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USB-serial adapter for cross-platform connection

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by crcook84, Aug 1, 2014.

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  1. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    I'm thinking of getting myself some retro hardware with serial connections on them. This is as opposed to getting PS/2 because PS/2 can slip off easily, whereas serial connections can be screwed together. I've done the research and know that USB to serial adapters can solve this. However, I narrowly missed what could have been a major faux pas insofar as my competence as a computer engineer is concerned. Can I plug a serial peripheral originally intended for a Mac into a PC via a USB to serial adapter and it will function (assume the buttons are remappable)? The logic side of me says yes because a serial connector is similar to an RJ-45 connector in that the pins are predetermined by some industry standard to work in a specific way across all platforms and it's just the application of said product that will determine how it will function. However, I, also, know that American cars require American socket sets to be able to tinker, adjust, or repair said car.

    Feel free to throw in any advice insofar as PS/2 peripherals are concerned as well. I may not care for that interface. But, I welcome the information.
     
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    If it's standard serial then it's compatible with any serial interface on any serial(RS232). What may not be compatible is the device at the end of the serial cable. You would also need the right type of serial cable to go with it, might be straight thru or may be a null modem cable. You might also need to configure the COM port according to what is needed by the device. And will it have drivers or software for Windows or Linux? I guess this all depends on what hardware you actually talking about, not sure what the references to PS2 are in regards too.
     
  3. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    The other thing to consider is that some serial devices rely on a small amount of power being supplied via the port.
    A USB/serial adapter may not supply that power.
     
  4. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Point taken. I’m definitely, aware of crossover cables. I had some network equipment with serial connections that I updated via hyperterminal. At this point, I’ll just be attempting to connect keyboards and/or mice via a USB to serial adapter if anything. As for power, I imagine keyboards and mice never really needed that much power to work in the first place. Maybe enough power to light the LEDs in keyboards. Otherwise, how much power does a button push consume?

    As for the PS/2 reference, it’s the fact that some Logitech mice came out with both serial and PS/2 plugs, as did some IBM keyboards and, if I had to choose between them, I’d choose the serial because PS/2 adapters can come loose easily whereas serial can be screwed in.
     
  5. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    I purchased a TRENDnet TU-S9 adapter. I looked at a number of reviews and one user said that it worked with their older serial mouse perfectly fine. It installed properly and was recognized on 3 versions of windows. However, the mouse wouldn't work. After working on it for 15-30 minutes, I started looking up some literature for the device. This is what I found:
    Q: Can I use the TU-S9 with my serial keyboard, mouse, or joystick?
    A: The TU-S9 does not support interrupt transfer mode devices. If your serial keyboard, mouse, or joystick is an HID Device, it is not supported.

    So, two questions:
    1) Does anyone know any tricks to edit the device properties to see a serial HID device?
    2) (If one is no) Does anyone know of a proper USB to serial adapter that can work like this? Or, instructions on how to make one?

    It's not a big deal if no one has an answer. I like the mouse either way because of the nostalgia tied to it.
     
  6. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    I suspect if the device could do it then Trendnet would have included that ability to make their product more functional especially since that's their only USB to Serial adapter. To be honest I didn't know this issue even existed and don't know if other adapters have this issue or not.

    An alternative solution would be to use a serial PCI or PCI-Express card or PCMCI or ExpressCard to connect the mouse.
     
  7. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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