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Trying to implement RS232 hardware handshaking between a PC Serial port and an Analog Devices Blackf

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by reuvenkishon, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. reuvenkishon

    reuvenkishon Guest

    Ahh the ever popular confusing with RS232 continues.

    So the first thing I'm asking myself is if my dsp (the blackfin 533) is
    a DCE or DTE. I'm assuming it's a DTE for the time being.

    So I figure that all I need to do is use a null modem cable that has
    the TX and RX lines crossed as well as the RTS and CTS lines. I figure
    I will just use two of the Blackfin's Programmable Flags to behave as
    RTS and CTS lines.

    The confusion arises when I ask myself if the RTS signal from the PC's
    serial port is a signal that means Ready to Receive, or Request to
    Send. I've done a lot of reading online and some places say it's Ready
    to Receive, others mention Request to Send.

    I'm working on the assumption that the RTS signal means Ready to
    Receive. In this case, all I would do is monitor that line on the DSP
    side until it's negated. When it's negated (a logic level "1" I
    believe), then I would make sure the DSP stops sending data out the
    UART. Conversely, I would use a programmable flag on the DSP to assert
    the PC Serial port's CTS line when the DSP is ready to receive data,
    and negate it when it wants the serial port on the PC to stop sending
    it data.

    I just wonder if this is the correct thinking.
    reuvenkishon, Feb 3, 2005
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  2. RS-232 is a big headache, until you try to use USB (as PC makers want
    to force us to)... then it starts looking very simple and

    DCE/DTE is not a chip issue: the UART doesn't care if it's DCE or DTE,
    it only depends on the way the board is wired. PC RS-232 ports (if any)
    are all DTE.

    To make things more fun, there are THREE types of connectors in use:
    DB-25 (Male IIRC, not used often in newer equipment), DB-9 Male AND
    Female. There are both "Null-Modem" cables (Rx/Tx crossed) and
    "straight" cables.

    My suggestions:

    * If possible, send and recieve all data as human-readable ASCII data
    (e.g. - send numbers as strings, commands as human-readable names); it
    makes debugging much easier, especially if you have to debug in the

    * Forget about handshaking in hardware, use XON/XOFF protocol. That way
    you only have two signals to mess around with. The XON/XOFF protocol
    has provisions to support binary data if necessary, by using the DLE

    * I'd recommend wiring your board as DTE, using a Male DB-9 connector
    with the same pinout used by PCs. If you use XON/XOFF, you may even
    save on H/W costs by eliminating RS-232 Tx/Rx buffers. There are many
    single-voltage chips available with any combination of drivers and

    * Find a cable that works, label it clearly AND KEEP IT SAFE FOREVER.
    If you don't have the cable when needed, you'll never know if your
    device had stopped working or you are just using the wrong cable. If
    you use DTE pinout, you'll need a null-modem cable.
    assaf_sarfati, Feb 3, 2005
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  3. The spec says it's Request to Send. The original, official
    usage for RTS/CTS is for controlling the direction of a
    half-duplex link:

    When DTE want to transmit, it asserts RTS.
    DTE waits for RTS to be asserted.
    When DCE is ready to receive, it asserts CTS.
    DTE transmits data.
    When DTE is finished sending and is ready to receive, it deasserts RTS.

    However, today RTS/CTS, it's often used as part of a
    full-duplex flow-control scheme where the DTE stops sending if
    CTS is off, and the DCE stops sending if RTS is off.
    If you're talking to a PC that has RTS/CTS flow control
    enabled, that's probably correct.
    Grant Edwards, Feb 3, 2005
  4. FWIW, there was sometimes a significant delay (tens/hundreds of
    millisceonds) between the DTE's assertion of RTS and the DCE's
    assertion of CTS due to the time required for the modem's tx
    carrier to come on and stabilize.
    Grant Edwards, Feb 3, 2005
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