StarTech.com USB-to-RS232 Serial DB9 Adapter Cable (ICUSB232)
Need to connect serial devices such as Palm PDAs and modems to your notebook or desktop USB port? Now you can add an additional RS-232 serial port to any computer with a USB port. The StarTech.com USB-to-serial adapter (model ICUSB232) is the fast and … see full wiki
This is a good solid adapter. I am using these in a manufacturing plant and they stand up to heat, humidity, and vibration. The pig tail is just the right length.
Installation - you must first download the driver package. The company website, StarTech, has the most current driver available there (their website is a bit strange to navigate, you have to enter the exact model number for this adapter to get to the driver download page). Install the driver package. Then plug in the adapter. It doesn't matter what OS you are using, follow those steps and you will have no problems getting this to work. The drivers are fine from Windows ME all the way up to Win 7. I am using this adapter on XP, 2000, and 7 (32 bit).
Remember that if you pull out the USB end of the adapter and plug it into a DIFFERENT USB port on your computer (or in a hub) the adapter WILL be assigned a new COM port. That seems counter-intuitive and can be the reason a device might work fine, but then mysteriously stop working the next time. Each USB port on your computer is a different hardware address, and Windows understands it to be a whole new device, so it assigns the adapter a new com port number.
The best way to troubleshoot the thing is to download a copy of Tera Terminal. It is a highly recommended program for Windows 7 (HyperTerminal is not included in Win7). Tera Terminal allows you to test the serial connection. After using both for a while now, Tera Term is a much better program and much easier to use than HyperTerminal. I will switch even for non Win7 computers.
There is another USB to Serial adapter, TRENDnet USB to Serial Converter TU-S9 (Blue) that uses exactly the same driver. In my estimation, they both use exactly the same chip inside the adapter. The StarTech adapter comes in older packaging, the USB cable is shorter around 4 inches, and it looks older school - kind of that old iMac Bondi Translucent Blue look. After my testing on both of these, you could use them interchangeably, shop based on price.
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