The Truth About USB to Serial RS232-RS485 Adapters

Most newer electronic devices can be connected and communicate with a computer by a USB cable, however many devices are still using the older type of communication protocol called serial RS232 or RS485. To connect devices with a Serial RS232/RS485 port you need an adapter cable called a USB to RS232 adapter or USB to RS485 adapter, depending on if your device is using the RS232 protocol or the RS485 protocol Magic Cable for iphone ipad mobile phones PC.

USB to Serial RS232/RS485 adapters are often used for connecting devices such as GPS navigation units, sensors, meters, loggers, cameras, printers and other standard and special devices to a personal computer.

Most people assume that these adapters are compatible with ALL operating systems and ALL devices, however this is far from the truth.

When you invest in a USB to Serial adapter you usually pay for what you get. Many websites are selling low-cost USB to Serial RS232 adapters for $9.95. This sounds like a great deal, however when you receive the adapter and connect your device to your computer you will most likely get disappointed, because in most cases the adapter will not work properly with either your computer or your device. The major reason for this is that the low-cost adapter is made with a low-cost processor chip. These low-cost processor chips have limited compatibility with the majority of devices and the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Limited compatibility means that the adapter/drivers might or might not work with your Vista/7 computer, it all depends on your computer’s particular hardware, installed Windows components and service packs, conflicting drivers or other peripheral devices, and even your processors bios version.

Usually the drivers work fine with Windows 98, 2000 and XP, however when it comes to Windows Vista and Windows 7 the problems starts showing.

The drivers for a low-cost USB to Serial the processor chip are very often poorly written programs which makes the adapter unstable and unreliable and not fully compatible with Windows 7 and other current operating systems. Because of this you will in many cases be unable to make a low-cost adapter work with Windows 7 and Vista and you can expect some of the following typical errors:

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