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Serial to USB

  1. Jun 27, 2005 #1
    I have an old serial port joystick but no serial port on my computer
    i am pretty sure there is a way to connect the serial port to a usb adapter
    does anyone know how to do this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2005 #2
  4. Jun 27, 2005 #3
    Since you're asking I doubt you want to develope your own from scratch. Go to your local computer store and get a serial to USB adapter.


    You can find adapters like the one above for less than $10:


    You may have to add some cktry to the joystick to clean up the signal. If you are trying to attach an old Atari-style joystick then search the net for the correcct cktry. I've seen web sites showing how to do this so I know they exist.

    Well, good luck.
  5. Jun 27, 2005 #4
  6. Jun 27, 2005 #5
    No, you cannot wire the serial connection directly to the USB cable. You have to use a store-bought adaptor or, make your own using the above FTDI(or similar) chip.

    The best analogy I can give is that you can't take the engine out of a Ford and expect it to fit in a Chevy. You'd need adaptors for this kind of conversion to work and the same goes for USB to serial. USB is a ford while RS-232 is a Chevy---not directly compatible.
  7. Jun 28, 2005 #6


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    USB is different from RS-232 in virtually every way, except for being a serial bus. They use different signalling voltages (USB is differential, RS-232 is single-ended), different signalling speeds, different bit timings, different bus-contention resolution strategies, and everything else. You must use some kind of IC adapter.

    - Warren
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