PS/2 connector MiniDIN-6 Connector

The PS/2 connector is a 6-pin Mini-DIN connector used for connecting some keyboards and mice to a PC compatible computer system. Its name comes from the IBM Personal System/2 series of personal computers, with which it was introduced in 1987. The PS/2 mouse connector generally replaced the older DE-9 RS-232 "serial mouse" connector, while the PS/2 keyboard connector replaced the larger 5-pin/180° DIN connector used in the IBM PC/AT design. The PS/2 designs on keyboard and mouse interfaces are electrically similar and employ the same communication protocol. However, a given system's keyboard and mouse port may not be interchangeable since the two devices use a different set of commands.

1. 2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7.

Port availability o 1.1 Legacy port status and USB 2 Color code 3 Software issues 4 Hardware issues o 4.1 Hotplugging o 4.2 Durability o 4.3 Fault isolation 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

The color-coded PS/2 connection ports (purple for keyboards and green for mice) Type Keyboard and computer mouse data connector

Data Data signal Serial data at 10 to 16 kHz with 1 stop bit, 1 start bit, 1 parity bit

File:MiniDIN-6 Connector Pinout.svg

Female connector from the front Pin 1 +DATA Pin 2 Not connected Pin 3 GND Data Not connected* Ground

Pin 4 Vcc Pin 5 +CLK Pin 6 Not connected

+5 V DC at 275 mA Clock Not connected**

* On some computers mouse data for splitter cable

Port availability
When IBM-compatible PCs widely used the Intel 80386 and 486 processors, the connectors were also seen on some PC clones with non-standard case designs, and the PS/2 mouse connector was sometimes seen on a separate backplate on systems using a standard AT case. However, PS/2 ports only became the norm much later with the introduction of the ATX form factor during 1993–97. The design decision for identical but incompatible connectors would prove aggravating to consumers; manufacturers would later adopt a standardized color code. Old laptops generally have a single port that supports either a keyboard or a mouse. Sometimes the port also allows one of the devices to be connected to the two normally unused pins in the connector to allow both to be connected at once through a special splitter cable.[1] This configuration is common on IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad notebooks among many others. The PS/2 keyboard interface was electrically the same as the 5-pin AT system, and keyboards designed for one can be connected to the other with a simple wiring adapter. The PS/2 mouse interface is substantially different from RS-232 (which was generally used for mice on PCs without PS/2 ports), but nonetheless many mice were made that could operate on both with a simple wiring adapter. PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors have also been used in non-IBM PC-compatible computer systems, such as the DEC AlphaStation line, early IBM RS/6000 CHRP machines and SGI Indy, Indigo 2, and newer (Octane etc.) computers.[2] Various Macintosh clone computers from the late 90s featured PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports, including the Motorola StarMax and the Power Computing PowerBase[3]

[edit] Legacy port status and USB
PS/2 was considered a legacy port by the Intel/Microsoft PC 2001 specification of 2000, preferring to connect keyboards and mice via USB ports. Despite this, PS/2 ports are included on most new motherboards.[4] These PS/2 ports cause fewer problems when KVM switching with non-Wintel systems.[citation needed] PS/2 ports may also be favored for security reasons in a corporate environment. Use of PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse connectivity would allow USB ports to

be totally disabled, preventing the connection of any USB removable disks. Also with high-end keyboards only way to provide full n-key rollover is by using PS/2, as USB has cap of 6 keys plus modifiers at the same time.[5] Many keyboards and mice can connect via either USB or PS/2, selecting the appropriate protocol at power-on. Such devices are generally equipped with a USB connector, and ship with a simple wiring adapter to allow connection to a PS/2 port. Older PS/2-only peripherals can be connected to a USB port via an active adapter, which generally provides a pair of PS/2 ports at the cost of one USB port.

[edit] Color code
Original PS/2 connectors were black or had the same color as the connecting cable (mainly white). Later the PC 97 standard introduced a color code: the keyboard port, and the plugs on compliant keyboards, were purple; mouse ports and plugs were green. Some vendors initially used a different color code: Logitech used the color orange for the keyboard connector for a short period, but soon switched to purple.[citation needed] Today this code is still used on most PCs. The pinouts of the connectors are the same, but most computers will not recognize devices connected to the wrong port. Color Description Purple Keyboard Green Mouse Wiring inside keyboard cable varies widely. Here are some more common color codes, but the reader is cautioned that the only reliable method of determining color assignment is to confirm by measuring continuity to the connector. Description Common Alternate Alternate Alternate Alternate Alternate Alternate +CLK Green Blue White Yellow White Blue Yellow Data White Yellow Green Red Green Yellow Gray GND Yellow Black Orange Gray Black White Black Vcc Red Red Blue Brown Red Orange Red

Software issues
As of 2010, version 8.0 of Microsoft's keyboard and mice drivers no longer supports PS/2 (even with USB adapters) in its supported keyboards and supported mice.[citation needed]

PS/2 ports are designed to connect the digital I/O lines of the microcontroller in the external device directly to the digital lines of the microcontroller on the motherboard. They are not designed to be hot swappable. Hot swapping PS/2 devices usually does not cause damage

in a standard implementation both PS/2 ports are usually controlled by a single microcontroller on the motherboard.g. A USB to PS/2 adapter can also be used to connect either of the devices to a USB port but the result can be undetermined because PS/2 and USB ports can use different voltages. [edit] Durability PS/2 connectors are not designed to be plugged in and out very often. Otherwise. Users can just leave the PS/2 plugged into the USB at all times and not risk damaging the pins this way. the free encyclopedia (Redirected from DE-9 connector) Jump to: navigation. a rare side effect of this design is that a malfunctioning device can cause the controller to become confused. resulting in "both" devices acting erratically. Due to this difference it is recommend to avoid cheap adapters or try using a USB Keyboard or Mouse when troubleshooting PS/2 related errors. D-subminiature From Wikipedia. the host system rarely recognizes the new device attached to the PS/2 mouse port. Most but not all connectors include an arrow or flat section which is usually aligned to the right or top of the jack before being plugged in. a bad mouse can cause problems that appear to be the fault of the keyboard). A way to isolate the problem is to use a USB keyboard or mouse to determine which of the devices is at fault. This issue is slightly alleviated in modern times with the advent of the PS/2 to USB adapter. the new device will not function properly. PS/2 connectors only insert in one direction and must be rotated correctly before attempting connection. However. or machines with less robust port implementations. search . In practice most keyboards can be hot swapped but this should be avoided. This makes design and manufacturing extremely simple and cheap. [edit] Fault isolation As noted.because more modern microcontrollers tend to have more robust I/O lines built into them which are harder to damage than those of older controllers. While this is seldom an issue with standard keyboard devices. however. hot swapping can still potentially cause damage on older machines. The resulting problems can be difficult to troubleshoot (e. The exact direction may vary on older or non-ATX computers and care should be taken to avoid damage or bent pins when connecting devices. and can be used with the new device. If they are hot swapped. which can easily lead to bent or broken pins. the devices must be similar enough that the driver running on the host system recognizes. Quality USB to PS/2 adapters have an integrated circuit that compensates the PS/2 USB port voltage differences.

nomenclature. Tagged since August 2010. • It may contain original research.This article has multiple issues. and variants • 2 Typical applications o 2. DB. DA. When they were introduced. Tagged since August 2010.2 Network ports o 2. nomenclature. • It needs additional citations for verification.5 Other • 3 Wire-contact attachment types • 4 Usage • 5 See also • 6 References • • 7 External links [edit] Description. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. DD.4 Game controller ports o 2. and variants . D-subs were among the smaller connectors used on computer systems.1 Communications ports o 2. DC.[citation needed] Contents 1 Description. They are named for their characteristic D-shaped metal shield.3 Computer video output o 2. and DE sized connectors The D-subminiature or D-sub is a common type of electrical connector.

SVGA and XGA ports . used for VGA.The DB13W3 Connector with 3 coaxial connections and ten ordinary pins A diagram of a DE9 plug Male 13W3 Plug DE-15F.

followed by the number of pins or sockets. except the DD78. DB26HD. however. When screened cables are used. these connectors are also often called DB15HD (or even DB15 or HD15). and E with 9. and their names follow the same pattern. DB62HD. B with 25.[1] Cannon's part-numbering system uses D as the prefix for the whole series. There are now D-sub connectors which have the original shell sizes. This naming pattern is not always followed.0 mm) vertically. B. followed by one of A.112 inches (2. The contacts in either row of these connectors are spaced 326/3000 of an inch apart. ensures correct orientation. DC79. and DD78.109 inches (2.[2] For example. The "double density" series of D-sub connectors features even denser arrangements and consists of the DE19. The DB13W3 variant was commonly used for high-performance video connections. they were often labeled as DB9 instead of DE9 connectors. the shields are connected to the overall screens of the cables. but more pins. which has four. Because personal computers first used DB25 connectors for their serial and parallel ports. DB44. The pins are spaced at 0.[3]) The other connectors with the same pin spacing are the DE15. usually found in VGA cables. or approximately 0. the DE15. part of ITT Corporation. D. DB44HD. DB52. The non-standard 23-pin D-sub connectors for external floppy drives and video output on most of the Amiga computers are usually labeled DB23. Each shell size usually (see below for exceptions) corresponds to a certain number of pins or sockets: A with 15. and the rows are spaced 0. Reflecting the same confusion of the letters DB with just D as mentioned above. respectively. C with 37. in 1952. D with 50. They all have three rows of pins. or E denoting the shell size. The D-sub series of connectors was invented by ITT Cannon. or co-axial inserts. This creates an electrically continuous screen covering the whole cable and connector system.078 inches (2. even though their shell size is two pins smaller than ordinary DB sockets.77 mm). For example. followed by either P (plug) or S (socket) denoting the gender of the part. and may screen against electromagnetic interference. while that containing socket contacts is called the female connector or socket. all surrounded by an E size shell.A D-sub contains two or more parallel rows of pins or sockets usually surrounded by a D-shaped metal shield that provides mechanical support. DA31.090 inches (2. The plug also may have screws on either side of the shield that fasten into holes in the socket (although sometimes the screws are on the socket: see the DE9 pictured to the left). C. and DD100. The socket's shield fits tightly inside the plug's shield.3 mm) horizontally and 0. DB25 denotes a D-sub with a 25-position shell size and a 25-position contact configuration. DC62. high-voltage. It is now common to see DE9 connectors sold as DB9 connectors. The part containing pin contacts is called the male connector or plug. DB9 nearly always refers to a 9-pin connector with an E size shell. has 15 pins in three rows. and DB78HD connectors. DA26. where HD stands for "high density".[3] The suffixes M and F (for male and female) are sometimes used instead of the original P and S. due to an ignorance of the fact that B represented a shell size.84 mm) apart (the pins in the two rows are offset by half the distance between adjacent contacts in a row). this variant provided 10 . when the PC serial port began to use 9-pin connectors. Cannon also produced "hybrid" D-subs with larger contacts in place of some of the normal contacts that could be used for high-current. These each have four rows of pins.

The connector on the left is a 9-pin male (DE9M) connector plug. These connectors have names like HD50 and HD68. The hexagonal pillars (4-40 bolt) at either end of each connector have a threaded stud (not visible) that passes through flanges on the connector. others are waterproof and meet IP67 standards. including Amphenol. They are common in SCSI attachments. The original D-sub connectors are now defined by an international standard. and Tyco. A smaller type of connector derived from the D-sub is called the microminiature D. Cinch. and the one on the right is a 25-pin female (DB25F) socket.[3] [edit] Typical applications D-sub connectors. and have a D-shaped shell that is about half the width of a DB25. 3M. The United States military also maintains another specification for D-subminiature connectors. Some variants have current ratings up to 40A or operating voltages as high as 13. There is yet another similar family of connectors that is easy to confuse with the D-sub family. [edit] Communications ports The widest application of D-subs is for RS-232 serial communications. Assmann Electronics. fastening it to the metal panel. though the standard did not make this connector mandatory. but for many applications the less common signals were omitted. green. Conec. It is about half the length of a D-sub.500V. They also have a threaded hole that receives the jackscrews on the cable shell. Hybrid D-subs are currently being manufactured in a broad range of configurations by other companies. the MIL-DTL-24308 standard. The standard specifies a male connector for terminal equipment and a female connector for modems. RS-232 devices originally used the DB25.regular (#20) pins plus three coaxial contacts for the red. allowing a DE9 to be used. IEC 60807-3 / DIN 41652. which is a trademark of ITT Cannon. to hold the plug and socket together. Norcomp. Teledyne Reynolds. but many variations exist. and blue video signals. IBM PC-compatible computers tend to have male connectors at the device and . or micro-D.

the displays cannot all be interchanged and monitors or video interfaces may even be damaged if connected to an incompatible device using the same connector. or other conditions. Many uninterruptible power supply units have a DE9F connector on them in order to signal to the attached computer via an RS-232 interface. CGA. Even though these all use the same DE9 connector. albeit with a sliding latch to lock the connectors together instead of the usual hex studs with threaded holes. 25-pin and (beginning with the IBM-PC/AT) 9-pin plugs are used for the RS-232 serial ports. Later Macintosh models use 8-pin miniature DIN connectors instead. power failure. On PCs.female connectors at the modems. or EGA (rarely VGA or others). [edit] Computer video output A male DE9 connector. Often these do not send data serially to the computer but instead use the handshaking control lines to indicate low battery. Such usage is not standardized between manufacturers and may require special cables. A female 9-pin connector on an IBM compatible personal computer may be a video display output such as MDA. Hercules. The Attachment Unit Interfaces that were used with 10BASE5 "thick net" in the 1980s and 1990s used DA15 connectors for connectivity between the Medium Attachment Units and (Ethernet) network interface cards. (The sliding latch was intended to be quicker to engage and disengage and to work in places where jack screws could not be used for reasons of component shape. 25-pin sockets are used for the parallel printer ports (instead of the Centronics socket found on the printer itself). [edit] Network ports DE9 connectors were used for some token ring networks as well as other computer networks. . Early Apple Macintosh models used DE9 connectors for RS422 serial interfaces (which can operate as RS-232).

Just prior to this. A digital (and thus also incompatible) RGB adapter for the Apple IIe also used a DA15F. Many Apple Macintosh models (beginning with the Macintosh II) used DA15 sockets for analogue RGB video out. The IBM DA15 PC game connector has been modified to add a (usually MPU-401 compatible) MIDI interface. though they were not all interoperable. Systems utilizing the DE9 connector for their game port included the Atari 8-bit and ST lines. only the first two of each will work. and right buttons along with one or two others. the Commodore VIC-20. the Amstrad CPC (which employed daisychaining when connecting two Amstrad-specific joysticks). for example the Sound Blaster line from Creative Labs. Some systems supported connecting a pair of analog potentiometers. down. used analog rather than digital sticks. [edit] Game controller ports Starting in the late 1970s the Atari 2600 game console used DE9 connectors without the pair of fastening screws (male on the system. Apple III. these devices were not typically interchangeable between different systems. Like joysticks. 64. the Sega Master System and Sega Genesis. DA15S connectors are used for PC joystick connectors. and this is often implemented in the game connectors on third-party sound cards. the Apple IIgs used the same connector for the same purpose. DE9 connectors were not used for game ports on the Apple Macintosh. where each DA15 connector supports two joysticks each with two analog axes and two buttons. various video game consoles and home computers adopted the connector for their own game ports. The Sinclair ZX Spectrum lacked a built-in joystick connector of any kind but aftermarket interfaces provided the ability to connect DE9 joysticks. 128. In the years following. The "standard" straight game adapter . or most newer game consoles. but provided the necessary signals to derive RGB. though it does provide +5V DC power. left. Many Apple II computers also used DE9 connectors for joysticks. or paddles. The common wirings supported digital connections for up. Conversely. Some joysticks with more than two axes and/or more than two buttons use the signals designated for both joysticks. but they had a female port on the computer and a male on the controller. female on the controller) for its game controller connectors. And the Apple IIc used a DA15F for an auxiliary video port which was not RGB. and the Panasonic 3DO. one DA15S "game adapter" connector has 4 analog potentiometer inputs and 4 digital switch inputs. In other words. DE15 connectors are similar to DE9 connectors (see above). IBM PC systems. predominantly used in Japan. Yadapter cables are available that allow two separate joysticks to be connected to a single DA15 game adapter port. Sharp X68000. and on some computers a computer mouse or a light pen was also supported via the game port. and the pin-out was completely unlike that used on the aforementioned systems. This interface is strictly input-only. and Amiga. if a joystick connected to one of these Y-adapters has more than two axes or buttons. the MSX. but in a non-compatible way.Later analog video (VGA and later) adapters generally replaced these connectors with DE15 high-density sockets (though some early VGA devices still used DE9 connectors). and FMTowns.

however these are normally wired for TASCAM. per the SMPTE 274M specification adopted in the late 1990s. [edit] Wire-contact attachment types A male PCB-mounting DD50 connector . The Commodore Amiga used an equally unusual 23-pin version for both its video output and connection to an external floppy disk drive. A few patch panels have been made which have the DB25 connectors on the back with phone jacks (or even TRS jacks) on the front.[4] Roland used DB25 connectors for their multi-track recording audio equipment (R-BUS). The more common SMPTE 259M "serial digital interface" (SDI) uses BNC connectors for digital video signal transfer. the 15-way version being commonly used on rotary and linear encoders. TASCAM used DB25 connectors for their multi-track recording audio equipment (TDIF). The complete range of D-sub connectors also includes DA15s (one row of 7 and one of 8). "parallel digital" is a digital video interface that uses DB25 connectors. and the MIDI adaptation replaces one of the grounds and one of the +5V pins. and Logitek Audio later did the same for its broadcast consoles. (There is no MIDI Thru provided.) Creative Labs introduced this adaptation. though with different pinouts. with MIDI In and MIDI Out signal pins. these are often used in industrial products. and DD50s (two rows of 17 and one of 16). The early Macintosh and late Apple II computers used an obscure 19-pin D-sub for connecting to external floppy disk drives. DC37s (one row of 18 and one of 19).connector (introduced by IBM) has three ground pins and four +5V power pins.[citation needed] [edit] Other 25-pin sockets on Macintosh computers are typically SCSI connectors (again in contrast to the Centronics C50 connector typically found on the peripheral). which is more common outside of broadcasting. while older Sun hardware uses DD50 connectors for FastSCSI equipment. In broadcast and professional video. both on the bottom row of pins.

The need to tighten screws for a secure connection is cumbersome. A notable exception to this replacement is on the many analog CRT monitors still in use: the analog version of the DVI connector is similar in price and more complex than the D-sub. especially in higher-density connectors. In the laptop computer sector. D-sub connectors are now quite expensive compared to other. allowing a cable to be plugged into the edge of the PCB assembly. particularly if frequently plugged in by touch behind equipment. common connectors. mostly simpler. the D-sub connector is usually too large to fit. Solder-bucket (or solder-cup) contacts have a cavity into which the stripped wire is inserted and hand-soldered. MP3 players or mobile phones. Because of its relative complexity (the D-shaped metal shield. Although ESD. the DE15HD connector is in the process of being replaced by DVI and HDMI connectors.There are at least five different methods used to attach wires to the contacts in D-sub connectors. where weight and size are crucial. due to size and cost.and EMI-resistant D-sub connectors exist. • Wire wrap connections are made by wrapping solid wire around a square post with a wire wrap tool. • Crimp contacts are assembled by inserting a stripped wire end into a cavity in the rear of the contact. causing the cavity to grip the wire tightly at many points. The D-sub connector family is now in decline for general usage in the computer industry. • Insulation displacement contacts (IDCs) allow a ribbon cable to be forced onto sharp tines on the back of the contacts. This is a very quick means of assembly whether done by hand or automatically. this action pierces the insulation of all the wires simultaneously. • [edit] Usage The 25-pin D-sub connector is occasionally used in recording studios for multi-channel analog audio and AES digital audio.[citation needed] For video purposes. In the retail PC world where margins are very thin. Individual crimped pins can be removed later by inserting a special tool into the rear of the connector. For the majority of other consumer . Thin metal pins. many models no longer include D-subs. The physical design of D-sub connectors is ill-suited for consumer plug-and-play applications. The crimped contact is then inserted into the connector where it locks into place. • PCB pins are soldered directly to a printed circuit board and not to a wire. then crushing the cavity using a crimp tool. Even small form factor desktop PCs may find D-sub connectors too large for their value. the screws and nuts). These connectors are frequently mounted at a right angle to the PCB. This type of connection is usually used in prototyping. the fundamental design was never intended to protect from electrostatic discharge or electromagnetic interference or facilitate very high frequency interconnections. so the shift away from D-subs is slow in this case. these connectors are a natural target for removal. are easily bent or broken. For portable devices such as PDAs.

.applications. DCD RXD TXD DTR GND DSR RTS CTS RI Signal Name Data Carrier Detect Receive Data Transmit Data Data Terminal Ready Signal Ground Data Set Ready Request to Send Clear to Send Ring Indicator DTE (PC) in in out out in out in in The DTE (PC) has the male connector (shown below). commonly used for serial ports (RS232). D-sub serial and parallel connectors have been replaced by the physically much simpler and cheaper IEEE 1394 (FireWire). USB. or modular connectors. D-sub 9 Connector Pinout Pinout and diagram of DE9 connector (DB9 connector). SATA. and the DCE (peripheral) has the female. Pin 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 SIG.

Related: Cmd-line tool to transport files over an unreliable serial link AVR microcontroller C library with UART module for serial comms Modified Modular Jack (MMJ) From Wikipedia. the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation. search Modified Modular Jack .

MMJ socket and plug Type RS-423 serial Production history Designer Digital Equipment Corporation Pin out Pin 1 Pin 2 Pin 3 Pin 4 Pin 5 Pin 6 Data terminal ready Transmit data Transmit data ground Receive data ground Receive data Data set ready DTR Tx+ TxRxRx+ DSR The DECconnect Modified Modular Jack (MMJ) is a variation of the 6P6C modular connector and was developed by Digital Equipment Corporation. The main difference from the .

But one can in practice wire these signals to an RS-232 device. root console or simply console is the text entry and display device for system administration messages. On traditional minicomputers. the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Serial console) Jump to: navigation. When connecting two DTE devices such as a computer and a printer. by combining the lower voltage sides of each signal to the RS-232 signal ground line. the Digital BC16E crossover cable is used. The six conductors of the DECconnect MMJ connector are used for the main signals in RS-423 serial communication: Tx and Rx for the data transmission and DSR and DTR for handshaking. printers or serial console servers.e. the console was a serial console. an RS-232 serial link to a terminal such as a DEC VT100. the kernel. System console From Wikipedia. VAX and Alpha based machines and to connect terminals. The transmit and receive signals are differential. as opposed to a voltage on a single connector relative to a common reference. each signal is the voltage difference between two conductors. i.conventional modular connector is that the hook is toward the side instead of the center of the plug. It is a physical device consisting of a keyboard and a screen. MMJ connectors are used on Digital minicomputers. search Knoppix system console showing the boot process The system console. making it impossible to insert a standard modular cable plug such as those used telephone or Ethernet applications. For this type of connection there are a number of models of conversion adapter. from the init system and from the system logger. This terminal was usually kept in a secured room since it could be used for certain privileged functions such as halting the system or selecting which media to . particularly those from the BIOS or boot loader. such as the PDP11. which uses the common reference method.

or after startup. Also. the operating system may treat a login session from the console as being more trustworthy than a login session from other sources. e. and the physical size and pin out of connectors. the computer's attached keyboard and monitor have the equivalent function. installations with many servers therefore use keyboard/video multiplexers (KVM switches) and possibly video amplifiers to centralize console access.g. enterprise network switches and other telecommunication equipment have RS-232 serial console ports. A 25 pin connector as described in the RS-232 standard In telecommunications. FreeBSD and Linux. Large midrange systems. still use serial consoles. giving access to the BIOS through a serial port so that the simpler and cheaper serial console infrastructure can be used. In recent years. Even where BIOS support is lacking. issued in 1997. those from Sun Microsystems. It is usually possible to log in from the console. e. the meaning of signals. Often. It is commonly used in computer serial ports. . some operating systems. In larger installations. RS-232 (Recommended Standard 232) is the traditional name for a series of standards for serial binary single-ended data and control signals connecting between a DTE (Data Terminal Equipment) and a DCE (Data Circuit-terminating Equipment).g. Depending on configuration. search This article is about the RS-232 standard. the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation. Some PC BIOSes. it cannot be extended very far. KVM/IP devices have become available that allow a remote computer to view the video output and send keyboard input via any TCP/IP network and therefore the Internet. For RS-232 variants. especially in servers. the console ports are attached to multiplexers or network-connected multiport serial servers that let an operator connect a terminal to any of the attached servers. usually with a terminal emulator running on a laptop. routers. Hewlett-Packard and IBM. see serial port. RS-232 From Wikipedia. The standard defines the electrical characteristics and timing of signals. Today. also support serial consoles. The current version of the standard is TIA-232-F Interface Between Data Terminal Equipment and Data Circuit-Terminating Equipment Employing Serial Binary Data Interchange. serial consoles are often used for accessing headless systems. On PCs and workstations.boot from. Since the monitor cable carries video signals. can be configured for serial console operation either during bootup.

However. pluggable connectors and pin identification.4 Cables • 6 Conventions o 6. mice. • Functions of each circuit in the interface connector.1 Voltage levels o 5. printers. timing and slew-rate of signals.2 Connectors o 5. the limited transmission speed.3 Timing signals o 7. • The standard does not define such elements as .1 RTS/CTS handshaking o 6. Many modern personal computers have no RS-232 ports and must use an external converter to connect to older peripherals. un-interruptible power supplies. Some RS-232 devices are still found especially in industrial machines or scientific instruments. Contents 1 Scope of the standard 2 History 3 Limitations of the standard 4 Role in modern personal computers • 5 Standard details o 5. signaling rate.2 Loopback testing o 7. and large standard connectors motivated development of the universal serial bus which has displaced RS-232 from most of its peripheral interface roles.An RS-232 port was once a standard feature of a personal computer for connections to modems. data storage. • Standard subsets of interface circuits for selected telecom applications.2 3-wire and 5-wire RS232 • 7 Seldom used features o 7.3 Pinouts o 5. short-circuit behavior. and other peripheral devices. and maximum load capacitance.1 Signal rate selection o 7. • Interface mechanical characteristics. relatively large voltage swing.4 Secondary channel • 8 Related standards • 9 Development tools • • • • • 10 References [edit] Scope of the standard The Electronic Industries Association (EIA) standard RS-232-C[1] as of 1969 defines: Electrical signal characteristics such as voltage levels. voltage withstand level.

ASCII. they were often designed to be interchangeable with teletypes. patch boxes. and so on was not considered by the standard. Many modern devices support speeds of 115. on many computers. Details of voltage levels. such as USB. and so supported RS-232.[3] Revision C was issued . test instruments. an RS-232-compatible port was a standard feature for serial communications. The standard continued to be revised and updated by the Electronic Industries Alliance and since 1988 by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). Common problems were nonstandard pin assignment of circuits on connectors.[citation needed] The standard has been renamed several times during its history as the sponsoring organization changed its name.character encoding (for example. When electronic terminals (smart and dumb) began to be used. RS-232 is still used to connect older designs of peripherals. In personal computer peripherals. Some manufacturers therefore built transmitters that supplied +5 V and -5 V and labeled them as "RS-232 compatible". slew rate. and has been variously known as EIA RS-232.[citation needed] Later personal computers (and other devices) started to make use of the standard so that they could connect to existing equipment. • • Details of character format and transmission bit rate are controlled by the serial port hardware. It remained in widespread use into the late 1990s. and most recently as TIA 232.[citation needed] Since application to devices such as computers. and special purpose equipment. and a receiver that converts from RS-232 compatible signal levels to the UART's logic levels. A common deviation from the standard was to drive the signals at a reduced voltage. Baudot code or EBCDIC) the framing of characters in the data stream (bits per character. The lack of adherence to the standards produced a thriving industry of breakout boxes. books. and the original DCEs were (usually) modems. console ports. parity) • protocols for error detection or algorithms for data compression • bit rates for transmission. although the standard says it is intended for bit rates lower than 20. printers. often a single integrated circuit called a UART that converts data from parallel to asynchronous start-stop serial form. and incorrect or missing control signals. industrial equipment (such as PLCs). The C revision of the standard was issued in 1969 in part to accommodate the electrical characteristics of these devices. For many years. start/stop bits. it has largely been supplanted by other interface standards. and short-circuit behavior are typically controlled by a line driver that converts from the UART's logic levels to RS-232 compatible signal levels.000 bits per second.[2] The original DTEs were electromechanical teletypewriters. EIA 232. such as modem connections. and other aids for the connection of disparate equipment. [edit] History RS-232 was first introduced in 1962.200 bit/s and above • power supply to external devices. such as a cash drawer for a cash register. test equipment. designers implementing an RS-232 compatible interface on their equipment often interpreted the requirements idiosyncratically.

• Multi-drop connection among more than two devices is not a document dated August 1969. The voltage swing requirement also limits the upper speed of a compatible interface. While multi-drop "work-arounds" have been devised. issued in 1997. • No method is specified for sending power to a device.24 (circuit identification) and V. successor standards have been developed to address the limitations. • Single-ended signaling referred to a common signal ground limits the noise immunity and transmission distance. the designer must decide on either a DTE-like or DCE-like interface and which connector pin assignments to use. this is only suitable for low power devices such as mice. they have limitations in speed and compatibility. the use of handshake lines for flow control is not reliably implemented in many devices. • Asymmetrical definitions of the two ends of the link make the assignment of the role of a newly developed device problematic.28 (signal voltage and timing characteristics). While a small amount of current can be extracted from the DTR and RTS lines. in particular. Issues with the RS-232 standard include:[4] The large voltage swings and requirement for positive and negative supplies increases power consumption of the interface and complicates power supply design. but equipment built to the current standard will interoperate with older versions. • The 25-way connector recommended in the standard is large compared to current practice. • [edit] Role in modern personal computers .24. The current revision is TIA232-F Interface Between Data Terminal Equipment and Data Circuit-Terminating Equipment Employing Serial Binary Data Interchange. Changes since Revision C have been in timing and details intended to improve harmonization with the CCITT standard V.[citation needed] [edit] Limitations of the standard Because the application of RS-232 has extended far beyond the original purpose of interconnecting a terminal with a modem. Revision D was issued in 1986. • The handshaking and control lines of the interface are intended for the setup and takedown of a dial-up communication circuit.[citation needed] Related ITU-T standards include V.

Some manufacturers have responded to this demand: Toshiba reintroduced the DE-9M connector on the Tecra laptop. modern industrial automation equipment. and has connectors that are simpler to connect and use. Today. PC 97 Hardware Design Guide. Devices that convert USB to RS-232 may not work with all software on all personal computers and may cause a reduction in bandwidth along with higher latency. USB is limited by standard to no more than 5 meters of cable. uses lower voltages. It is often far cheaper to continue to use RS-232 than it is to replace the equipment. This isn't feasible with USB. USB docking ports are available which can provide connectors for a keyboard. one or more serial ports. In some cases. Additionally. RS-232 has mostly been replaced in personal computers by USB for local communications.[5] Microsoft deprecated support for the RS-232 compatible serial port of the original IBM PC design. which requires some form of receiver to decode the serial data. since the control lines of the interface can be easily manipulated by software. RS-232 only standardizes the voltage of signals and the functions of the physical interface pins. such as PLCs. Corresponding device drivers are required for each USB-connected device to allow programs to access these USB-connected devices as if they were the original directly connected peripherals. and CNC equipment are programmable via RS-232. and one or more parallel ports. This requires more software to support the protocol used. thus favoring RS-232 when longer distances are needed. USB is designed to make it easy for device drivers to communicate with hardware. but the control lines are used to signal conditions such as loss of power or low battery alarms. surveying) provide a continued demand for RS-232 I/O due to sustained use of very expensive but aging equipment. such as relays or lamps. serial data is not exchanged. However. As an alternative. USB is faster. Serial ports of personal computers are also sometimes used to directly control various hardware devices. However. Personal computers may use a serial port to interface to devices such as uninterruptible power supplies. . laboratory automation. VFDs. USB is more complex than the RS-232 standard because it includes a protocol for transferring data to devices.PCI Express x1 card with one RS-232 port Main article: Serial port In the book. mouse. servo drives. Both standards have software support in popular operating systems. Many fields (for example. Compared with RS-232. there is no direct analog to the terminal programs used to let users communicate directly with serial ports.

the signal condition is called marking.Serial ports with RS-232 are also commonly used to communicate to headless systems such as servers. An RS-232 serial port can communicate to some embedded systems such as routers as an alternative to network mode of monitoring. where no monitor or keyboard is installed. Control signals are logically inverted with respect to what one sees on the data transmission lines. The standard specifies a maximum open-circuit voltage of 25 volts: signal levels of ±5 V. When one of these signals is active. [edit] Voltage levels Diagrammatic oscilloscope trace of voltage levels for an uppercase ASCII "K" character (0x4b) with 1 start bit. between −3 and −15 volts. Since transmit data and receive data are separate circuits. Logic zero is positive and the signal condition is termed spacing. or how fast the signal changes between levels. The RS-232 standard defines the voltage levels that correspond to logical one and logical zero levels for the data transmission and the control signal lines. signaling from a DTE to the attached DCE or the reverse. or character encoding. Both synchronous and asynchronous transmissions are supported by the standard. Examples of . the ±3 V range near zero volts is not a valid RS-232 level. user data is sent as a time-series of bits. 1 stop bit . and has the functional significance. The inactive state for these signals is the opposite voltage condition. 8 data bits. The slew rate. and ±15 V are all commonly seen depending on the power supplies available within a device. ±12 V. during boot when operating system isn't running yet and therefore no network connection is possible. the interface can operate in a full duplex manner. Valid signals are plus or minus 3 to 15 volts. the voltage on the line will be between +3 to +15 volts. ±10 V. In addition to the data circuits. [edit] Standard details In RS-232. is also controlled. supporting concurrent data flow in both directions. that is. Each data or control circuit only operates in one direction. For data transmission lines (TxD. the standard defines a number of control circuits used to manage the connection between the DTE and DCE. RxD and their secondary channel equivalents) logic one is defined as a negative voltage. The standard does not define character framing within the data stream. RS-232 drivers and receivers must be able to withstand indefinite short circuit to ground or to any voltage level up to ±25 volts.

The standard recommended but did not make mandatory the D-subminiature 25 pin connector. smaller connectors can often be used. If the two devices are far enough apart or on separate power systems. problems will occur when connecting machinery and computers where the voltage between the ground pin on one end. In general and according to the standard. The standard specifies 20 different signal connections. Other devices may have any combination of connector gender and pin definitions. and data set ready (DSR).control lines include request to send (RTS). These also protect the device's internal circuitry from short circuits or transients that may appear on the RS-232 interface. Since most devices use only a few signals. Balanced. data terminal ready (DTR). this difference will reduce the noise margin of the signals. and modems have female connectors with DCE pin functions. and provide sufficient current to comply with the slew rate requirements for data transmission. Because both ends of the RS-232 circuit depend on the ground pin being zero volts. For example. clear to send (CTS). the terminal with its cable satisfied the recommendations in the standard. special intervening driver circuits are required to translate logic levels. Where it is necessary to permanently set a control signal to a defined state. the local ground connections at either end of the cable will have differing voltages. This may also cause a hazardous ground loop. Some personal computers put non-standard voltages or signals on some pins of their serial ports. [edit] Connectors RS-232 devices may be classified as Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) or Data Communication Equipment (DCE).[6] Unused interface signals terminated to ground will have an undefined logic state. [edit] Pinouts . terminals and computers have male connectors with DTE pin functions. Because the voltage levels are higher than logic levels typically used by integrated circuits. a male D-sub was an RS-232-C DTE port (with a non-standard current loop interface on reserved pins). Use of a common ground limits RS-232 to applications with relatively short cables. RS-422 and RS-485 can tolerate larger ground voltage differences because of the differential signaling. differential. Some devices provide test voltages on their interface connectors for this purpose. and the ground pin on the other is not zero. it must be connected to a voltage source that asserts the logic 1 or logic 0 level. Many terminals were manufactured with female terminals but were sold with a cable with male connectors at each end. this defines at each device which wires will be sending and receiving each signal. serial connections such as USB. on the original IBM PC. but the female D-sub connector was used for a parallel Centronics printer port. Presence of a 25 pin D-sub connector does not necessarily indicate an RS-232-C compliant interface.

To Send Clear To Indicates DCE is ready to accept data. Signal Name Typical purpose Origin DB Abbreviat DT DC 25 ion E E pi n DTR ● 20 Data Terminal Indicates presence of DTE to DCE. Detect Data Set DCE is ready to receive commands or data. which is equivalent to the primary channel.[7] See serial port for non-standard variations including the popular DE-9 connector. Send Transmitt Carries data from DTE to DCE. The DB-25 connector includes a second "protective ground" on pin 1. The ground signal is a common return for the other connections. Data Common Ground Protective Ground DCD DSR RI RTS CTS TxD RxD GND PG ● ● ● ● 8 6 ● 22 4 ● 5 2 ● 3 commo 7 n commo 1 n The signals are named from the standpoint of the DTE. Data can be sent over a secondary channel (when implemented by the DTE and DCE devices). ed Data Received Carries data from DCE to DTE. Request DTE requests the DCE prepare to receive data. Ready Ring DCE has detected an incoming ring signal on the Indicator telephone line. Ready Data Carrier DCE is connected to the telephone line. Pin assignments are described in following table: Signal Common Ground Pin 7 (same as primary) Secondary Transmitted 14 Data (STD) Secondary Received Data 16 (SRD) Secondary Request To Send 19 .The following table lists commonly used RS-232 signals and pin assignments.

Poor-quality cables can cause false signals by crosstalk between data and control lines (such as Ring Indicator). especially if a Gender changer is in use.(SRTS) Secondary Clear To Send (SCTS) Secondary Carrier Detect (SDCD) 13 12 [edit] Cables Main article: Serial cable The standard does not define a maximum cable length but instead defines the maximum capacitance that a compliant drive circuit must tolerate. "Gender changers" are available to solve gender mismatches between cables and connectors. Manufacturers of equipment with 8P8C connectors usually provide a cable with either a DB-25 or DE-9 connector (or sometimes interchangeable connectors so they can work with multiple devices). unless special cables are used. character encoding. not defined in RS 232. must be agreed to by both sending and receiving equipment. usually ASCII character coding. users must manually set the baud rate (and all other parameters) at both ends of the RS-232 connection. other signal standards are better suited to maintain high speed. Connecting a fully standard-compliant DCE device and DTE device would use a cable that connects identical pin numbers in each connector (a socalled "straight cable"). character framing. and data rates programmable between 75 bits per second and 115. Connecting devices with different types of connectors requires a cable that connects the corresponding pins according to the table above. For example. data compression. A widely used rule of thumb indicates that cables more than 50 feet (15 metres) long will have too much capacitance.200 bits per second. Cables with 9 pins on one end and 25 on the other are common. and error detection.000 feet. Data rates above 20. If a given cable will not allow a data connection. Since most RS232 devices do not have automatic baud rate detection. full speed communication can be maintained over larger distances up to about 1. although higher data rates are sometimes used by commercially manufactured equipment. Since the standard definitions are not always correctly applied.[8] For longer distances. consider the serial ports of the original IBM PC. test connections with a breakout box. conventions of bit rate. it is often necessary to consult documentation.000 bits per second are out of the scope of the standard. communications protocol. or use trial and error to find a cable that works when interconnecting two devices. . By using low-capacitance cables. [edit] Conventions For functional communication through a serial port interface. This implementation used an 8250 UART using asynchronous start-stop character formatting with 7 or 8 data bits per frame. a Null modem may be necessary.

This allows for half-duplex modems that disable their transmitters when not required. some popular baud rates are unavailable due to the granularity of the baud rate setting. MIDI-to-RS-232 interfaces designed for the IBM PC include baud rate translation hardware to adjust the baud rate of the MIDI data to something that the IBM PC can support. This allowed a PC to be connected to devices not using the rates typically used with modems. "hardware flow control" in the description of the options available on an RS-232-equipped device does not always mean RTS/CTS handshaking. . rather than requesting permission from the DCE to send characters to the DCE. CTS is no longer a response to RTS." which is CCITT V. when implemented.250 bits per second. RS-232's use of the RTS and CTS lines is asymmetric: The DTE asserts RTS to indicate a desire to transmit to the DCE. However. and the DCE asserts CTS in response to grant permission. RTS and CTS are controlled by the DTE and DCE respectively. as with most UART chips including the 8250 UART used by the IBM PC. with this alternative usage. This includes the baud rate of MIDI. 31.a concept that doesn't otherwise exist in RS-232. and RTS indicates permission from the DTE for the DCE to send data to the DTE. commonly called "RTS/CTS handshaking. each independent of the other. logic 0) meaning that the DTE is indicating it is "ready to receive" from the DCE. baud rates were programmable with arbitrary values. Note that due to the clock frequency which IBM chose to feed the 8250 UART in the PC. RTS is assumed by the DCE to be ON at all times. In this scheme." was developed by various equipment manufacturers. [edit] RTS/CTS handshaking Further information: Hardware flow control In older versions of the specification. and must transmit a synchronization preamble to the receiver when they are re-enabled. "RTR (Ready to Receive). TIA-232-E and the corresponding international standards were updated to show that circuit 133. There is no way for the DTE to indicate that it is unable to accept data from the DCE. since a transmission may have begun just before the control line state change. where the RS-232's RTS signal is used to ask the converter to take control of the RS-485 bus . instead. CTS indicates permission from the DCE for the DTE to send data to the DCE. A non-standard symmetric alternative.400 bits per second. Note that equipment using this protocol must be prepared to buffer some extra data. one can think of RTS asserted (positive voltage. shares the same pin as RTS (Request to Send).In the particular case of the IBM PC. for example 19. This was eventually codified in version RS-232-E (actually TIA-232-E by that time) by defining a new signal. which is generally not achievable by a standard IBM PC serial port.24 circuit 133. RTS/CTS handshaking is an example of hardware flow control.200 or 38. and that when 133 is in use.[9] Thus. This scheme is also employed on present-day RS-232 to RS-485 converters.

the RTS and CTS lines are added in a 5-wire version. [edit] Timing signals Some synchronous devices provide a clock signal to synchronize data transmission. the DTE can signal the local DCE (the one it is connected to) to enter loopback mode by setting pin 18 to ON. or send timing (ST). When only hardware flow control is required in addition to two-way data. The prearranged device selects the high rate by setting pin 23 to ON. [edit] Loopback testing Many DCE devices have a loopback capability used for testing. or the remote DCE (the one the local DCE is connected to) to enter loopback mode by setting pin 21 to ON. [edit] Signal rate selection The DTE or DCE can specify use of a "high" or "low" signaling rate. The latter tests the communications link as well as both DCE's. [edit] Seldom used features The EIA-232 standard specifies connections for several features that are not used in most implementations. the DTE puts the next bit on the data line (pin 2) when this clock transitions from OFF to ON (so it is stable during the ON to OFF transition when the DCE registers the bit). . or a GPS receiver that periodically sends position. Their use requires the 25-pin connectors and cables. Two timing signals are provided by the DCE on pins 15 and 17. the DTE reads the next bit from the data line (pin 3) when this clock transitions from ON to OFF. Pin 15 is the transmitter clock. is commonly used when the full facilities of RS-232 are not required. and ground. a digital postal scale that periodically sends a weight reading. Loopback testing is often performed with a specialized DTE called a bit error rate tester (or BERT). or receive timing (RT). Even a two-wire connection (data and ground) can be used if the data flow is one way (for example. signals are echoed back to the sender rather than being sent on to the receiver. A hardware loopback is simply a wire connecting complementary pins together in the same connector (see loopback). if no configuration via RS-232 is necessary). The rates as well as which device will select the rate must be configured in both the DTE and DCE. When enabled. Pin 17 is the receiver clock.[edit] 3-wire and 5-wire RS-232 A minimal "3-wire" RS-232 connection consisting only of transmit data. receive data. If supported. A commonly used version of loopback testing doesn't involve any special capability of either end. and of course both the DTE and DCE must support them. When the DCE is in test mode it signals the DTE by setting pin 25 to ON. especially at higher data rates.

and correct the clock to data timing. Data is changed when the clock transitions from OFF to ON and read during the ON to OFF transition. which was never emulated by other suppliers of plug-compatible equipment. thus combining the best of never caught on like RS-232 and was withdrawn by the EIA) • RS-485 (a descendant of RS-422 that can be used as a bus in multidrop configurations) • MIL-STD-188 (a system like RS-232 but with better impedance and rise time control) • EIA-530 (a high-speed system using RS-422 or RS-423 electrical properties in an EIA-232 pinout configuration. Connection of a current-loop device to a compliant RS-232 port requires a level translator. [edit] Related standards Other serial signaling standards may not interoperate with standard-compliant RS-232 ports. [edit] Secondary channel There is a secondary data channel. supersedes RS-449) • • . Other serial interfaces similar to RS-232: RS-422 (a high-speed system similar to RS-232 but with differential signaling) RS-423 (a high-speed system similar to RS-422 but with unbalanced signaling) • RS-449 (a functional and mechanical interface that used RS-422 and RS-423 signals . Such levels are sometimes used with NMEA 0183-compliant GPS receivers and depth finders. identical in capability to the first.25. using TT eliminates the issue. Secondary Received Data (SRD). Secondary Clear To Send (SCTS). Secondary Request To Send (SRTS). and the presence of current in the loop for low. this signaling method is often used for long-distance and optically isolated links. and X. clock a bit out of the DTE after another unknown delay. ST loop back to TT lets the DTE use the DCE as the frequency reference. Current-loop devices can supply voltages in excess of the withstand voltage limits of a compliant device.Alternatively. using the TTL levels of near +5 and 0 V puts the mark level in the undefined area of the standard. Synchronous clocking is required for such protocols as SDLC. A 20 mA current loop uses the absence of 20 mA current for high. on pin 24 for transmitted data. The original IBM PC serial port card implemented a 20 mA current-loop interface. TT may be generated by looping ST back with an appropriate phase change to align it with the transmitted data. For example. called transmitter timing (TT). and return it to the DCE over the same unknown cable delay. Five signals (plus the common ground of the primary channel) comprise the secondary channel: Secondary Transmitted Data (STD). the DTE can provide a clock signal. HDLC. TT can be used to overcome the issue where ST must traverse a cable of unknown length and delay. and since both signals traverse the same cable length. Since the relation between the transmitted bit and TT can be fixed in the DTE design. and Secondary Carrier Detect (SDCD).

25. and. as originated on the IBM PC/AT) • SpaceWire (high-speed serial system designed for use on board spacecraft). Some simply display the signals as waveforms. HDLC. search A male DE-9 connector used for a serial port on a IBM PC compatible computer. and display the data and control signals. the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation. (Pinout) . where used. DDCMP. as software and interface cables for generalpurpose logic analyzers. and as programs that run in common personal computers. and X. The serial line analyzer can collect. A serial line analyzer is a device similar to a logic analyzer but specialized for RS-232's voltage levels.EIA/TIA-561 8 Position Non-Synchronous Interface Between Data Terminal Equipment and Data Circuit Terminating Equipment Employing Serial Binary Data Interchange • EIA/TIA-562 Electrical Characteristics for an Unbalanced Digital Interface (lowvoltage version of EIA/TIA-232) • TIA-574 (standardizes the 9-pin D-subminiature connector pinout for use with EIA-232 electrical signalling. close examination of hardware signals can be important to find problems. more elaborate versions include the ability to decode characters in ASCII or other common codes and to interpret common protocols used over RS-232 such as SDLC. allowing developers to view them in detail. connectors. Serial line analyzers are available as standalone units. Serial port From Wikipedia. • [edit] Development tools When developing or troubleshooting systems using RS-232. clock signals. store.

In computing. data transfer through serial ports connected the computer to devices such as terminals and various peripherals.1 Connectors o 1. scientific instruments. intended to interface with a modem or with a similar communication device.3 Hardware abstraction • 2 Common applications for serial ports o 2. shop till systems and some industrial and consumer products. and USB all send data as a serial stream. Network equipment (such as routers and switches) often use serial console for configuration. Modern computers without serial ports may require serial-to-USB converters to allow compatibility with RS 232 serial devices. FireWire. A serial port requires very little supporting software from the host system.1 Historic uses • . Serial ports are still used in applications such as industrial automation systems. Server computers may use a serial port as a control console for diagnostics.A male Mini DIN-8 connector used for a serial port on a Macintosh or SGI style computer. the term "serial port" usually identifies hardware more or less compliant to the RS-232 standard. Serial ports are still used in these areas as they are simple.2 Pinouts o 1.[1] Throughout most of the history of personal computers. While such interfaces as Ethernet. a serial port is a serial communication physical interface through which information transfers in or out one bit at a time (contrast parallel port). Contents 1 Hardware o 1. cheap and their console functions are highly standardized and widespread.

but more complex.• • • • 3 Settings o 3. Inter-operation with RS-232 devices may be impossible as the serial port cannot withstand the voltage levels produced and may have other differences that "lock in" the user to products of a particular manufacturer. logic gates. Before large-scale integration (LSI) UART integrated circuits were common.1 Speed o 3. such as some early home computers. counters.3 Parity o 3. Very low-cost systems. that converted characters to (and from) asynchronous serial form. These make it possible to connect . a minicomputer or microcomputer would have a serial port made of multiple small-scale integrated circuits to implement shift registers. used an integrated circuit called a UART. serial communication standards such as USB and FireWire to replace RS-232. such as the IBM PC. and automatically looked after the timing and framing of data. would instead use the CPU to send the data through an output pin.5 Conventional notation o 3. and all the other logic for a serial port. using the so-called bit-banging technique. Low-cost processors now allow higher-speed.2 Data bits o 3.4 Stop bits o 3. Early home computers often had proprietary serial ports with pinouts and voltage levels incompatible with RS-232.6 Flow control 4 "Virtual" serial ports 5 See also 6 References [edit] Hardware PCI Express card with one serial port Some computers.

However. usually the smaller 2. smaller connectors can often be used. but some PowerBook laptops had only one combined port to save space. A DE-9 connector also fits onto a card with a second DB-25 connector that was similarly changed from the original Centronics-style connector. but the electronics are still there. sometimes also with circuitry for a parallel port. Many devices don't use either of these standards. have serial ports using a jack plug connector. [edit] Connectors While the RS-232 standard originally specified a 25-pin D-type connector. modular connectors have been used. sound. Most common are 8P8C connectors. RS-232 has been standard for so long that the circuits needed to control a serial port became very cheap and often exist on a single chip. presence of a 9-pin D-subminiature connector is neither necessary nor sufficient to indicate use of a serial port. many designers of personal computers chose to implement only a subset of the full standard: they traded off compatibility with the standard against the use of less costly and more compact connectors (in particular the DE-9 version used by the original IBM PC-AT). and other purposes. Starting around the time of the introduction of the IBM PC-AT. For example. serial ports were commonly built with a 9-pin connector to save cost and space.5 or 3. This is a 6 pin modular jack where the key is offset from the center position.devices that would not have operated feasibly over slower serial connections. Small-form-factor systems and laptops may omit RS-232 connector ports to conserve space. Some miniaturized electronics. The desire to supply serial interface cards with two ports required that IBM reduce the size of the connector to fit onto a single card back panel. The standard specifies 20 different signal connections. Another common connector is the DH10 header connector common on motherboards and add-in cards . Since most devices use only a few signals. As with the Yost standard. 10P10C connectors can be found on some devices as well. More recently. but the "Yost Serial Device Wiring Standard"[2] invented by Dave Yost (and popularized by the Unix System Administration Handbook) is common on Unix computers and newer devices from Cisco Systems. and has been standardized as TIA-574. DECconnect uses a symmetrical pin layout which enables the direct connection between two DTEs. Many personal computer motherboards still have at least one serial port. Many models of Macintosh favored the related RS-422 standard. The Macintosh included a standard set of two ports for connection to a printer and a modem. joysticks. the 9 pin DE-9 connector was used by most IBM-compatible PCs since the IBM PC AT. mostly using German MiniDIN connectors. and video devices. Standard EIA/TIA 561 specifies a pin assignment. particularly graphing calculators and hand-held amateur and twoway radio equipment. such as mass storage. Digital Equipment Corporation defined their own DECconnect connection system which was based on the Modified Modular Jack (MMJ) connector. even if accessible only through a pin header. since this connector was also used for video. except in the earliest models.5 mm connectors and use the most basic 3-wire interface.

The ground signal is a common return for the other connections. for example. OOB control signal: Acknowledges RTS and allows DTE to transmit. OOB control signal: Tells DTE that DCE is ready to receive commands or data. Data signal: Carries data from DCE to DTE. Note that EIA/TIA 561 combines DSR and RI. an IBM-PC compatible serial port.[4][5] and the Yost standard combines DSR and DCD. DCD ● 8 1 2 7 6 DSR ● 6 6 1 RI RTS CTS TxD RxD GND PG ● ● ● 22 9 4 ● 5 2 ● 3 7 8 3 2 5 8 7 6 5 — 1 8 3 6 — — — 2 5 commo 7 n commo 1 n 4 4.[3] Signal Name Data Terminal Ready Data Carrier Detect Data Set Ready Ring Indicator Request To Send Clear To Send Transmitt ed Data Received Data Common Ground Protective Ground Typical purpose Origin DB TI DE A. The DB-25 connector includes a second "protective ground" on pin 1. . Data signal: Carries data from DTE to DCE. 4 — — — — The signals are named from the standpoint of the DTE. 5 3. it appears on two pins in the Yost standard but is the same signal. OOB control signal: Tells DCE to prepare to accept data from DTE.Yo DEC -9 Abbreviat DT DC 25 56 st MM pi ion E E pi 1 pin J n n pin DTR ● 20 4 3 2 1 OOB control signal: Tells DCE that DTE is ready to be connected. OOB control signal: Tells DTE that DCE is connected to telephone line. [edit] Pinouts The following table lists commonly-used RS-232 signals and pin assignments. OOB control signal: Tells DTE that DCE has detected a ring signal on the telephone line. Connecting this to pin 7 (signal reference ground) is a common practice but not essential.which is usually converted via a cable to the more standard 9 pin DE-9 connector (and frequently mounted on a free slot plate or other part of the housing).

The Microsoft MS-DOS and Windows environments refer to serial ports as COM ports: COM1. low-speed satellite modems and other satellite based transceiver devices • • • • . etc. 8250/16550 UART hardware serial ports are named /dev/ttyS*. COM2. This list includes some of the more common devices that are connected to the serial port on a PC. the syntax of that string depends on the operating system and the device.800 bit/s) Bar code scanners and other point of sale devices LED and LCD text displays Satellite phones. [edit] Common applications for serial ports The RS-232 standard is used by many specialized and custom-built devices. where they can be used to communicate with a PC or other serial devices. it requires a driver in the host system software and a built-in processor to emulate the functions of the IBM-XT compatible serial port hardware. On Linux. GPS receivers (typically NMEA 0183 at 4. Serial ports are very common on most types of microcontroller.A converter from USB to an RS-232 compatible serial port. more than a physical transition. Unix-like operating systems usually label the serial port devices /dev/tty* (TTY is a common trademark-free abbreviation for teletype) where * represents a string identifying the terminal device. Some of these such as modems and serial mice are falling into disuse while others are readily available. [edit] Hardware abstraction Operating systems usually use a symbolic name to refer to the serial ports of a computer. USB adapters appear as /dev/ttyUSB* and various types of virtual serial ports do not necessarily have names starting with tty.

"battery low alarm" and other status information. One of the simplifications made in such serial bus standards as Ethernet. however. without exchanging serial data. the speed is either fixed or automatically negotiated. teletype Dial-up modems Older digital cameras Networking (Macintosh AppleTalk using RS-422 at 230. A standard series of rates is based on multiples of the rates for electromechanical teleprinters. The . • Industrial field buses • [edit] Historic uses • • • • • • • • Printers Computer terminal. Often if the settings are entered incorrectly the connection will not be dropped. making it possible for the software to decipher Morse code. some applications used the control lines of a serial port to monitor external devices. hardware from the 1980s and earlier may require setting switches or jumpers on a circuit board.Flat-screen (LCD and Plasma) monitors to control screen functions by external computer. At least some Morse code training software used a code key connected to the serial port. In modern serial ports using a UART integrated circuit. The status bits of the serial port could be sampled very rapidly and at predictable times. some serial ports allow many arbitrary rates to be selected. other AV components or remotes • Test and measuring equipment such as digital multimeters and weighing systems • Updating Firmware on various consumer devices. • Some CNC controllers • Uninterruptible power supply • Software debuggers that run on a 2nd computer. FireWire. to simulate actual code use. [edit] Settings Many settings are required for serial connections used for asynchronous start-stop communication.4 kbit/s) Serial mouse Older Joysticks Older GSM mobile phones Since the control signals for a serial port can be easily turned on and off by a switch. so the data rate in bits per second is equal to the symbol rate in bauds. number of data bits per character. all settings are usually software-controlled. any data sent will be received on the other end as nonsense. and USB is that many of those parameters have fixed values so that users can not and need not change the configuration. and number of stop bits per character. to select speed. The most important commercial application of this principle was for some models of uninterruptible power supply which used the control lines to signal "loss of power". [edit] Speed Serial ports use two-level (binary) signaling. parity.

Not all bit rates are possible with all serial ports. odd (O). but rarely used. 8 (for any kind of data.) The order of bits is not usually configurable. is "big endian" or MSB (Most Significant Bit) first serial communications. two more framing bits are sent). Electromechanical teleprinters were arranged to print a special character when received data contained a parity error. (See Endianness for more about bit ordering. When parity is used with a serial port. 2400. 38400. If a byte is received with the wrong number of 1s. but data can be byte-swapped only before sending. For example with 8-N-1 character framing only 80% of the bits are available for data (for every eight bits of data. including the parity bit. or space (S). mark (M). 6 (rarely used). 8 data bits are almost universally used in newer applications. parity. mark or space parity is uncommon. Some serial port systems can automatically detect the bit rate. The parity bit in each character can be set to none (N). The capability to set a bit rate does not imply that a working connection will result. is always odd or always even. use serial data rates other than the teleprinter series. or 9 (rarely used).port speed and device speed must match. as it adds no error . Some specialpurpose protocols such as MIDI for musical instrument control.) and so the effective data rate is lower than the bit transmission rate. [edit] Parity Main article: Parity bit Parity is a method of detecting errors in transmission. A single parity bit does not allow implementation of error correction on each character. 7 (for true ASCII). even (E). 19200. This standard is also referred to as "little endian". etc. Aside from uncommon applications that use the 9th (parity) bit for some form of addressing or special signalling. 5 or 7 bits generally only make sense with older equipment such as teleprinters. Most serial communications designs send the data bits within each byte LSB (Least Significant Bit) first. an even number of errors can pass the parity check. 9600.[6] [edit] Data bits The number of data bits in each character can be 5 (for Baudot code). The speed includes bits for framing (stop bits. 4800. an extra data bit is sent with each data character. as this matches the size of a byte). Common bit rates include 1200. arranged so that the number of 1 bits in each character. 57600 and 115200 bit/s. to allow detection of messages damaged by line noise. Mark parity means that the parity bit is always set to the mark signal condition (logical 1) and likewise space parity always sends the parity bit in the space signal condition. None means that no parity bit is sent at all. Also possible. then it must have been corrupted. However. 14400. and communication protocols working over serial data links will have higher-level mechanisms to ensure data validity and request retransmission of data that has been incorrectly received.

and computer systems. for instance when a buffer is almost full. . Electronic devices usually use one stop bit. Generally. [edit] Flow control Main article: Flow control A serial port may use signals in the interface to pause and resume the transmission of data. However. Common hardware handshake signals (hardware flow control) use the RS-232 RTS/CTS or DTR/DSR signal circuits. that is. it sends an XON character to tell the sender to resume transmission. no parity. terminals. Odd parity is more common than even. is "none". This specifies 8 data bits. manufacturers have over the years built many devices that implemented non-standard variations on the standard. These are non-printing characters and are interpreted as handshake signals by printers. the receiver sends the XOFF character to tell the sender to stop sending data.detection information. In this notation. If a receiver of a 7/E/1 stream is expecting an 8/N/1 stream. with error detection handled by a communication protocol. which makes it more reliable. The most common usage on microcomputers is 8/N/1 (8N1). after the receiver has emptied its buffers. Another method of flow control (software flow control) uses special characters such as XON/XOFF to control the flow of data. however. a slow printer might need to handshake with the serial port to indicate that data should be paused while the mechanism advances a line. printers that use DTR as flow control. The most common parity setting. one-and-one half or two stop bits are required. 7/E/1 (7E1) means that an even parity bit is added to the seven data bits for a total of eight bits between the start and stop bits. For example. [edit] Conventional notation The D/P/S (Data/Parity/Stop) conventional notation specifies the framing of a serial connection. If slow electromechanical teleprinters are used. [edit] Stop bits Stop bits sent at the end of every character allow the receiving signal hardware to detect the end of a character and to resynchronise with the character stream. When the receiver's buffers approach capacity. the parity bit is not included in the data bits. DTR and DSR are usually on all the time and. The circuit starts in the "sending allowed" state. are used to signal from each end that the other equipment is actually present and powered-up. the RTS and CTS are turned off and on from alternate ends to control data flow. per the RS-232 standard and its successors. 1 stop bit. half the possible bytes will be interpreted as having the high bit set. since it ensures that at least one state transition occurs in each character. The XON/XOFF characters are sent by the receiver to the sender to control when the sender will send data. for example. Later. these characters go in the opposite direction to the data being sent.

etc. VSP33. Such characters sent as part of the data stream must be encoded in an escape sequence to prevent this. Virtual serial port emulators are available for Microsoft Windows and some of them run under Windows CE. [edit] "Virtual" serial ports Main article: Virtual serial port A virtual serial port is an emulation of the standard serial port.). Additionally they allow controlling the data flow. If the XON and XOFF characters might appear in the data being sent. Virtual serial ports are common with Bluetooth and are the standard way of receiving data from Bluetooth-equipped GPS modules.). since no extra signal circuits are required. and the receiving and sending software must generate and interpret these escape sequences. .XON/XOFF flow control is an example of inband signaling. such as operating memory and computing power. On the other hand. Stop bits. Unlike a physical serial port the virtual one can be assigned any name (COM255. Another option is to communicate with any other serial devices via internet or LAN as if they are locally connected to computer (Serial-over-Ethernet technology). For the concept in general. Parallel port From Wikipedia. Two computers or applications can communicate through an emulated serial port link. in which control information is sent over the same channel used for the data. etc. virtual serial ports can share data between several applications from one GPS device connected to a serial port. For instance. emulating all signal lines (DTR/DSR/CTS/RTS/DCD/RI) and customizing pinout. Virtual serial port emulation can be useful in case there is a lack of available physical serial ports or they do not meet the current requirements. Data bits. the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation. Windows Mobile and Pocket PC. XON/XOFF handshaking presents difficulties. XON/XOFF flow control can be done on a 3 wire interface. It is possible to create a large number of virtual serial ports in a PC. etc. This port is created by software which enable extra serial ports in an operating system without additional hardware installation (such as expansion cards. as receivers may interpret them as flow control. search This article is about the Centronics style port. Virtual serial ports emulate all hardware serial port functionality. Parity bits. needed to emulate many serial ports at the same time. including Baud rate. The only limitation is the amount of resources. see Parallel communications.

The IEEE 1284 standard defines the bi-directional version of the port. Contents 1 History 2 Uses o 2.A DB-25 parallel printer port. In computing. Micro ribbon 36 pin female. which allows the transmission and reception of data bits at the same time. as on IBM-PC style. and a few other types of computers.1 Port addresses o 3.1 Current use • 3 Implementation on IBM personal computers o 3. A parallel port is a type of interface found on computers (personal and otherwise) for connecting various peripherals. a parallel port is a parallel communication physical interface. such as on printers and on some computers.2 Program interface • 4 Pinouts • 5 Unidirectional parallel ports • 6 See also • 7 References • • • 8 External links . particularly industrial equipment and early (pre-1980s) personal computers. It is also known as a printer port or Centronics port.

on the LaserJet 4 in 1992. IBM released the IBM Personal Computer in 1981 and included a variant of the Centronics interface— only IBM logo printers (rebranded from Epson) could be used with the IBM PC. The Centronics parallel interface quickly became a de facto industry standard. Many manufacturers of personal computers and laptops consider parallel to be a legacy port and no longer include the parallel interface. NCR used the 36-pin micro ribbon connector. [edit] Current use For consumers. the M-50 was also referred to as Winchester. Other devices such as EPROM programmers and hardware controllers could be connected parallel.[2][3] Dataproducts parallel was available in a short-line for connections up to 50 feet (15 m) and a long-line version for connections from 50 feet (15 m) to 500 feet (150 m). joysticks. [edit] Uses Before the advent of USB.[4] IBM standardized the parallel cable with a DB25F connector on the PC side and the Centronics connector on the printer side. so a variety of cables were required. and many printer manufacturers offered the Dataproducts interface as an option. Probably one of the earliest devices to use parallel were dongles used as a hardware key form of software copy protection. The Dataproducts interface was found on many mainframe systems up through the 1990s. It used a DC-37 connector on the host side and a 50 pin connector on the printer side— either a DD-50 (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "DB50") or the block shaped M-50 connector.[1] The interface was developed by Robert Howard and Prentice Robinson at Centronics. Texas Instruments used a 25-pin card edge connector and Data General used a 50-pin micro ribbon connector. Vendors soon released printers compatible with both standard Centronics and the IBM implementation. Zip drives and scanners were early implementations followed by external modems. the parallel interface was adapted to access a number of peripheral devices other than printers. HP introduced their version of bidirectional. Dataproducts introduced a very different implementation of the parallel interface for their printers. For example. The guidelines for Microsoft's Windows . webcams. the USB interface—and often Ethernet—has effectively replaced the parallel printer port. early VAX systems used a DC-37 connector. gamepads.[edit] History The Centronics Model 101 printer was introduced in 1970 and included the first parallel interface for printers. The Bitronics and Centronics interfaces were superseded by the IEEE 1284 standard in 1994. known as Bitronics. IBM implemented an early form of bidirectional interface in 1987. Adapters were available to run SCSI devices via parallel. manufacturers of the time tended to use various connectors on the system side. sound cards. external hard disk drives and CD-ROM drives.

[edit] Implementation on IBM personal computers [edit] Port addresses Traditionally IBM PC systems have allocated their first three parallel ports according to the configuration in the table below. remain fixed (therefore.Logo Program "strongly discourages" systems builders from including parallel ports. [edit] Program interface . however.[5] USB-toparallel adapters are available that can make parallel-only printers work with USB-only systems. . 0x378 at LPT1 would use IRQ 7)[citation needed]. the port addresses of the others are moved up. (For example. the port at 0x378 will then become LPT1. The port addresses assigned to each LPTx slot can be determined by reading the BIOS Data Area (BDA) at 0000:0408. Bit to Pin Mapping for the Standard Parallel Port (SPP): Address MS B LS B Bit 7 : Base (Data port) 6 5 4 3 8 7 6 5 2 1 4 3 0 2 Pin 9 : Base+1 (Status port) Pin ~1 1 1 1 15 : 1 0 2 3 Pin : ~1 1 ~1 ~1 7 6 4 Base+2 (Control port) ~ indicates a hardware inversion of the bit. PORT NAME LPT1 LPT2 LPT3 Interrup Starting Ending t# I/O I/O IRQ 2 IRQ 7 IRQ 5 0x3bc 0x378 0x278 0x3bf 0x37f 0x27f If there is an unused LPTx slot. if a port at 0x3bc does not exist.)[6] The IRQ lines.

This improves security and arbitration of device contention.bit ed In/Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out Out In In Control-0 Yes Data-0 Data-1 Data-2 Data-3 Data-4 Data-5 Data-6 Data-7 Status-6 Status-7 Status-5 Status-4 No No No No No No No No No Yes No No Paper-Out In Select Linefeed Error In In/Out In Control-1 Yes Status-3 No . FreeBSD. The cross-platform library for parallel port access. Access is handled in an open-claim-release-close sequence.In versions of Windows that did not use the Windows NT kernel (as well as DOS and some other operating systems). 386BSD. unless using the required driver. and access to the parallel port is inhibited. On Linux. ppdev allows shared access and can be used from userspace if the appropriate permissions are set. libieee1284. the microprocessor is operated in a different security ring. also is available on many Linux distributions and provides an abstract interface to the parallel ports of the system. which allows for concurrent access in userspace. Solaris. In operating systems such as Windows NT and Unix (NetBSD. alternatively.). [edit] Pinouts Pinouts for parallel port connectors are: Pin No (DB25) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Pin No (36 pin) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 32 Signal name Strobe Data0 Data1 Data2 Data3 Data4 Data5 Data6 Data7 Ack Busy Directi Register Invert on . etc. inb() and outb() can be used when a process is run as root and an ioperm() command is used to allow access to its base address. programs could access the parallel port with simple outportb() and inportb() subroutine commands.

16 Inverted lines are true on logic low. Each pair of nibbles was then re-combined into an 8-bit byte. . This same method (with the splitting and recombining done in software) was also used to transfer data between PCs using a laplink cable. However. A circuit could be constructed to split each 8-bit byte into two 4-bit nibbles which were fed in sequentially through the status lines. then logic high is true. a workaround was possible by using 4 of the 5 status lines.33.17. Pin 25 on the DB25 connector might not be connected to Ground on modern computers. [edit] Unidirectional parallel ports In early parallel ports the data lines were unidirectional (data out only) so it was not easily possible to feed data in to the computer.16 17 18-25 31 36 Reset SelectPrinter In/Out In/Out - Control-2 No Control-3 Yes - 19Ground 30. If they aren't inverted.

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