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RS-232 Serial Port for PLC/HMI/Drive Programming

RS-232 Serial Port for PLC/HMI/Drive Programming

RS-232 Serial Port for PLC/HMI/Drive Programming

(OP)
My laptop doesn't have a serial communication port.  Now, I would like to use it to program various industrial staples like PLC's, HMI's, AC/DC/Servo Drives.  I believe my best choice to be a Serial RS-232 PCMCIA Card, but I am also finding various USB to RS-232 converters.  One of my biggest concerns is the compatability of ANY serial adapter I buy with WindowsXP.

The only serial RS-232 PCMCIA Card that I was able to find, that was specifically designed to be compatible with WinXP is "Brainboxes" out of the UK.  US sales support is somewhat limited on these, and pricey.
http://www.brainboxes.com/products/serial/product.asp?id=PM-020

Anyone already using Windows XP and some type of "add on" serial port for programming, with success?  Opinions on advantages/disadvantages of PCMCIA vs. USB type?  Obviously, purchase price is a major influence, also.

RE: RS-232 Serial Port for PLC/HMI/Drive Programming

Check this site out. They will have what you need at a reasonable price.  http://www.bb-elec.com/welcome.asp

RE: RS-232 Serial Port for PLC/HMI/Drive Programming

I'm using a Belkin (www.belkin.com) and that seems to work just fine.

"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go past." Douglas Adams

RE: RS-232 Serial Port for PLC/HMI/Drive Programming

I use a USB converter from Keyspan.  The one thing you have to really look for is that the converter draws power from the USB port.  There are some unpowered USB to Serial Convertors that don't work with some PLC's/controllers/whatever because they don't supply their own power for their serial ports (they are expecting to get the power from the connected PC).  These powered USB ports are more expensive than they unpowered units but are definitely worth it.

Good luck!

RE: RS-232 Serial Port for PLC/HMI/Drive Programming

(OP)
Thanks alot, jsalls!  I checked out the Keyspan unit, bought it, and am currently using it with great success and a big grin.  

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