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Port expanders

By Clarence Klassen 
It is quite difficult to maintain some older electronic devices used in web handling. Many of these devices used serial RS232 communications protocols. They may also use DOS or old MS Windows programs. I am speaking of setting up old PLCs, drives, weigh scales, resin systems, temperature controllers and many other devices.

Most new notebook computers do not even have a serial port. RS232 dongles, which plug into a USB port on the computer may work, but my experience is these are difficult if not impossible to set up for all applications.

A practical solution is to use the port expander option available for most new notebook computers. These port expanders will often have the missing RS232 serial port.

The program to perform the device configuration may not be compatible with the operating system. In this case, read my previous blog on Virtual Machines.

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