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Serial mode

The default mode of pylibftdi devices is to behave as a serial UART device, similar to the 'COM1' device found on older PCs. Nowadays most PCs operate with serial devices over USB-serial adapters, which may often include their own FTDI chips. To remain compatible with the RS232 standard however, these adapters will often include level-shifting circuitry which is of no benefit in communicating with other circuits operating at the 3.3 or 5 volt levels the FTDI hardware uses.

The default serial configuration is 9600 baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit and no parity (sometimes referred to as 8-N-1). This is the default configuration of the old 'COM' devices back to the days of the original IBM PC and MS-DOS.

Setting line parameters

Changing line parameters other than the baudrate is supported via use of the underlying FTDI function calls.

Subclassing Device - A MIDI device

To abstract application code from the details of any particular interface, it may be helpful to subclass the Device class, providing the required configuration in the __init__ method to act in a certain way. For example, the MIDI protocol used by electronic music devices is an asynchronous serial protocol operating at 31250 baud, and with the same 8-N-1 parameters which pylibftdi defaults to.

Creating a MidiDevice subclass of Device is straightforward:

class MidiDevice(Device):
    "subclass of pylibftdi.Device configured for MIDI"

    def __init__(self, *o, **k):
        Device.__init__(self, *o, **k)
        self.baudrate = 31250

Note it is important that the superclass __init__ is called first; calling it on an uninitialised Device would fail, and even if it succeeded, the superclass __init__ method resets baudrate to 9600 anyway to ensure a consistent setup for devices which may have been previously used with different parameters.

Use of the MidiDevice class is simple - as a pylibftdi Device instance, it provides a file-based API. Simply read() and write() the data to an instance of the class:

>>> m = MidiDevice()
>>> m.write('\x90\x80\x80')
>>> time.sleep(1)
>>> m.write('\x80\x00')