Saturday, 18 September 2010

Constructing the Serial Cable

The first part of the serial connection is to get a working serial cable. If, like me, you have a box full of cables, you can probably find one to cut up to make a cable. If not, you can make one out of a 9 pin D Socket, a piece of cable (with at least three wires), and if you like neatness, a plastic cover.

You need to make a connection to pins 2 (RxD) 3 (TxD) and 5 (Ground). The pins are normally engraved on the plastic near the socket hole, so it's not hard to find the right one.

On the left - the PC plug - on the right - the socket

As I'm a test-as-you-go person, one quick and not-too-unreliable test is to connect the "txd" and "rxd" wires together - this sends the signal back into the PC. If you run a terminal program like GTKTerm this will mean the screen will 'echo' the characters as you type them in.

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