Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Can I Connect a Serial A/D to My Computer's Serial Port?

The answer to this question is yes, but there are simpler ways to interface to a computer. To begin with, the computer's RS-232 port uses higher voltage levels that are incompatible with most ADC's TTL/CMOS logic. Another problem is that the computer's RS-232 serial port is asynchronous, which places a few more requirements on the communication, including some additional handshaking control lines. Also, with the RS-232 serial port, you must set both ends of the link to the same baud rate. The A/D converter's serial port is synchronous; thus, its handshaking requirements are minimal and it only requires one wire for clock and one or two wires for data.
If you are truly determined, you can bit-bang using the RS-232 port's handshake lines.

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