Serial Port Issues (And Solutions)

Even a minor serial port problem can become a major issue. And without the skills and know-how to identify and resolve a serial port problem, a business could suffer due to ineffective serial connections.

Here’s a closer look at five common serial port problems, along with ways to resolve such issues:

1. Incorrect Communication Parameters

The most common cause of serial port communication problems is incorrect communication parameter settings. To operate correctly it is essential that both devices are set up with the same communication parameters, which includes baud rate, parity, number of data bits, and number of stop bits.

serial port problems

Serial Port Problems

2. Incorrect Serial Cable

Is a serial cable connected between a PC and a serial port? If a user leverages the wrong cable, he or she will be unable to establish a connection.

A serial port serves as a physical connector on the back of a computer that allows for the input and output of data, and there are two different types of serial port connectors: 9-pin and 25-pin. As such, the correct cable and/or adapter is necessary to ensure the proper connection at all times.

Another important cable characteristic that is often overlooled is whether the application requires a “null-modem” or “straight through” cable. Null modem cables typically have a female connector on each end and straight through cables have a female connector at one end and a male at the other. Be sure to use the correct cable for your particular application.

3. Bad Serial Cables

What happens if a serial cable is not working properly? This issue can limit data transmission and retrieval but can be easily fixed by replacing the serial cable.

In many cases, a loose cable may simple need to be reconnected to a serial port. But in other situations, an ineffective cable will need to be replaced immediately, especially if the serial port is functioning properly.

View the Stratus Engineering product line for industry leading solutions.

4. Software Conflicts

A software driver may result in a non-working serial port. If this driver is not installed properly or is not compatible with a serial port, it may cease to perform.

Re-installing the affected drivers can help a user overcome this problem. In addition, a user may be able to alter the serial port settings to ensure this issue is fully resolved.

5. Faulty Wiring

When connecting a control system to a device, incorrect wiring can be problematic at times.

Typically, the control system’s transmit and ground pins must be connected to the connected device’s Receive and Ground pins, respectively. If a connected system needs to receive a response from a controlled device, however, a third wire also may be connected as well.

Now that you know about the wide range of serial port problems, how can you ensure you’ll be able to manage these issues both now and in the future?

With Stratus Engineering, you can enjoy first-rate support against serial port problems for years to come.

Stratus Engineering employs engineering design experts who can identify and alleviate serial port problems without delay. Plus, the Stratus Engineering team boasts a proven reputation among companies in numerous industries – everything from communications to consumer electronics – and consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to assist clients.

Choose Stratus Engineering, and you can benefit from an experienced team that delivers outstanding results with reduced product design cycle times, thus ensuring you can get your products to market faster than ever before.

To learn more about Stratus Engineering’s design services, please contact us via email or call us at (858) 663-1841.