The USB Wildcard™ - Add Universal Serial Bus Communications to your instrument controller
The USB Wildcard implements a standard USB (Universal Serial Bus) interface that enables a PC host to communicate with Mosaic's embedded computers for data logging, data acquisition, high-performance measurements and instrument control. This tiny 2" by 2.5" board is a member of the Wildcard series of mezzanine boards that connect to Mosaic embedded controllers. You can plug it into Mosaic's QCard, QScreen, or PDQ Board to add USB communications to your application.
Industry Standard Operation
Mosaic's USB Wildcard is implemented using the industry standard FT245BM chip made by FTDI, and behaves as a peripheral on the USB bus. A pre-configured EEPROM memory on the board automatically announces the USB configuration data to the PC host during USB enumeration after the Wildcard is plugged in.
Optional Bus-Powered Operation
For Mosaic Controller stacks that require a single +5V supply, it may be convenient to take advantage of the 5 volt power that the USB host can deliver. A jumper on the USB Wildcard enables selection of either self powered or bus powered mode. In self powered mode, the controller and its Wildcards do not draw power from the USB bus. The bus powered mode taps the +5V 500 mA USB supply to power the USB Wildcard and the entire connected controller stack.
Uses Standard USB Cables
A 5-pin "Mini-B" USB receptacle is mounted on the USB Wildcard. A standard "Type A to 5-pin Mini-B" USB cable Part# USB-C37 interfaces the Wildcard to your PC or other USB host. If the board-mounted Mini-B receptacle does not meet the form factor requirements of your instrument, a 5-pin header enables connection to a panel-mounted Type B USB receptacle Part# USB-C36 available from Mosaic.
The USB Wildcard complies with the "Full Speed" USB peripheral device standard. Data rates on the USB cable exceed 2.4 Megabits per second (MBit/s), and benchmarked end-to-end throughput on a PDQ series controller exceeds 320 MBit/s.
Pre-coded Software Drivers
Royalty-free PC drivers from FTDI run on your PC to manage communications with the USB Wildcard, converting the data stream to a "virtual com port" that can talk to a terminal or other PC application. Mosaic supplies a package of pre-coded device driver functions to control the USB Wildcard hardware. This software makes it easy to revector the standard serial I/O print and scan functions to use the USB port
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