Connect Your Modem with an RS-232 Male Serial Cable

You can use an RS-232 serial connector to merge data terminal electronics with various data communications equipment. One of the most common uses for this type of serial connection is to link your computer with a modem. If you are looking for an RS-232 serial standard, knowing what types are available, how they work, and how you can maintain them may help you find the one that works for you.

What brands produce RS-232 cables?

If you have a preferred electronics brand, you may be able to purchase RS-232 standard cables from it. Some brands that might stock these products include:

  • APC: This American manufacturer has been producing peripherals and connectors for electronics for decades.
  • Belkin: Belkin has specialized in connectivity products for personal and professional computing for 35 years.
  • Cisco: This company manufactures and develops its own telecommunications equipment and related accessories.
What types of male-to-male RS-232 cables are available?

All male-to-male cables share common characteristics that may include an unshielded prong or attachment and the ability to fit into a female serial port. However, these connectors may be available in a variety of formats, depending on your specific need. Some common types you may find during your search include:

  • Adapter: Some of these cables may allow you to adapt the connection type between two devices. This could allow different devices to communicate with each other. If you have USB data that you need to convert to serial port data, this type of cable may help.
  • Converter: A converter works similarly to an adapter, but you may be able to use it to exchange data between different serial port connectors.
  • Splitter: A splitter cable will separate or duplicate the signal from the host device and pass it along to one or more peripheral devices at the same time.
What types of D-subminiature connections can you choose?

RS-232 serial units may use different versions of the D-subminiature specification depending on the specific model you choose. Some of the most common types you might find during your search include:

  • DB25: These interfaces use a 25-pin array to connect the cables to the host devices.
  • DB9: Cables may not need to pick up on all available signals depending on the devices you are using. In these cases, a DB9 plug may be sufficient.
How do you connect devices together?

How two or more devices interface with one another depends on the types of devices you are using. There are two primary categories from which you can choose:

  • Straight through: This cable connects a DTE device to a DCE device such as a modem.
  • Null serial: A null modem cable connects two DTE devices directly.