RS232 on new laptops

  skeletal 14:25 25 Aug 2005

Hi all

I am thinking of buying a new lap-top (nothing fancy) but I note that none seem to have an RS232 port any more.

I MUST have RS232 because one use of the laptop would be in communicating with all sorts of strange devices that use RS232 (using all sorts of software).

I know that USB to RS232 converters exist BUT now to the question:

One piece of software I use is Hyperterminal and it "looks" for ports (eg RS232), but as far as I can tell, doesn't see USB (my son's laptop only has USB, and Hyperterminal only comes up with TCP, modem and COM4 (IIRC) which is the infra-red port).

And all the other software (i.e. other than Hyperterminal) just seems to find COM1 and then works.

Thus, does anyone know how all these RS232 bits of software could find the "port" via USB? Would the USB to RS232 converter cable have software that turns USB into COM1?

Has anyone used stuff like Hyperterminal via USB?

Thanks for any help.


  woodchip 15:31 25 Aug 2005

Is it a Basic Com port

  DieSse 16:02 25 Aug 2005

Probably a better solution would be to get a PC-Card (PCMCIA) tha has one or two (you can get both sorts) proper RS232 ports. example click here

Do a google search for more.

  woodchip 16:05 25 Aug 2005

As I thought. They went out of laptops a long time ago

  DieSse 16:06 25 Aug 2005

Up to 4 ports click here and even better, flying leads to aviod damaging the card with repeating plugging.

  woodchip 16:11 25 Aug 2005

If you have a Parallel printer port you can get a Parallel converter plug to Com port, cheap at a Computer Fair. I have one

  skeletal 16:39 25 Aug 2005

Thanks all. Some interesting ideas. However, have you seen the prices???!!! Knocking on the door of £100!! I only want a very basic laptop for my current purpose and have got my eye on a special offer low spec Dell for £350. Bearing in mind all laptops used to come with RS232 as standard, I'm now struggling with the idea of spending a quarter the overall cost on a very low-tech piece of add-on kit called RS232!!!

A fair price would be about £10!!

Oh dear...perhaps I'll make my own...

You've given me some pointers to try searching...thanks. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has actually tried to do what what I want.


  €dstowe 16:39 25 Aug 2005

Will your RS232 hardware function with the operating system on the laptop you intend buying?

  skeletal 16:46 25 Aug 2005

Sorry woodchip, meant to add that it looks like they don't have parallel ports either!

Edstow...yes all devices work with XP, typically found on new laptops.

All Windows has HT: look under: Accessories/communications/hyperterminal.

Chance are most will never have heard of it (I just about remembered it until re-introduced to it during the curent work I'm doing).


  woodchip 17:19 25 Aug 2005

Mine as it's a Medion, parallel port that is, but dearer that what you paying, Connverter about £2.50

  skeletal 18:17 25 Aug 2005

£ you are talking my language!!


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