I am trying to use a Maxbotix 7386 and 7076 acoustic sensor (not at the same time) with Minicom on my Pi 3. I now have the Pi seeing the sensor, but Minicom is giving a whole bunch of garbage data, and only randomly displaying the range. The 7076 needs to run through an inverter first. The Pi was not even seeing the sensor at first, but since we got better connectors, that seemed to help.
The sensors transmit the data at 5 V, so I am running the data through resistors to bring the voltage down to 3.3 volts, even though the company's page on interfacing with a Pi do not mention bringing the voltage down. I did not think it was a good idea to send 5V serial data through my GPIO pins.
Does this seem like a connector issue, where poor connections are creating noise, or possibly a Minicom configuration issue, or something else?