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Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by Guest, Mar 10, 2007.

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  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I have a PC hardware question.
    I have an old Dell that has only ONE serial port which is currently occupied by a CAT cable. What I want to know is if there is sort of an adapter to plug into the serial port that gives me 2 instead of 1.

    Is that clear as mud?

    (sorry if my terms are off, not the best with PC terminology)
  2. VE6WTF

    VE6WTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have here an external switch that will select either or?
  3. KC9ECI

    KC9ECI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Do you have USB ports? Perhaps you could get a USB to serial adapter for the 2nd connection you need.
  4. AE6QE

    AE6QE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I believe there are Y-adapters, but if I remember correctly they are rather expensive and for niche uses (like GPS). As others have mentioned, maybe you could use a USB adapter (I use the Prolific chipset with great success). Also, try checking on your motherboard - some motherboards have a set of pins that you can connect a second serial port on. You can buy the extra serial port for $7 or so off of e-Bay.
  5. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are plug in cards if you have an extra ISA or PCI slot that will give you extra serial ports, they are not very expensive.

  6. N6YG

    N6YG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I second this recommendation, ether use an add in card or try a USB to Serial adapter. Just make sure the place you buy the adapter from has a good return policy and don't buy the cheapest one you can find. USB to Serial adapters are notorious for compatibility issues. You might have to try a few brands to find one that works with your combination of hardware.
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'll probably look into the USB adapter.

    Thanks a lot guys!
  8. KB3NDN

    KB3NDN Ham Member QRZ Page

    i think the serial to usb are upwards from $50 bucks, could be wrong. i would get a serial card, you can get those for practically nothing.
  9. WA7KKP

    WA7KKP Ham Member QRZ Page

    That port with the CAT cable is ethernet, not the traditional RS-232 serial port.

    These are usually a 9 pin (older machines had a 25 pin) DB male connector, and most often were used with external modems, and the occasional serial printer interface.

    I've seen multiple serial port cards avaiable, but usually ISA buss designs, and very rarely, the PCS. These have been superceded by the USB port, which is simply a superfact serial port with up to 127 differnt devices added a la SCSI. I've seen USB to serial cables available at bargain prices, but I'm not sure how compatible that may be with Windows software, etc.

    Gary WA7KKP
  10. KB3NDN

    KB3NDN Ham Member QRZ Page

    im not sure you actually saw a straight cable to usb - usb doesnt work that way. there is timing and all other kinds of issues that need to be taken care of to hook a serial port up through usb, which is why i mentioned the "converter box" in my earlier post...
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