If you own a low-end RC transmitter with the Trainer port, you can program it using USBThumb (using the default USBThumbSerial firmware https://code.google.com/p/usbthumb/).
The pin-out for the Trainer port is as follows, note the green wire (ground) is connected to the outer metal ring of the connector.
Please note that this is not guaranteed to work with all transmitters, but if you own an UsbThumb you can use it this way. I also use UsbThumb to program Propeller chips (see http://www.starlino.com/usbthumb_propeller_programmer.html).
USBThumb can be programmed with different firmware, including all Microchip samples from USB Framwework (use the ones for low pin count USB demo board).
In order to upload a new firmware to USBThumb you need to enter the bootloader mode. This is done by connecting the VPP pin to ground during the time when device is plugged into the USB port.
This can achieved by placing a jumper wire or a 1K resistor (recommended) between GND and VPP pin.
GND pin is number 1, and VPP is number 5. Make sure you do not confuse VPP with the nearby VDD(pin number 4) or you will get a short !!! To be safe use a 1K or 10K resistor instead of the wire. Wire/resistor can be held by the spring action, it only needs to make contact during a split second while the device is plugged. If you plan on making frequent firmware updates , soldering a header is recommended.
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The Parallax's classic propeller programmer PropPlug is simply a USB to Serial converter, the DTR/RTS signals are used to reset the Propeller chip before starting the programming sequence.
A custom PIC firmware comes preloaded on the
"USBThumb Propeller Programmer" available on GadgetGangster.com, it allows you to use USBThumb as a Propeller Programmer but also as USB to Serial converter.
USBThumb (loaded with USBThumbSerial firmware) is detected on your computer as a standard CDC Modem device and works on all modern operating systems (Windows, Mac os , Linux).
On Windows you might be asked for driver path once you attach the device, simply use the driver part of the Microchip's USB Framework (it can be found in C:\Microchip Solutions\USB Device – CDC – Serial Emulator\inf\win2k_winxp ) , and I am including a copy for direct download here:
On Windows you can identify USBThumb's COM port number from Device Manager:
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