, you are ready to solder the wires to the board. Page 8 of the Level Shifter instruction booklet has a diagram showing the GND, HRX, and HTX connections. On the Host side of the level shifter board, the Blue wire needs to be soldered to GND, the Yellow wire gets soldered to HRX, and the Brown wire gets soldered to HTX. This is also clearly documented in the Level Shifter instruction booklet.
Assuming that you are using our 4-Pin Connector cable, consider the red wire as ground. Strip the ends, and get ready to solder. On the BrainStem side of the Level Shifter board, solder the red wire into the GND position. The wire next to GND is STX, solder that into the STX position, the next wire is Vcc, and gets soldered into the Vcc position, and the last wire is SRX which gets soldered into the SRX position. Again, this is documented in the Level Shifter instruction booklet.
Close up of the finished board with the cables attached.
Now you are ready to plug your cable into your Palm and BrainStem, OOPic, etc. and test it out!
This cable hack example was created by Abraham L. Howell with a few updates from us at Acroname. Thanks Abraham!
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