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Pc Ports and Connectors

Pc Ports and Connectors

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Published by: kalyan0654 on Jun 23, 2009
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http://pinouts.ru/connector/index_conn_2_6.shtmlPorts & Connectors
The various connectors and ports on the computer allow it to communicate with the many differentdevices and peripherals attached. Because there are so many cables and cords attached to the back of the computer, and so many different types of connectors, it often seems a little intimidating to thenewer user. Although there are some devices which may use the same connector or port, theindividual devices and their cords can only physically attach to one certain type of connector; sodon't feel nervous about hooking your system together.There's really no way you can do any harm to your computer just by hooking it up, as long as youfollow a few common sense rules:The first thing to know is the difference between a male and female connector. The male connector fits inside the female connector. If the connector has pins protruding from it, its a male connector. If the connector has holes for the pins to fit into, then its a female connector. When you hook somethingup to your computer, the male and female connectors are hooked together. The connectors on the back of your computer are called input/output ports (i/o ports) or communication ports.The second thing you should remember is that when you join a connector to a port, they must havethe same shape and the same number of pins or holes. In other words, a square peg won't fit into around hole, and its not wise to try to jam fifteen pins into nine holes (part of the 'common sense' thingI was talking about).Which brings us to another very important point,
never force anything.
Here's one that's hard to do. Always
make sure the computer is off 
before attaching connectors or cables to any of the ports. This can cause little power gliches (another technical word) that couldcorrupt an open file or cause a program to freeze. It can even cause a small short that could damageor ruin components inside your computer. I know, you've done it a hundred times and never had a problem. Well, that's good. If you want to continue to practice risk management, that's your  perogitive, but be aware of the possibilities and don't be surprised when you finally get burned.
are the only ports that should be considered hot-swappable (this means they can be plugged inor unplugged while the machine is on).Only one more thing to remember. There are small hexagonal nuts on either side of many of the portson your computer. These allow you to screw the connectors in so they don't accidentally fall out or loosen. They just have to be screwed down,
they do not have to be tightened.
These nuts areactually the heads of small bolts that pass through the back plate on your computer and are attachedwith a small nut on the other side. If you tighten the screws too much, then when they're undone, theymay take the bolt with them and the small nut may fall off inside the computer (onto the motherboardor an expansion card). Not a good thing.
Ports & Connectors
 Now that we know the basic rules, let's take a look at some of the connectors or ports you might findon your computer.
DB Connector
The most common connector is the
DB connector
. It's sort of a 'D' shape and is sometimes called aD-shell connector (go figure). It's designated as DB-x, with 'x' being the number of pins or holes onthe individual connector. So a DB-9 female connector would be a 'D' shaped connector with 9 holes.This would receive a cord with a DB-9 male connector (with 9 pins).If you find a DB male connector port on the back of your computer, (either a
DB-9 male
or a
) it's going to be a serial port. Serial ports are also called COM ports or RS-232 ports (ReferenceStandard #232 as referenced by IEEE*). Serial ports transmit data one bit at a time and are relativelyslow compared to other ports. However, they are plenty fast enough for some external devices suchas a mouse, or an external modem. Because only one bit at a time is passed along a serial cable, it cantravel a fair distance before data integrity is challenged (or errors start to occur). A serial cableshouldn't be more than 50 feet in length.Incidentally, in case you were wondering, if you have a device with only nine holes on its connector,and only a DB-25 male serial port to connect to, all you need is a 9 to 25 pin adapter. There's nodifference between a 25-pin serial port and a 9-pin serial port other than the fact that the DB-25 malehas sixteen extra pins that it doesn't use.If you have an older computer, and see a
DB-9 female
connector on the back, it's probably a videoconnector for an older EGA or CGA monitor. My guess is that you won't see one on your computer.However, if the question should ever come up, it could also be a Token Ring network adapter port.Look on the back of your computer, you may be able to find two different
DB-15 female
connectors.If you see three rows of five holes, then it's your VGA or SVGA video monitor adapter. If you seeonly two rows (one of eight holes and one of seven), then it's probably a joystick adapter.A
DB-25 female
connector on the back of your computer is going to be a parallel port. Parallel portscan transmit data eight bits at a time which creates a noticeable speed increase over serial ports. Mostcommonly used as printer connections, several other devices now use the parallel port such as tape backup systems, Zip drives and scanners to name a few. These devices are generally fitted with whatis referred to as a pass-through port. This means that you can hook up your scanner to the parallel port (DB-25 female) and then connect your printer to the DB-25 connector on the back of the scanner and have access to both devices. This usually works well but does pose some problems. First off, thedevice has to be turned on for the pass-through port to work. To take this one step further, the deviceoften has to be turned on before the computer is booted, to be recognized properly and for the rightdrivers to be loaded at startup. Also, users tend to think that they can daisy-chain these devices. Inother words, connect their scanner to the computer, attach their Zip drive to the back of the scanner,their tape drive to the back of the Zip drive, and then their printer to the pass-through port on the back of the tape drive. Believe it or not, I've seen this done and I've seen it work (more or less). I'vealso seen it work one day and not the next. It's a hit and miss sort of thing (more miss than hit) and Iwouldn't trust the integrity of the data past the second device.Another thing to keep in mind, is that the cable on a parallel device shouldn't be more than 10 feetlong. Data errors can occur beyond this distance.
DIN Connector
The DIN connector is a small round connector, usually with a keyed slot for proper orientation.Again, it's designated as DIN-x, with 'x' representing the number of holes or pins on the connector. Itcomes in a couple of different sizes and it's been used on computers about as long as the DBconnector has. It's a fairly popular connector because of its small size and solid connection.The most common DIN connector would have to be the
keyboard connector. Its the largest of the DIN connectors that you're going to find on your computer and its been around for a long time. If you own a newer computer, then the DIN-5 has probably been replaced with a DIN-6 (mini-DIN or PS/2) connector.The
connector, was mainly used by Macintosh computers for the longest time(Macintosh also used a DIN-8 connector for their printer). You may hear them referred to as a
connector. They're smaller and more compact than the typical DIN-5 connector and have become the standard for both the keyboard and the mouse on newer PCs. If this is the case on your computer, then the two DIN-6 female ports on the back of your computer are going to look an awfullot alike, and you need to distinguish between the mouse port and the keyboard port before hookingthem up. They may be color coded or they may have a little icon beside them representing their use.Whatever the case, you're not going to do any harm if you accidentally get these two devicesswitched. Your mouse won't work, or you'll get a keyboard error at boot up. Your first course of action for troubleshooting this type of problem should be to check the connection anyway.Another port you could find on the back of an older computer is the
. It would be another miniDIN port with 9 sockets. A bus mouse or a hand-held scanner may use this type of port, but it'sunlikely that you're going to find one on a newer computer.
RJ Connectors
The RJ connector is used for communication devices. If you live in North America and have a jack on your wall that your phone connects to, that's an
connector. Now, the RJ-11 connector or  port doesn't have 11 pins or 11 holes. As a matter of fact, it only connects 4 or 6 wires.You may have an RJ-11 connector on the back of your computer if you have an internal modem. Thisis to hook a phone line up allowing communication with other computers and access to the Internetand the World Wide Web.If you see two RJ-11 connectors side by side, it means that you can hook the phone line to your computer using the one jack, and then an extension phone can be plugged into the other jack. A lot of modems today allow for fax and voice capabilities. This means that you can fax from your computer,it can double as an answering machine that records messages and voice mail, and, if you havespeakers and a microphone, you can even use it as a speakerphone.An
connector looks much like the RJ-11, only larger. It connects 8 wires and is used for network ethernet connections. If you see and RJ-45 connector or port on the back of your computer then there's two possibilities; Your computer is hooked up to a network or intranet, or, you have cablehookup to the Internet and the World Wide Web. The latter uses an RJ-45 connection between the

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