1. This forum section is a read-only archive which contains old newsgroup posts. If you wish to post a query, please do so in one of our main forum sections (here). This way you will get a faster, better response from the members on Motherboard Point.

What is the best USB-to-RS232 adapter out there?

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Chris_99, May 12, 2006.

  1. Chris_99

    Chris_99 Guest

    Gang:

    Now that all the cuel new laptops have no serial ports and no PCMCIA
    card slot, and I am stuck haplessly with USB, does anyone have a good
    experience with any USB (or fire-wire) serial devices?

    I have many legacy apps that want to talk to a UART real bad and the
    quality of the driver would be the issue here.

    I would really appreciate a couple of names of devices I could purchase
    and try with all of these old utilities...

    Thanks!

    Chris
     
    Chris_99, May 12, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. "Chris_99" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Gang:
    >
    > Now that all the cuel new laptops have no serial ports and no PCMCIA
    > card slot, and I am stuck haplessly with USB, does anyone have a good
    > experience with any USB (or fire-wire) serial devices?
    >


    The ones with an FTDI chip inside.

    Meindert
     
    Meindert Sprang, May 12, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Chris_99

    Chris_99 Guest

    Meindert Sprang wrote:
    > "Chris_99" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > Gang:
    > >
    > > Now that all the cuel new laptops have no serial ports and no PCMCIA
    > > card slot, and I am stuck haplessly with USB, does anyone have a good
    > > experience with any USB (or fire-wire) serial devices?
    > >

    >
    > The ones with an FTDI chip inside.
    >
    > Meindert


    Meindert:

    Thanks for the tip. Found FTDI stuff at Parallax,Inc. in the States

    thanks!

    Chris
     
    Chris_99, May 12, 2006
    #3
  4. On 2006-05-12, Chris_99 <> wrote:

    > Now that all the cuel new laptops have no serial ports and no
    > PCMCIA card slot, and I am stuck haplessly with USB, does
    > anyone have a good experience with any USB (or fire-wire)
    > serial devices?


    I've tried 3-4 different USB ones and they all worked fine. I
    think they all use either the PL2303 or the FTDI chipset. Both
    chipsets are recognized by Linux out-of-the-box and are purely
    plug and play.

    If you're using Windows, you'll have to go download drivers
    from somewhere and reboot 9 times.

    > I have many legacy apps that want to talk to a UART real bad
    > and the quality of the driver would be the issue here.


    No problem if you're running Linux.

    > I would really appreciate a couple of names of devices I could
    > purchase and try with all of these old utilities...


    Names are meaningless. You can buy two identically branded and
    labelled devices and end up with two different chipsets.

    --
    Grant Edwards grante Yow! I just had a NOSE
    at JOB!!
    visi.com
     
    Grant Edwards, May 12, 2006
    #4
  5. Chris_99

    Dave Hansen Guest

    On 12 May 2006 07:54:21 -0700 in comp.arch.embedded, "Chris_99"
    <> wrote:

    >Gang:
    >
    >Now that all the cuel new laptops have no serial ports and no PCMCIA
    >card slot, and I am stuck haplessly with USB, does anyone have a good
    >experience with any USB (or fire-wire) serial devices?
    >
    >I have many legacy apps that want to talk to a UART real bad and the
    >quality of the driver would be the issue here.
    >
    >I would really appreciate a couple of names of devices I could purchase
    >and try with all of these old utilities...


    Just a warning I haven't seen anyone else post yet: What kinds of
    apps are you taking about?

    If you're talking about simple serial communications, such as to a
    terminal or another computer, you're probably OK. USB has stabilized
    pretty. Everything I've tried in the last couple years, at least,
    even on Windoze boxes, has worked flawlessly.

    But if you've got something more esoteric, with tight timing
    requirements, such as a chip programmer or a dongle, something that
    isn't "pure", it may be that no USB device will work with it. For
    example, no USB serial or parallel port (that I'm aware of, at least)
    will allow you to toggle a control line faster than 500 Hz (the time
    base for USB frames is 1 ms).

    I only mention this because embedded programmers are more likely to
    have such applications than the general population.

    Regards,
    -=Dave

    --
    Change is inevitable, progress is not.
     
    Dave Hansen, May 12, 2006
    #5
  6. "Dave Hansen" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On 12 May 2006 07:54:21 -0700 in comp.arch.embedded, "Chris_99"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>Gang:
    >>
    >>Now that all the cuel new laptops have no serial ports and no PCMCIA
    >>card slot, and I am stuck haplessly with USB, does anyone have a good
    >>experience with any USB (or fire-wire) serial devices?
    >>
    >>I have many legacy apps that want to talk to a UART real bad and the
    >>quality of the driver would be the issue here.
    >>
    >>I would really appreciate a couple of names of devices I could purchase
    >>and try with all of these old utilities...

    >
    > Just a warning I haven't seen anyone else post yet: What kinds of
    > apps are you taking about?
    >
    > If you're talking about simple serial communications, such as to a
    > terminal or another computer, you're probably OK. USB has stabilized
    > pretty. Everything I've tried in the last couple years, at least,
    > even on Windoze boxes, has worked flawlessly.
    >
    > But if you've got something more esoteric, with tight timing
    > requirements, such as a chip programmer or a dongle, something that
    > isn't "pure", it may be that no USB device will work with it. For
    > example, no USB serial or parallel port (that I'm aware of, at least)
    > will allow you to toggle a control line faster than 500 Hz (the time
    > base for USB frames is 1 ms).
    >
    > I only mention this because embedded programmers are more likely to
    > have such applications than the general population.


    Just to add a bit more to that: if these are *very* legacy, e.g. DOS with
    direct UART access, you're out of luck.

    Under Windoze, or any other OS with a hardware abstraction layer, it should
    be fine.

    Steve
    http://www.fivetrees.com
     
    Steve at fivetrees, May 12, 2006
    #6
  7. Chris_99

    Don McKenzie Guest

    Chris_99 wrote:

    > Gang:
    >
    > Now that all the cuel new laptops have no serial ports and no PCMCIA
    > card slot, and I am stuck haplessly with USB, does anyone have a good
    > experience with any USB (or fire-wire) serial devices?
    >
    > I have many legacy apps that want to talk to a UART real bad and the
    > quality of the driver would be the issue here.
    >
    > I would really appreciate a couple of names of devices I could purchase
    > and try with all of these old utilities...
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Chris


    Have a read of:
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/product.php?productid=16139

    you will see that this uses the FTDI chipset, is manufactured by
    Easysync, an FTDI company, and works where many others fail.

    Read the comments from customers on that page.

    Don...


    --
    Don McKenzie
    E-Mail Contact Page: http://www.dontronics.com/e-mail.html

    Micro,TTL,USB to 1.5" color LCD http://www.dontronics.com/micro-lcd.html
    USB,RS232 or TTL to VGA Monitor http://www.dontronics.com/micro-vga.html
    World's smallest USB 2 TTL Conv http://www.dontronics.com/micro-usb.html
     
    Don McKenzie, May 12, 2006
    #7
  8. Chris_99

    Guest

    Chris_99 wrote:
    > Gang:
    >
    > I would really appreciate a couple of names of devices I could purchase
    > and try with all of these old utilities...
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Chris


    I have had problems with the Prolific chip. It's a driver issue, not a
    chip issue, but Prolific provides both, so the difference is moot.
    (The driver has problems with certain function calls...)

    I don't see these issues with FTDI based units. And I've heard good
    things about the TI and SiLabs controllers.

    As someone pointed out you can find different chips in the same product
    from the same maker. IOGear changed chips a while back, and you can
    only tell them apart by the revision code.

    Expect to pay a bit more for one where you actually know what chip is
    in it.

    Hope that helps.
     
    , May 13, 2006
    #8
  9. Chris_99

    Neil Guest

    wrote:
    > Chris_99 wrote:
    >> Gang:
    >>
    >> I would really appreciate a couple of names of devices I could purchase
    >> and try with all of these old utilities...
    >>
    >> Thanks!
    >>
    >> Chris

    >
    > I have had problems with the Prolific chip. It's a driver issue, not a
    > chip issue, but Prolific provides both, so the difference is moot.
    > (The driver has problems with certain function calls...)
    >
    > I don't see these issues with FTDI based units. And I've heard good
    > things about the TI and SiLabs controllers.
    >
    > As someone pointed out you can find different chips in the same product
    > from the same maker. IOGear changed chips a while back, and you can
    > only tell them apart by the revision code.
    >
    > Expect to pay a bit more for one where you actually know what chip is
    > in it.
    >
    > Hope that helps.
    >

    Do they still work. My IO Gear converters work fine.
     
    Neil, May 13, 2006
    #9
  10. >
    >> Gang:
    >>
    >> Now that all the cuel new laptops have no serial ports and no PCMCIA
    >> card slot, and I am stuck haplessly with USB, does anyone have a
    >> good experience with any USB (or fire-wire) serial devices?
    >>
    >> I have many legacy apps that want to talk to a UART real bad and the
    >> quality of the driver would be the issue here.
    >>
    >> I would really appreciate a couple of names of devices I could
    >> purchase and try with all of these old utilities...

    >
    > Just a warning I haven't seen anyone else post yet: What kinds of
    > apps are you taking about?
    >
    > If you're talking about simple serial communications, such as to a
    > terminal or another computer, you're probably OK. USB has stabilized
    > pretty. Everything I've tried in the last couple years, at least,
    > even on Windoze boxes, has worked flawlessly.
    >
    > But if you've got something more esoteric, with tight timing
    > requirements, such as a chip programmer or a dongle, something that
    > isn't "pure", it may be that no USB device will work with it. For
    > example, no USB serial or parallel port (that I'm aware of, at least)
    > will allow you to toggle a control line faster than 500 Hz (the time
    > base for USB frames is 1 ms).


    If you are using a standard driver.
    Why not use more end points and a non standard protocol
    USB <-> JTAG Emulators certainly toggle the JTAG faster than 500 Hz

    You can get CDC (Communication Device Class) drivers for the
    AT91SAM7 series so you do not have to bother with special chips
    like FTDI to implement the serial port.

    >
    > I only mention this because embedded programmers are more likely to
    > have such applications than the general population.
    >
    > Regards,
    > -=Dave


    --
    Best Regards,
    Ulf Samuelsson

    This message is intended to be my own personal view and it
    may or may not be shared by my employer Atmel Nordic AB
     
    Ulf Samuelsson, May 13, 2006
    #10
  11. Chris_99

    CBFalconer Guest

    Dave Hansen wrote:
    >"Chris_99" <> wrote:
    >
    >> Now that all the cuel new laptops have no serial ports and no
    >> PCMCIA card slot, and I am stuck haplessly with USB, does anyone
    >> have a good experience with any USB (or fire-wire) serial devices?


    I can't stand the suspense any longer. What is a "cuel laptop"? I
    can't make any sense of any possible typo or misspelling.

    --
    "If you want to post a followup via groups.google.com, don't use
    the broken "Reply" link at the bottom of the article. Click on
    "show options" at the top of the article, then click on the
    "Reply" at the bottom of the article headers." - Keith Thompson
    More details at: <http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/>
    Also see <http://www.safalra.com/special/googlegroupsreply/>
     
    CBFalconer, May 13, 2006
    #11
  12. On Sat, 13 May 2006 09:42:34 -0400, the renowned CBFalconer
    <> wrote:

    >Dave Hansen wrote:
    >>"Chris_99" <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Now that all the cuel new laptops have no serial ports and no
    >>> PCMCIA card slot, and I am stuck haplessly with USB, does anyone
    >>> have a good experience with any USB (or fire-wire) serial devices?

    >
    >I can't stand the suspense any longer. What is a "cuel laptop"? I
    >can't make any sense of any possible typo or misspelling.


    He means 'kewl'.


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
    --
    "it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
    Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
    Embedded software/hardware/analog Info for designers: http://www.speff.com
     
    Spehro Pefhany, May 13, 2006
    #12
  13. CBFalconer <> wrote:
    >Dave Hansen wrote:
    >>"Chris_99" <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Now that all the cuel new laptops ...

    >I can't stand the suspense any longer. What is a "cuel laptop"? I
    >can't make any sense of any possible typo or misspelling.


    "cuel" := "cool"

    It took me a long time to figure this out. I guess you and I are not
    cuel anymore...
     
    Roberto Waltman, May 13, 2006
    #13
  14. Chris_99

    Bob Guest

    In article <>, Roberto Waltman
    <> writes
    >CBFalconer <> wrote:
    >>Dave Hansen wrote:
    >>>"Chris_99" <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Now that all the cuel new laptops ...

    >>I can't stand the suspense any longer. What is a "cuel laptop"? I
    >>can't make any sense of any possible typo or misspelling.

    >
    >"cuel" := "cool"
    >
    >It took me a long time to figure this out. I guess you and I are not
    >cuel anymore...


    Well, I thought he missed the "r" out, since I think it's particularly
    cruel that these laptops have no serial ports :p
     
    Bob, May 13, 2006
    #14
  15. On 2006-05-13, Bob <> wrote:

    >>"cuel" := "cool"
    >>
    >>It took me a long time to figure this out. I guess you and I are not
    >>cuel anymore...

    >
    > Well, I thought he missed the "r" out, since I think it's
    > particularly cruel that these laptops have no serial ports :p


    A USB serial cable is only $10 if you keep your eyes open. I,
    for one, am quite happy to pay the $10 in return for the cheap
    laptop prices that mass-market volume has brought. The mass
    market doesn't need serial ports, so mass-market laptops aren't
    going to have them.

    --
    Grant Edwards grante Yow! Is this "BIKINI
    at BEACH"?
    visi.com
     
    Grant Edwards, May 13, 2006
    #15
  16. Chris_99

    Bob Guest

    In article <>, Grant Edwards
    <> writes
    >On 2006-05-13, Bob <> wrote:
    >
    >>>"cuel" := "cool"
    >>>
    >>>It took me a long time to figure this out. I guess you and I are not
    >>>cuel anymore...

    >>
    >> Well, I thought he missed the "r" out, since I think it's
    >> particularly cruel that these laptops have no serial ports :p

    >
    >A USB serial cable is only $10 if you keep your eyes open. I,
    >for one, am quite happy to pay the $10 in return for the cheap
    >laptop prices that mass-market volume has brought. The mass
    >market doesn't need serial ports, so mass-market laptops aren't
    >going to have them.


    Apparently you missed the smiley...
     
    Bob, May 13, 2006
    #16
  17. Chris_99

    Guest

    Ulf Samuelsson wrote:
    > > But if you've got something more esoteric, with tight timing
    > > requirements, such as a chip programmer or a dongle, something that
    > > isn't "pure", it may be that no USB device will work with it. For
    > > example, no USB serial or parallel port (that I'm aware of, at least)
    > > will allow you to toggle a control line faster than 500 Hz (the time
    > > base for USB frames is 1 ms).

    >
    > If you are using a standard driver.
    > Why not use more end points and a non standard protocol
    > USB <-> JTAG Emulators certainly toggle the JTAG faster than 500 Hz


    Yes, because they don't bit-bang JTAG with the PC software. They send
    data and commands down to a microncontroller in the dongle, which then
    does the bit-banging locally, without having to work through the USB
    latency.

    Some even have a CPLD/FPGA in there to handle the serial protocol in
    hardware (freescale HCS12 BDM protocol for example is very hard to do
    in software as it is locked to the target clock frequency, rather than
    timed by the programmer)

    USB is a good interface for embedded programmers - but you have to put
    the detailed target interaction on the other end of the USB cable, and
    only sends higher level things that can tolerate some latency over the
    USB.

    It's an inconvenient, but fairly general trend, that the faster PC's
    become, the greater latency they suffer in interacting with the outside
    world. Absolutely in terms of processor clock cycles, and often even
    in terms of time - a good old ISA pentium machine with a real parallel
    port is a better platform for CPU-based realtime tinkering than the
    latest multi-GHZ no-legacy box. On a modern box, you're back to having
    to use IO processors to handle anything that can't tolerate substantial
    turnaround latency.
     
    , May 14, 2006
    #17
  18. Chris_99

    purple_stars Guest

    everybody else covered it.

    i would add that i have had the occasional buffering problem with the
    converters. that is to say that if you have something like say a pic
    usart talking to your computer via rs-232 and you turn off the pic and
    then turn it back on you can sometimes suddenly get "old" data out of
    the converter, stuff that was queued up before the processor was
    cycled. but even that is a minor problem, i've not ever had it cause
    real problems. maybe it could though if say you were using a GPS
    receiver and ... i don't know, i have trouble even thinking of a
    situation where that could get you into any real mischief lol ...

    Chris_99 wrote:
    > Gang:
    >
    > Now that all the cuel new laptops have no serial ports and no PCMCIA
    > card slot, and I am stuck haplessly with USB, does anyone have a good
    > experience with any USB (or fire-wire) serial devices?
    >
    > I have many legacy apps that want to talk to a UART real bad and the
    > quality of the driver would be the issue here.
    >
    > I would really appreciate a couple of names of devices I could purchase
    > and try with all of these old utilities...
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Chris
     
    purple_stars, May 14, 2006
    #18
  19. Chris_99

    David Brown Guest

    Bob wrote:
    > In article <>, Grant Edwards
    > <> writes
    >> On 2006-05-13, Bob <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>> "cuel" := "cool"
    >>>>
    >>>> It took me a long time to figure this out. I guess you and I are not
    >>>> cuel anymore...
    >>> Well, I thought he missed the "r" out, since I think it's
    >>> particularly cruel that these laptops have no serial ports :p

    >> A USB serial cable is only $10 if you keep your eyes open. I,
    >> for one, am quite happy to pay the $10 in return for the cheap
    >> laptop prices that mass-market volume has brought. The mass
    >> market doesn't need serial ports, so mass-market laptops aren't
    >> going to have them.

    >
    > Apparently you missed the smiley...


    What bugs me most with modern laptops is that they often lack a parallel
    port. For most uses, a USB-based serial port will work perfectly well
    (and it's easy to add several), but for simple, cheap and easy-to-use
    programming adaptors nothing beats the parallel port.
     
    David Brown, May 14, 2006
    #19
  20. Chris_99

    CBFalconer Guest

    David Brown wrote:
    >

    .... snip ...
    >
    > What bugs me most with modern laptops is that they often lack a
    > parallel port. For most uses, a USB-based serial port will work
    > perfectly well (and it's easy to add several), but for simple,
    > cheap and easy-to-use programming adaptors nothing beats the
    > parallel port.


    There are three essentials that are missing from far too many
    machines. If the public simply insisted on them they would be
    present. All are cheap.

    1. Real serial port(s)
    2. Real parallel port(s)
    3. ECC memory.

    The first two are for usability, the last for reliability.

    --
    "If you want to post a followup via groups.google.com, don't use
    the broken "Reply" link at the bottom of the article. Click on
    "show options" at the top of the article, then click on the
    "Reply" at the bottom of the article headers." - Keith Thompson
    More details at: <http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/>
    Also see <http://www.safalra.com/special/googlegroupsreply/>
     
    CBFalconer, May 14, 2006
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Replies:
    1
    Views:
    897
    Alex van Denzel
    Feb 27, 2005
  2. Alf Jacob Munthe

    USB to RS232 adapter for Windows XP

    Alf Jacob Munthe, Sep 30, 2003, in forum: Laptops
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    291
    Alf Jacob Munthe
    Sep 30, 2003
  3. Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

    Please suggest USB to RS232 adapter that works 100%

    Tomás Ó hÉilidhe, Jun 13, 2008, in forum: Embedded
    Replies:
    17
    Views:
    898
    Don McKenzie
    Jul 31, 2008
  4. D P Schreber

    Re: USB-to-RS232 adapter for Macbook?

    D P Schreber, Dec 31, 2006, in forum: Apple
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    707
    Keith
    Jan 2, 2007
  5. Claude V. Lucas

    USB > DB9F/rs232 adapter?

    Claude V. Lucas, Nov 25, 2007, in forum: Apple
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    339
    Claude V. Lucas
    Nov 26, 2007
Loading...

Share This Page