Serial Cards

Serial Port cards - RS232 Serial Port Cards for PC's
Once the King of PC connectivity, RS232 is not even included on most computers anymore. While not everyone needs it, when you need it you have to have it! Fortunately you can still add RS232 Serial ports using USB adapters, PCI cards for Desktops, or PCMCIA cards for Laptops.

Using a USB to RS232 Serial adapter will work in many situations. As long as the needed RS232 parameters are very standard,these will normally work.
PCI and PCMCIA cards are necessary when the required RS232 parameters are a bit more unusual. What are the parameters you ask? BAUD Rate, Data Bits, Stop Bits, Parity, and Flow Control. The most generic setup is: 9600 BAUD, 8 Data Bits, 1 Stop Bit, Parity - None, and None or Xon/Xoff for Flow Control. You have to set Serial ports up in Device Manager. One tricky part is that Serial Ports are assigned to "COM" ports depending on what I/O port and IRQ values the hardware gets set to. You can usually change these values within the Computers BIOS setup. 
Not so hard to see why USB rules now?! RS232 is still widely used for Industrial PC Automation and Data Collection among other things.

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