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Author Topic: expansion slots  (Read 2826 times)
KM3K
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Posts: 279




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« on: November 19, 2011, 07:14:19 PM »

There is a HP-tower that I'm considering for the shack and need help concerning expansion-slots.
1. I'm going to need a card for 2-ports of RS232 (to avoid any USB-to-RS232 adapters); planning on a StarTech card.
2. I think I won't need a Network-Interface-Card because the HP-specs say this "LAN: 1000-Base-T Interface: Integrated into motherboard
Technology: RTL8171EH-CG gigabit ethernet controller
Data transfer speeds: up to 10/100/1000 Mb/s
Transmission standards: 1000-Base-T Ethernet".
3. I don't understand what I've copied below about the expansion-slots; hopefully someone can explain where'd go and what could be possibly done with the left-over slots.
Expansion Slots:
1 PCI Express x16
3 PCI Express x1
1 PCI Express Mini Card x1
I hope this makes sense.
73 Jerry km3k
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KG4LMZ
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Posts: 102




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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2011, 11:39:58 AM »

1. You'll probably need a PCI expansion slot for the RS-232 card. I've never heard of a PCI Express RS-232 card, though they may exist.

2. Nope, you won't need an additional network card.  The one built in will be fine.

3. It doesn't sound like it has a plain old PCI slot.  That could spell trouble for RS-232 card fitment, as mentioned in (1).  Either make sure it does have a plain old PCI slot, or find a PCI Express RS-232 card, if you're dead-set on using a card instead of a USB adapter.

Also, some machines have one or sometimes two RS-232 ports built onto the motherboard, too, though that's getting less common.
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W8JX
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2011, 02:43:24 PM »

I am really not sure why you would waste a slot and time with a 232 port card even if you can find one. Nothing wrong with a USB to 232 adapter with proper drivers. I have two on a old laptop and have had zero problems with them.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2011, 03:46:48 PM »

Nothing wrong with using a true RS-232 card either, if you have a slot available. You can pick up a 2-port card for about $15 from a bunch of sources on the Internet.

One thing I like about a card is that your ports never move. If you plug an adapter into a different USB port then it will pick up a new COM port number. Real RS-232 ports stay put.

With all the stuff that is using USB these days it's easy to run out of USB ports too. Then you have to go out and purchase a USB hub - and you need one with an external power supply if many of the devices draw power from USB.
 
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2011, 04:12:42 PM »

Nothing wrong with using a true RS-232 card either, if you have a slot available. You can pick up a 2-port card for about $15 from a bunch of sources on the Internet.

On today computers it is a terrible waste of resources. This is what USB was made for. If you really want this you should just look for a old P4 system with a com port to recycle.

One thing I like about a card is that your ports never move. If you plug an adapter into a different USB port then it will pick up a new COM port number. Real RS-232 ports stay put.

Well not sure why you feel you need to unplug USB to 232 adapters all the time. Mine have never moved in a year and have never had need to unplug them.

With all the stuff that is using USB these days it's easy to run out of USB ports too. Then you have to go out and purchase a USB hub - and you need one with an external power supply if many of the devices draw power from USB.
 

And what bearing does this have a on USB to 232 adaptor on power usage?Huh It is VERY easy to add ports or even simply add a external hub as USB logic supports this  and USB2 and 3 has more than enough bandwidth for this. Also USB 3 spec increase power availible via port from 500ma to approx 1000 ma.

USB has its own logic and bus mastering on board to support many ports. Why you would strangle/waste a slot with a device that it stone age in computer world and can easily done via USB is beyond me. Kinda like buying a 200+mph Ferrari and driving it at 3mph all the time holding brakes.
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KM3K
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2011, 05:20:30 PM »

I am really not sure why you would waste a slot and time with a 232 port card even if you can find one. Nothing wrong with a USB to 232 adapter with proper drivers. I have two on a old laptop and have had zero problems with them.
I have had a terrible experience with a Keystone USB-to-RS232 adapter.
I wish I could get back the hours and hours I spent in trying to get it to work with my AIM-4170 analyzer.
(At the time, I knew next to nothing about RS232. I could stand to know more even now.)
I also feel bad for the time W5BIG freely spent with me in that unsuccessful endeavor; after all, his time is money.
I ended up getting a  Radio-Shack GigaWare adapter and that worked the AIM-4170, which is a totally first-rate piece of gear.
BTW, I knew the AIM-4170 was working properly because I could run it with a tower that has a dedicated RS232-port

Add to that a different USB-to-RS232 adapter fiasco and that is why I'm gun-shy of USB-to-RS232 adapters.
I'll use the Radio-Shack adapter with my laptop if I have to use my AIM-4170 in a portable location; otherwise, I'm going the fixed RS232-card route in a tower.
73 Jerry km3k
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W8JX
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Posts: 5486




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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2011, 05:49:35 PM »

I am really not sure why you would waste a slot and time with a 232 port card even if you can find one. Nothing wrong with a USB to 232 adapter with proper drivers. I have two on a old laptop and have had zero problems with them.
I have had a terrible experience with a Keystone USB-to-RS232 adapter.
I wish I could get back the hours and hours I spent in trying to get it to work with my AIM-4170 analyzer.
(At the time, I knew next to nothing about RS232. I could stand to know more even now.)
I also feel bad for the time W5BIG freely spent with me in that unsuccessful endeavor; after all, his time is money.
I ended up getting a  Radio-Shack GigaWare adapter and that worked the AIM-4170, which is a totally first-rate piece of gear.
BTW, I knew the AIM-4170 was working properly because I could run it with a tower that has a dedicated RS232-port

Add to that a different USB-to-RS232 adapter fiasco and that is why I'm gun-shy of USB-to-RS232 adapters.
I'll use the Radio-Shack adapter with my laptop if I have to use my AIM-4170 in a portable location; otherwise, I'm going the fixed RS232-card route in a tower.
73 Jerry km3k

You simply do a little research before you by USB adapters to make sure it has proper drivers/support for your OS. You are making it into a bigger deal than it needs to be. These virtual ports can be configured to any type of handshaking, comm port # and baud rate via a few mouse clicks.
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2011, 06:30:19 PM »

Newegg sells PCI Express RS-232 cards. I have a six-port on in the PC I use for my Flex Radio.
I've never heard of a "Keystone" serial-to-USB adapter. Did you mean "Keyspan"?
I've been using Keyspan adapters for years now, and have *never* had one bit of trouble with them. The only issue I've had was the older 4-port unit doesn't have drivers for Windows 7, so I had to buy a newer one to use with my new laptop.
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KM3K
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Posts: 279




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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2011, 06:53:19 PM »

You simply do a little research before you buy USB adapters to make sure it has proper drivers/support for your OS.
You are making it into a bigger deal than it needs to be.
Thanks for the good laugh that I had when I read those words.
Seriously though, it was a big deal, especially since I had done my research prior to my purchase and had the proper drivers.
Keyspan tech-support talked me through a self-test of the device and then claimed that, since the Keyspan passed the self-test, it was working as designed.
Gee, that's great but it is not running my AIM-4170.

These virtual ports can be configured to any type of handshaking, comm port # and baud rate via a few mouse clicks.
I totally agree with that sentence and I've been there, done that many times with the Keyspan but only had to do it once to the Radio-Shack.

BTW, as I understand it, an adapter designer has a choice of using a Prolific-chip (bad choice) or a FTDI-chip (good choice).
I would suppose that you were fortunate in getting an adapter which used the FTDI-chip.
From my experience, information like that is not to be found on a web-site or any container-box....neither for Keyspan or Radio-Shack or anywhere else for that matter.

Also, from another group, I have learned that a RT Systems adapter RTS-03 for $23 is universally acclaimed to work in all applications (disclaimer: I have no financial interest in the company). I just can't bring myself to try it out. Smiley
73 Jerry km3k
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