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428 posts

Ultimate Geek


#52692 6-Dec-2009 04:29
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I need a laptop with a real serial port, but they seem to be a dying breed.  Looks like Lenovo and Dell have ditched serial ports completely even on their business ranges.  There's a HP with a serial port, but it has a 15.4" screen and I'd prefer 14" or smaller.

Does anyone know of anything else out there with a serial port?  Either that, or I'll have to find something like a used Dell D620.




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  #279676 6-Dec-2009 06:32
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In general application, rs232 is a dying protocol, Could you get by with a USB-serial adaptor? or do you need a raw metal connection for something custom?

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  #279686 6-Dec-2009 09:26
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Serial ports have been on their way out now for around ~5 years on laptops. It'll be very much a case of hunting for one as they are an exception rather than the norm.

USB serial adapters will work for most serial applications, is there something specific you need or will one of these work?

 
 
 
 




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  #281074 10-Dec-2009 01:26
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Thanks for your replies. I've tried serial port adapters but they don't always work. In my job I need to talk to instruments through a serial interface. The problems come when I have to use software supplied by the manufacturer, which sometimes needs a real serial port.

Apparently you can get an Ultrabay module for T-series Thinkpads that will provide a serial and parallel port, but Lenovo has dropped this from the latest models. I've ordered an ex-demo Dell D630 which has a built in serial port.




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  #281085 10-Dec-2009 06:51
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I think some Toshiba's still come with them?




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  #281093 10-Dec-2009 07:47
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muppet: I think some Toshiba's still come with them?

Yes, the Tecra A10 has a serial port but it's 15.4".  I'd really prefer a 14" display for portability and usability on planes.




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  #283569 17-Dec-2009 22:46
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w2krules:
muppet: I think some Toshiba's still come with them?

Yes, the Tecra A10 has a serial port but it's 15.4".  I'd really prefer a 14" display for portability and usability on planes.


Tecra M10 is a 14.1" with serial port Cool

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  #283590 17-Dec-2009 23:39
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We still have clients which require REAL serial ports, and have gone through a lot of USB to serial adapters and surprisingly enough the ones from Dick Smiths work very well. Software sees them fine as a 'real' serial port.

Also a docking station will have the additional ports.




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Ultimate Geek


  #283596 17-Dec-2009 23:59
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exportgoldman:
We still have clients which require REAL serial ports, and have gone through a lot of USB to serial adapters and surprisingly enough the ones from Dick Smiths work very well. Software sees them fine as a 'real' serial port.

The DSE adapters don't work 100% of the time.  I have two applications that don't see them as serial ports.




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  #283597 18-Dec-2009 00:02
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Simonm:
w2krules:
muppet: I think some Toshiba's still come with them?

Yes, the Tecra A10 has a serial port but it's 15.4".  I'd really prefer a 14" display for portability and usability on planes.


Tecra M10 is a 14.1" with serial port Cool

Yes, the M10 has a serial port.  Toshiba isn't my favorite laptop brand but looks like it may be the only choice.

Thanks for mentioning this.




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  #285316 26-Dec-2009 21:55
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Hope this may help someone who doesn't have an onboard Serial Port. I have been using a USB to Serial adapter (DOS application running under Win XP sp3) recently on a very finicky DOS application. I found my biggest problem was the DOS app MUST see the COM port in the range of COM1 to COM4, and since Windows had already "grabbed" those for Laptop hardware, they weren't available. I simply manually configured/moved the offending hardware to another COM port out of that range and set the adapter to use COM3. Your configuration might be different, or this may not work in every case, but this was one tough app that now works.



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  #285352 27-Dec-2009 00:09
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Thanks Del57. I am aware of the DOS COM limitation, and had the port number in that range.

USB to serial adapters work fine for most apps, but I have a couple that won't. The other issue of course is when a new app doesn't work, and you don't know whether the adapter is the problem without trying it with a real serial port. A year or so back I was working with someone on an instrument, and neither of us realised that the problem was the app wouldn't work with a serial to USB adapter. That took most of the afternoon to resolve...

I now have a one year old Dell Latitude D630, which is actually a very nice laptop. it has a 120 GB disk, so it will have XP Pro and Win 7 installed.




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  #285353 27-Dec-2009 00:16
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What about a RS232 cardbus adapter. Its better than USB emulating a serial port. I am going through the same thing at the mo with Win7.

I need it for DC PSU control with Agilent's Vee software.

Whats your app?



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  #285363 27-Dec-2009 06:34
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Don't know about Cardbus, but I tried an express card RS232 adapter. It used a Prolific USB to serial adapter!

It's a proprietary app supplied with a flow meter.




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  #285376 27-Dec-2009 09:23
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Anyone got a PCI serial card they want to sell? The ones I can find seem over priced!

-Al

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  #285521 28-Dec-2009 01:55
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bigal_nz: Anyone got a PCI serial card they want to sell? The ones I can find seem over priced!

-Al


The best place is Computer Dynamic's, they have been around forever and although they are a distributer/wholesaler they have a walkin counter in Albany you can pick all this stuff up at.

I've been buying PCI LPT ports off them lately as I also have a evil DOS app to support.




Tyler - Parnell Geek - iPhone 3G - Lenovo X301 - Kaseya - Great Western Steak House, these are some of my favourite things.

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