5 Steps for Selecting the Right USB to Serial adapter
- A Serial Adapter White Paper
If you need to connect a serial device to your computer but your computer doesn't have a serial port, then you need a USB to Serial adapter. Finding the best adapter can be a challenge since there are so many differnt models, types and manufacturers. These 5 steps will help you make the right decision.
The Quick Checklist:
U.S. Converters sells a line of USB to serial adapters that offers all of the above features. We recommend one of these two converters for all newer operating systems:
Other things to consider would be compatibility with Windows 8. The manufacturer (FTDI) of the processor chips for our USB to Serial adapter "Ultimate" and "PRO" versions have validated that the drivers are fully compatible with the Consumer Preview, Developer Preview versions and officially released consumer versions of Windows 8.
This is great news since you now won't have to spend money on a new USB to serial adapter once you decide to upgrade to Windows 8.
Things to avoid:
The Architecture of a USB to serial adapter
The design and selection of components of a USB to serial adapter is what determins failure or successful data transfer. Most USB to serial converters has built-in ADDC (Automatic Data Direction Control) so they automatically can control the data flow direction, which makes handshaking obsolete, however this only applies to the RS485 protocol, not RS232.
Below is a simplified schematic of a typical well designed circuitry.
At a block level a USB to serial adapter consists of a USB serial processor chip, a serial driver chip and if the adapter is isolated there will be optocouplers in front of the USB and / or serial ports. The above design consists of a FT2232 USB serial processor from FTDI, which is a dual serial port processor. This processor is combined with a SP213 high-speed RS232 transciever from Sipex which makes the overall performance of the adapter solid and reliable.
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