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Thread: Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

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    Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

    Hi folks,

    Anyone here have any experience with Serial (DB9) to USB converters? Do they just work - and can you specify any old baud, XON / XOFF, etc settings as you can with a normal serial port? I want to use them with console cables for some old Sun SPARC boxes I have lying around... Details below if anyone cares.

    As a part of my day job I work with a product that only works on Sun SPARC boxes and I've decided to set up my own 'dev' environment using a few cheap old Sun boxes. I bought 3 x V100s on ebay and have stuffed them into a hacked PC Tower using 3 x Pico PSUs connected to 1 standard PC PSU. Now these are headless boxes and the only way to start them - in the hacked up case - is via the LOM connections - a serial management (Lights Out Management) connection. Ideally I'd like to leave everything plugged in on a permanent basis so I can easily start them up and shut them down at the end of the day more for noise and heat than electricity costs / green concerns - the original PSUs for each V100 were only rated at 80W max each.

    Thanks in advance...
    Last edited by malfunction; 31-05-2009 at 03:28 PM.

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    Re: Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

    Had a lot of trouble with these at my last job. Some work without drivers, some with, most are quite fussy though and did cause a huge amount of problems.

    The only one that did work as I remember was a brandless part which came in a plain bag and I can't remember the supplier lol. I would get a few different ones at first tbh.. make sure you get one which works for you as they are very particular about pc's and products being used with them.

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    Re: Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

    I had to use one after buying a serial only RoadAngel, which I've now dumped. It doesn't work very well at all, like staffsMike said, some need drivers and there can be a lot of hassle. It might be best to find an old mobo with serial ports, which is what I ended up doing.

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    Re: Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    Had a lot of trouble with these at my last job. Some work without drivers, some with, most are quite fussy though and did cause a huge amount of problems.

    The only one that did work as I remember was a brandless part which came in a plain bag and I can't remember the supplier lol. I would get a few different ones at first tbh.. make sure you get one which works for you as they are very particular about pc's and products being used with them.
    Thanks Mike - do you think I'd be better off going for a PCI / PCI-e based 4 port card? I don't need the connectors to be mobile and I'd guess (I'd hope!) that any drivers needed by these cards would be somewhat more reliable.
    Last edited by malfunction; 31-05-2009 at 04:02 PM.

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    Re: Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

    This looks like a fairly decent option - no extra 'converter' cable - just four plain old DB9 ports:

    http://www.dabs.com/products/startec...0port%20serial

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    Re: Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

    Yep I'd do that everytime

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    Re: Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    Yep I'd do that everytime
    Thanks Mike

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    Re: Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

    well i use a usb - rs232 converter that i got from maplins about £15-20 for work and it works fine, can you get single usb - multiple rs232 converters though?

    or just use multiple single convertors and connect via mini usb hub just to make it awkward.

    and why oh why can't mitsi or most other plc's manufacturers just fit usb instead of serial? it would make my life easier and not have to cart round so many bleedin leads.

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    Re: Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

    If you buy a USB-RS232 look into the chip it uses. I've had good luck with FTDI-based adapters.

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    Re: Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

    I've actually bought the 4-port PCI card I linked earlier on dabs - it was a lot cheaper than I remember (though the last time I looked at these kinds of cards was over 5 years ago) - and also seems to be cheaper than buying 3 USB adaptors with the benefit of not losing 3 USB ports.

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    Re: Multiple Serial Ports Needed - USB to Serial Converter..?

    Quote Originally Posted by malfunction View Post
    I've actually bought the 4-port PCI card I linked earlier on dabs - it was a lot cheaper than I remember (though the last time I looked at these kinds of cards was over 5 years ago) - and also seems to be cheaper than buying 3 USB adaptors with the benefit of not losing 3 USB ports.

    you wouldn't if u used a hub also no good to me as most of the time i'm mobile with my lappy so all i need is a single usb-232

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