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Db9 To Usb - Upgrading from DB9 to USB Technology

connectors serial connector cable

PCs have used DB9 connectors for years to link external peripheral devices using serial communication. A very typical DB9 connector application has been to attach equipment to the desktop PC. However, the DB9 connector and peripheral cables with DB9 connectors have diminished as newer technologies have emerged.
Connectors and communications interfaces such as USB (Universal Serial Bus) are now far more convenient and flexible, and few PCs manufactured today lack USB ports for attaching different peripherals, including mice and keyboards. When considering upgrading from DB9 to USB, do not be concerned about technical jargon, however. The focus here is on how the novice user can make computer peripherals work with newer USB connectors instead of older DB9 ones—without complicated jargon.
While it is unnecessary to be an expert on USB and DB9 to make the technology function in the real world, it is important to understand the differences between cables and adapters. Buyers upgrading from DB9 to USB should know that they are not simply buying a cable for their keyboard with different connectors. Early PCs, like those today, had keyboards connected to the computer tower or desktop case with a cable. This cable often had a DB9 connector that plugged into the PC, and that connector was a DB9. The PC “talked” to the keyboard via a serial communications interface.
Desktops still have external keyboards, but it’s far more likely to find a different connector plugging into them: USB. Keyboards with USB connectors are so common that they sell for as little as $10. The key to upgrading from DB9 to USB technology is having a cable with a DB9 connector on one end attached to a PDA, modem, or other peripheral, and a USB connector on the other attached to the PC.
Even though the discussion here has focused on connectors, upgrading from DB9 to USB technology is not just about replacing older connectors with newer ones. The communication interface used to talk to external devices like keyboards and PDAs is newer.
Modern machines have USB connectors because they use the Universal Serial Bus (USB) communications interface rather than the older serial interface. Connectors are different because of the communications method. USB 1.0 became popular in the 1990s, replacing connectors, including DB9, that were once varied and numerous. Over the last decade, the faster USB 2.0 has become prolific on desktops and laptops. Even cheap netbooks now have USB 2.0 ports, meaning that connecting an older device to a PC with only USB will require upgrading to the USB 2.0 interface.
Upgrading DB9 to USB is not difficult, because retailers sell DB9 to USB adapter cables for under $15 dollars. They’re called adapter cables because they convert the serial communications to USB 2.0. These cables have the DB9 connector at one end and the USB at the other, but also have a device inside. This device, powered by the USB 2.0 port, takes care of converting from the old serial communications to USB and vice versa. Adapters come with discs for Windows users that will allow the PC and adapter to transmit and receive over the cable during conversion.
While terms such as USB, DB9, and serial can be confusing, they need not be. Upgrading from DB9 to USB technology is not arduous. Older external devices with DB9 connectors used serial communication. Newer desktops and laptops use USB 2.0 to communicate with external devices over cables with USB connectors on each end.
Upgrading DB9 to USB is as simple as buying an adapter plugging it into a USB port on the computer, and attaching the DB9 connector on the opposite end of the adapter cable to the older device. Windows software will help the PC convert USB 2.0 to serial so the device can read it. The adapter cable gets its power from USB with no additional cables required. The low cost ($10 to $20) of adapters and software makes it very simple and affordable to upgrade from DB9 to USB technology.

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