Are you looking for a RS232 cable to connect your peripherals? We have tested and listed various types and lengths. When ordering this cabling, be sure to order a cable with the correct connectors.
There are two types: the small 9-point SUB-D and the large 25-point SUB-D connector. Also be careful whether the connector on the serial cabling should be a male or female version. If you want to connect two PCs through a serial RS232 cable, order a zero modem cable.
Best RS232 Cable
What is an RS232 cable?
This cabling gets its name from a serial communication protocol that defines the operation, the electrical signal levels, the data pin connections and the control connections of a serial connection. In the PC world, this cable has been popular for connecting peripherals for several decades.
Think of the telephone modem, when a dial-up modem was still used to access the internet. But a mouse was often connected to a PC through this cord. Because it is a typical point-to-point connection, each device needed its own RS232 connection. It was therefore not uncommon for a PC to have two or more serial connections in order to connect – in addition to a mouse and modem – other equipment such as a hand scanner or a card reader. RS232 is officially not hot plugable, so it is wise to switch off your PC and peripherals before connecting peripherals to your PC via this cable.
The right plug RS232
The form of the plug-in is also standardized. This connection uses the SUB-D connector. This name derives from the D-shaped shielding that protects the pins of the connector from mechanical and electrical external influences.
There are two commonly used plugs for this. The 9-pin SUB-D and the 25-pin SUB-D connector. The 25-pin version was used in the early days of the PC for both the parallel printer connection and the serial RS232 connection. To avoid confusion, it has been decided to design the parallel connector on a PC as a female chassis part and the RS232 connection as a male chassis part. To save space, the SUB-D 9 pin version was soon introduced as an RS232 connection.
It has again been decided to design the connection to the PC as male and the cable connector as female. The SUB-D connector has two screws with which the plug can be fixed onto the chassis part. This prevents the cabling from coming loose.
RS232 Cabling Types
As there are many different connection scenarios, there are also many different types of cable. To determine which cabling you need, it is important to know which free RS232 connections are available on your PC.
This can be a 9-pin male SUB-D or a 25-pin male SUB-D version. Note: the female 25 pin SUB-D connector is used as a parallel printer connector and cannot be used as a serial connector. A serial PC connection is almost always a male version. Once you have determined which serial option is available on your computer, it is time to determine what the RS232 connection on the peripheral looks like. According to the RS232 standard, a peripheral must be equipped with a female connector. Because this standard is sometimes deviated from in practice, it is always important to check which connector is used. In this way you order the correct cabling. Then you can choose the desired length.
RS232 Adapter cables and plugs
If you want to connect two PCs via this connection, you do not need a standard cable. As two PCs connect two host devices, the monitoring and data connections must be crossed. In these situations, you need a zero modem cable that crosses the control and data connections correctly. Do you have a cable of the correct length, but your cable does not have the correct plugs? Then you can still use this cable by ordering the correct adapter plug or the correct connector. With the right RS232 connector you can connect a female connector with a female connector or chassis connection, or connect a male connector with a male connector or chassis part, if desired.
If you have peripherals with an RS232 connection, but your PC does not have such a connection, a solution to this is – With a USB to RS232 adapter cable or plug it is possible to connect your peripherals directly to a USB A or C. Another solution is the PCI computer card with one or more of these types of connections.