How to Make a USB to a Serial Cable

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Before USB ports were popularized on computers, most devices connected to a computer via a serial port. The serial port is a series of pins (on the male end) that fits into a cable specially designed for use with the serial port. There are different sizes of serial ports, with smaller serial ports used for less less complicated hardware, such as a mouse or keyboard; and larger serial ports are used for printers and copiers. If you have an older device that does not use a USB cable, you may want to make your USB port from the computer work with the serial cable of the hardware.

Things You'll Need

  • USB to serial cable adapter
  • Computer
  • Serial cable
  • Determine the size of the serial cable you are using. When you purchase the USB to serial adapter, make sure the serial side of the adapter can function with the cable.

  • Plug the serial cable into the hardware you want to use with the computer. If the serial port has screws along the side for tightening, tighten the port (this prevents the cable from coming loose).

  • Attach the USB-to-serial adapter on the other end of the serial cable.

  • Insert the USB end of the adapter into the computer. Power on the hardware and in a few moments the computer states it has detected new hardware.

  • Install the drivers for the hardware on the computer if needed. If your hardware is older and runs off of a floppy disk drive (which probably isn't in your computer) you can most likely download the drivers from the manufacturer's website.

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