Getting Started with PL2303 USB to UART Converter

Getting Started with PL2303 USB to UART Converter

USB to UART Converter is a very useful tool for Embedded Systems. If you haven’t one, please try to buy it. It will definitely boost development speed of projects which uses UART modules like interfacing GSM, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi …  By using it we can easily study these modules by sending data directly from your PC and analyzing the received data in your computer display without programming a microcontroller. Here we will use PL2303, one of the most popular USB to UART Converter manufactured by Prolific Technology Inc.

Installing Driver

Before starting using UART, you need to install driver for PL2303. You can install driver in two ways. If your system is connected to internet, you can install driver using windows update otherwise you need to download the driver setup file and install it. First we will see, installing driver using windows update.

With Internet Connection

  • Verify that your internet connect is OK and plug in the PL2303 USB to UART Converter to you PC.
  • Windows Update will automatically search for driver and install instantly if it is available.
  • If the automatic update doesn’t work, go to Control Panel >> System and Security >> Device Manger
After Plug in the Device - Device Manager

After Plug in the Device – Device Manager

  • Right Click on USB-Serial Controller >> Update Driver
Update Driver Software

Update Driver Software

  • Select “Search Automatically for updated driver software”.
  • Then the Windows will Search, Download and Install the driver.

Without Internet Connection

If your system has no internet connection, you can follow this method. But you still need to download driver setup files form some other computer which has internet connection.

  • Download PL2303 Driver using a computer which has internet connection.
  • Copy the file to your PC and Unzip it
Downloaded Files

Downloaded Files

  • Install PL2303_Prolific_DriverInstaller_v1.8.0 by following the on screen instructions.
  • After completing the installation, plugin the PL2303 USB to UART converter to your PC
After Plug in the Device

After Plug in the Device

After completing the installation in any of the above methods, verify that the device is working fine and note the COM port number using the Device Manager.


Driver Installation Completed

Driver Installation Completed

Then you may verify the PL2303 chip version by using the Check Version Tool in the Downloaded ZIP file.

  • Open checkChipVersion_v1006.exe
  • Select the COM Port number
  • Click Check
Checking Chip Version

Checking Chip Version

 Usage

PL2303 USB to UART Converter

PL2303 USB to UART Converter

For using this USB to UART Converter you need a software tool. Most of the development tools like MikroC Pro, Arduino has a UART Tool along with it. Here we are going to use a freeware called Terminal.

  • You can download UART Terminal here.
  • Unzip the downloaded zip file to get Terminal.exe

Terminal.exe is a portable tool, ie no need to install it. To demonstrate the working of this tool with PL2303 USB to UART Converter, just short the TX and RX pins using a jumber as shown below.

Shorting TX and RX of USB to UART Converter

Shorting TX and RX of USB to UART Converter

Now, data received by the device will be the data transmitted by the device.



  • Open Terminal.exe
Open UART Terminal

Open UART Terminal

  • Select the COM Port and other required settings
  • Click “Connect” button on top left.
UART Terminal - Connected

UART Terminal – Connected

  • Now you can send data from the transmit section and verify it with received data
Sending and Receiving Data - UART Terminal

Sending and Receiving Data – UART Terminal

I hope that you are understand the usage of Terminal tool with PL2303 USB to UART Converter. If you have any doubts regarding this, please comment below.

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