Nigel Kendrick's Shukran Board Turns the FT232H Into a Protected, Flexible Debug and Analysis Device

For around $16 in parts, the Shukran could prove a very low-cost yet highly-flexible entry for any tinkerer's electronics toolbox.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months ago β€’ Hardware 101
The Shukran board turns an FT232H module into a flexible debug and analysis tool. (πŸ“·: Nigel Kendrick)

Nigel Kendrick's Shukran β€” Arabic for "thanks" β€” board turns the low-cost CJMCU FT232H module, itself based on the FTDI FT232H multifunction USB bridge, into a flexible tool for bus and device hacking and analysis.

"The FT232H is a versatile multifunction USB to JTAG/UART/FIFO/SPI/I2C chip from FTDI that has been used on a number of generic interface, flash reader/programmer and signal probing boards," Kendrick explains. "This project is a baseboard for the CJMCU FT232H module, which is widely available on auction sites for under $8/Β£6.

"Plugging a CJMCU board onto the Shukran creates an easy-to-use multi-function bus/device hacking and analysis tool with protected (current limited) 5V power pins, 3.3V power, spare pull-up resistors and indicator LEDs, all for around $16/Β£12 total. The Shukran is designed to be assembled by anyone with moderate soldering skills; all components are through-hole except for two larger, surface mount, ones which should be easy to fit with a soldering iron."

The board design, when fully populated with components, provides breakout pins for all FT232H ports and power rails, a dedicated I2C header, two dedicated I2C pull-ups, two spare pull-ups, two user-configurable status LEDs which can be linked to breakout pins, 5V and switched VBUS (5V) connection points alongside 3.3V and ground connections, plus a dedicated indicator LED on the AC9 bus line. "Unlike some FT232H (and FT2232H) breakout boards," Kendrick adds, "all Shukran 5V power pins are protected by a 500mA poly-fuse to reduce the risk of over-current conditions or damaging the host USB port."

The Shukran is designed to compatible with tools and programming environments from CircuitPython to OpenOCD, and has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike-NonCommercial licence on Kendrick's GitHub repository. The board design is also available on EasyEDA alongside a schematic and a full bill of materials.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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