serial port expansion cards

smee

Senior Member
I've got a couple of boards from Byterunner that I've been happy with. I have 4-port cards in two different machines but I'd probably buy 8-port ones just in case if I were doing things over again.

I have the PCI-400HS-9 boards. They have a 4-cable "spider" coming out the back. Byterunner has variations with different connection types. I like the COM-BOX options, but they cost quite a bit more.

I also have a couple of the USB-2COM USB to serial adapters that have worked perfectly with everything I've tried. They use the FTDI chipset - which I like and have never had problems with for any devices.
 

ver0776

Active Member
I just bought the one www.Geeks.com sells and my computer would not boot with it in (no bios even).

I also ordered the Serial->USB adapter that WGL sells for the W800RF and when I used it, it changed the codes for devices coming in, so it was unusable.

I have been horribly frustrated with serial ports. My DigiNet uses a serial port whether you have a PTZ or not, so I am not able to run it any more because I have the AB8SS and the W800RF running on the same computer as the Diginet.

My solution: I guess I am going to buy one of the $200 refurbed computers from Geeks.com and put a second machine back online in the wiring closet.

I used to run a BBS with 45 serial ports, I would have never thought I would have so much trouble just trying to get 3 up and running =)

So if someone has a tested solution, I would be grateful.

Vaughn
 

WayneW

Senior Member
If you have the need and the budget, I second Smee's Byterunner endorsement. I have used a number of them over the years with zero issues.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
The hardware for such devices is pretty much commodity stuff these days, but the quality of the drivers is always a potential concern. We use SIIG cards, which seem to be a good compromise of price and quality.
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
I personally have always used RocketPort/Digi cards with a lot of success. I also agree with smee/Wayne about the byterunner suggestion. Drivers are indeed the main issue.
 

ver0776

Active Member
Ok, I just ordered a 2-port from Byterunner. I guess if it saves me from using another computer, it is a bargain.

Has anyone else tried WGL's USB converter cable? I would assume since they sold it, it would work great with their product. It is probably my code to blame, but would like to know for sure.

Vaughn
 

huggy59

Active Member
I see this is a little late, but I've used the Rocketport cards here with good luck as well as the cheapo dual serial port cards from CompUSA.

I also have a (potentially) 64-port Equinox board with a single 16-port breakout box, and it works well with W2k and XP drivers, but I have run into problems with some software not working properly with it because of poor coding techniques (like polling ALL free serial ports in the system instead of just the one port it uses - and polling 67 ports does take a while) or the various COM port service limitations of some earlier software that required me to keep some devices on the first 4 or 8 ports as defined by the system.

Not like the old BBS days where stuff was written and hardware was built that scaled well and just worked!
 

jeffx

Active Member
Dean Roddey said:
The hardware for such devices is pretty much commodity stuff these days, but the quality of the drivers is always a potential concern. We use SIIG cards, which seem to be a good compromise of price and quality.
newegg has the 2 port siig for $13 after rebate, looks like I'll get that for now.
 

gregoryx

Active Member
I'm using a Comtrol RocketPort Hub device. $50 on eBay. Ethernet attached. Drivers run in NT/2K/XP/etc and show up as serial ports. I'm even able to "attach" some of the ports to one computer and others to another. Very nice - especially for the money.
 

jeffx

Active Member
gregoryx said:
I'm using a Comtrol RocketPort Hub device. $50 on eBay. Ethernet attached. Drivers run in NT/2K/XP/etc and show up as serial ports. I'm even able to "attach" some of the ports to one computer and others to another. Very nice - especially for the money.
what do you use to bridge the RJ-45 serial ports on this device to a DB-9?
 

az1324

Senior Member
gregoryx said:
I'm using a Comtrol RocketPort Hub device. $50 on eBay. Ethernet attached. Drivers run in NT/2K/XP/etc and show up as serial ports. I'm even able to "attach" some of the ports to one computer and others to another. Very nice - especially for the money.
I have an 8 port version of this too from ebay for $35 and it was still sealed new in the box but i haven't set it up yet does it work pretty well? This is an industrial quality unit, right? There is some serious hardware inside including a comtrol asic. I wonder how easy it would be to write a driver for it for linux.

The downside of this is you're adding traffic to the network when you probably don't need to be going over it, but its probably not going to be that much traffic.
 
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