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[aprssig] FOUND -NEW laptops for APRS with a Serial Port

Dave Baxter dave at emv.co.uk
Wed Apr 16 09:55:53 UTC 2008


> -----Original Message-----
> From: K7FTP
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] FOUND -NEW laptops for APRS with a Serial Port
> 
> The problem is that not all USB serial (RS-232) adapters are 
> well behaved. 
>
> One of the local vendor techs has a Sony VAIO that his 
> employer got for him. 
> It has an RS-232 port.  Several of the vendor-specific 
> programs don't like the RS-232 port in it.  Turns out that it 
> is internally a USB to RS-232 converter.


Certainly true...

But, it's more likely that the "Vendor-specific" program is trying to
talk to the "COM" port via the systems BIOS or even directly to the
hardware, of course, in the event the port is USB based, it will fail in
one way or another.  Many older utilities sadly did that to get speed,
or raw access to the handshake lines, some PMR radio setup/programming
software in particular does that.  Heck, I've even done it in the past!

We also have (sadly) several "Vendor specific" hardware configuration
and utility programs here that do that, and sadly no way on earth to get
updates for them, as the "specific vendor" long ago went out of
business, but the products we still support as far as we can.  (worth
many 1000's of $'s etc, so not exactly "throw away" type stuff)  Hence,
we still have one or two DOS/Win3x machines kicking about the place.

If said program is also said to run on Win3x (and especialy in a cmd
window) that is almost certaintly the problem.

If a program correctly calls the Windows API system for communications &
I/O, then even a well written Win3x program will work correctly on a
later OS, certainly up to and including XP(32) and if so written, also
will be able to use COM ports well above COM4.   We have some software
that does that, effectively crossing the Win16/32 boundry, and using up
to COM12, if such devices exist on the system....   Windows at least,
supports COM ports up to COM255 AFIK.

73

Cheers..

Dave G0WBX.
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