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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
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Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
Bit of a long shot, this; I'm looking for a cheapish laptop to use at work. The only major software requirement is that it can run MS Excel in Windows XP. Hardware-wise the only "musts" are a CD drive to install some bespoke software and some sort of RS232 port; it would be used for data acquisition with scientific instruments which even in this day & age only support RS232 for computer interfacing. The present laptop is USB-only and even with dedicated interconnects it won't play ball. Our IT department have been pretty useless in helping out and I've run out of ideas of my own, so a less modern machine seemed the way to go!

Thanks in advance for suggestions/offers.

David


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:29 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Hyperterminal?

I have cables that do all that via USB (from memory theres 2/3 different types)

In my short lived telecoms days, I had to use RS232/ usb comms to reflash switches.

I do have a pretty decent HP with a serial port (I'm typing on it as we , er, type) which may be available shortly - XP, wifi, DVD ROM etc


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:56 am 
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Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
legrandefromage wrote:
Hyperterminal?

I have cables that do all that via USB (from memory theres 2/3 different types)

In my short lived telecoms days, I had to use RS232/ usb comms to reflash switches.

I do have a pretty decent HP with a serial port (I'm typing on it as we , er, type) which may be available shortly - XP, wifi, DVD ROM etc


Thanks - if your HP machine does end up being for sale, drop me a PM. I did try the hyperterminal route with some help from one of my colleagues who's good with IT, to no avail though, I suspect due to some aspect of the instrument-specific software. :(

David


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:41 pm 
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A lot of my older survey stuff uses serial communication. The only USB/serial adapter I would recommend is the Prolific one. Others such as Belkin sort of work on the download but fail on the upload.

It has never failed me.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:49 am 
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Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
Iwasgoodonce wrote:
A lot of my older survey stuff uses serial communication. The only USB/serial adapter I would recommend is the Prolific one. Others such as Belkin sort of work on the download but fail on the upload.

It has never failed me.



Thanks for the info, I'll look into that further. We've tried Belkin and Lindy interconnects, not convinced by either make so far.

The machine I'm writing this post on does have the relevant serial port, but I'm not sacrificing it for use in the labs, especially as I work in a secondary school and some pupils are very good at maltreating complex/delicate/expensive kit.

David


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:08 am 
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There are USB-RS232 cables and then there are USB-RS232 cables that work. I can't remember the specs off hand but there are certainly good and bad adapters out there. The good ones work true RS232, the bad ones offer limited functionality, enough to run an old mouse or similar but are no good at dat stuff.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:13 pm 
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I can't help as I sold my Laptop with serial port with my car (used it for ecu tuning), but you can pick up a Compaq Armada laptop as I had for not a lot of money. Mine had a proper serial port and ran windows XP easily enough. Not the fastest of laptops, but does the basic stuff ok. Just one to look out for.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:45 pm 
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Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
jimo746 wrote:
I can't help as I sold my Laptop with serial port with my car (used it for ecu tuning), but you can pick up a Compaq Armada laptop as I had for not a lot of money. Mine had a proper serial port and ran windows XP easily enough. Not the fastest of laptops, but does the basic stuff ok. Just one to look out for.


Thanks - will make a note of that model & keep an eye on eBay.

David


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:11 pm
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I use FTDI chipset USB-> serial converters a lot, mainly on linux machines though.

What levels does your hardware need- TTL 3.3v or full 5v logic levels? You can get FTDI converters for both.

Sometimes old windoze software can't deal with com port numbers above 4 - you might need to manually assign the port number.


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