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USB Serial Parallel adapter

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by steven120694, Feb 25, 2013.

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  1. steven120694

    steven120694 Thread Starter

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    Hi all,

    At work, we have recently got some new software (MARS) to run our CNC machines. The software came with a 'Hardlock Key' which plugs into a parallel port, MARS will only open when this 'key' is inserted into the parallel port.

    The cable coming from the CNC machine connects to a serial port, so we have bought a USB Serial Parallel adapter (Prolific PL2303 or something along them lines). The problem we are having is that MARS will not run when the 'Key' is inserted into the USB Serial Parallel, and the error message 'Hardlock not found' is shown. The USB Serial Parallel is under COM3 (can be changed) and MARS will not run, However when the 'key' is directly plugged into the parallel port on the back of the computer MARS will open and run correctly.

    If anyone has any ideas on how to get everything working, it would be greatly appreciated!

    (Sorry im not very tech savvy, so if you have any questions i will try my hardest to answer!)
     
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    So is the security key a serial or a parallel port interface device? They are not the same thing and if you are trying to use it on the wrong interface it won't work.

    Some security keys will not work a USB to Parallel or USB to Serial device, you may have to use a PCI(or PCI-Express) to Parallel card for the security key.
     
  3. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Why can't you simply plug the 'key' into the parallel port on the back of the computer ?
     
  4. steven120694

    steven120694 Thread Starter

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    The key is parallel. The CNC machine connects via serial, so somehow we need to convert the serial input to parallel. I suppose that is what the usb serial parallel should do however as said before, the error 'Hardlock not found' is shown when the software is run. If the CNC machine connected via parallel then there would be no problem at all, its the serial to parallel conversion we are having problems with.

    Thanks for the replys and i look forward to hearing what you guys think.
     
  5. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    You can't do that and hence your problems. The proper way to accomplish this is to use the proper interfaces, serial for the machine and parallel for key. They make a USB to serial adapter and they make a USB to Parallel adapter, use those if you are trying to connect to a modern computer that doesn't have either interface. But you say you the computer has a parallel port, why not use that?
     
  6. steven120694

    steven120694 Thread Starter

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    We can use the parallel port, however i presume that the serial from the CNC has to somehow run through the parallel key inorder for the software to run. Do you think the software would work if we installed a serial port into the computer and plugged the CNC into that and the key into the seperate parallel port? (we do have a serial on the computer but its being used by a monitor)
     
  7. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    The monitor uses VGA not serial.

    The parallel key is a security, the CNC or serial communication doesn't need to run through in any manner.

    As long as you connect the serial cable into a serial port and the security key into a parallel port it should work.

    Here's a PCI card, if you have an internal PCI slot, that has both serial and parallel ports: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815158314
     
  8. Simba7

    Simba7

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    You can also find them much cheaper on eBay.

    ..but the question is.. do you need PCI or PCI-e?
     
  9. steven120694

    steven120694 Thread Starter

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    Cheers guys. Plugging the serial into the adapter and the key into the parallel worked fine. The main confusion was that the company who supplied the software told us that the serial would have to run through the key. But everything seems to be working fine now. Thanks for the help.
     
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