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    For very technical persons: Serial/COM Port via USB Help

    I have a device that needs to run off a serial port, but obviously new PCs don't have these. I have a cable which has the correct serial port head on one end and the correct USB head on the other to connect to the USB port of the laptop.

    This is a USB to RS232 lead.

    I do, however, need to access the COM port from the relevant software. Does anyone know where I can download software or a driver to create a virtual COM port via USB?

    Thank you.

    19 Comments

    Hi,
    If you have a lead that is usb to serial the software driver for that cable is the software that would create your virtual com ports. If you haven't got this driver installed in device manager you will have a section saying unknown device if it is installed you should have a virtual com port under the section ports (COM and LTP)

    if you need this driver you can normally find them on the internet if you know the make and model of the device.

    Original Poster

    I'm not entirely sure where the cable came from, possibly a box in the spare room. It doesn't have a driver with it. I was hoping that there would be a generic driver for these sorts of cables. :-(

    What does it appear as (if anything) on device manager? Looks like such cables need drivers but they are probably specific to a device: there are some ]here for example

    Original Poster

    I may just try drivers from another company. It shows up as an "unknown USB device".

    My only concern is that it's a cable with two different heads - it's not got any form of hgousing for an "adapter" of sorts in it... surely it should?

    drivers from another company may work, i would have thought there would have been a model number on there somewhere which could help finding the driver.

    I bought one last week and having a few problems its getting power but the problem is as soon as the pc accesses the device from inside the software it loses power.

    Or you could spend like £10 on a PCI card and slot it into PC.

    duckmagicuk2;2144703

    I may just try drivers from another company. It shows up as an … I may just try drivers from another company. It shows up as an "unknown USB device".My only concern is that it's a cable with two different heads - it's not got any form of hgousing for an "adapter" of sorts in it... surely it should?



    Its only converting between a serial bus and a much slower serial bus so I guess the hardware is very simple...

    You got a pic? Anything like this one: usbfirewire.com/Par…tml ?

    This link might be more useful, seems a lot are built on a 'prolific' chipset: prolific.com.tw/eng…=31

    Original Poster

    catman;2144704

    drivers from another company may work, i would have thought there would … drivers from another company may work, i would have thought there would have been a model number on there somewhere which could help finding the driver.



    It's a cheap made in china thing. Think my Dad bought it on eBay from Hong Kong and passed it on. Hasn't got a model number/company name hehe.

    ryouga;2144714

    I bought one last week and having a few problems its getting power but … I bought one last week and having a few problems its getting power but the problem is as soon as the pc accesses the device from inside the software it loses power.Or you could spend like £10 on a PCI card and slot it into PC.



    It's a lappy so PCI not much use. As for power, the device I'm trying to set up is a braille output device which has its own power adapter, so I'm not sure whether or not power from the lead would be a problem.

    When I've been a similar situation I've just tried downloading a few drivers for devices that offer the same functionality, usually Windows will warn you if the driver isn't suitable. Once the driver is loaded it will create a new virtual COM port which you can switch around if necessary in the device manager properties - some software doesn't like higher COM port numbers, instead preferring COM1 to COM3.

    John

    Original Poster

    Thanks all. I'll give it another try tomorrow hopefully and let you know how I get on.

    http://www.usbfirewire.com/Parts/usbser.jpghttp://www.aten.com/doc_data/prdImages/2005022316346001.jpghttp://catalog.belkin.com/images/product/F5U103v/STD1_F5U103v.jpghttp://www.elecom.co.jp/photo/p02/UC-SGT_02.jpghttp://www.iodata.jp/prod/mobile/serial/2004/usb-rsaq3/img/usb-rsaq5.jpg

    Any of these look like it?

    I think its just searching and trying random drivers then. Have a search for PL 2303 i think thats the basic chip/technology they all use, i'm sure my old one worked from a PL2303 driver. I also think you'll have more luck if you have XP than Vista.

    Original Poster

    Yeah. The serial port head is more the shape of this one:

    http://www.elecom.co.jp/photo/p02/UC-SGT_02.jpg

    Thanks for the tip, catman. It will be running on XP anyway.

    My trusty drivers disc never lets me down in situations like this! It has around 25000 different drivers for everything you can imagine! When the found new hardware wizard pops up I just point it towards whatever drive ive got the disc in.

    You can get laptop PCMCIA serial cards too that just slot into an empty space cost around £10 inc postage too.

    The latest prolific driver should do the job.

    harlzter;2145102

    My trusty drivers disc never lets me down in situations like this! It has … My trusty drivers disc never lets me down in situations like this! It has around 25000 different drivers for everything you can imagine! When the found new hardware wizard pops up I just point it towards whatever drive ive got the disc in.



    Sounds good...going to let us know where you got it from or just going to brag about it all day :whistling:

    Original Poster

    Well the prolific driver hasn't seemed to work. :-(
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