Serial cables connect different devices to computers or other devices with a similar interface. They are used in many computer peripherals such as printers, scanners, and external storage. They send data one bit at a time through one wire, and receive data at the same rate through another. The ends can be any combination of male and female connectors in 9-pin or 25-pin configurations. Current standards set a maximum cable length of 50 feet.
Types of Serial Cables
Kinds of Serial Cables include the following:
Modem cables have pins wired straight through, meaning the pins on both connectors have identical functions.
They are designed to connect data terminal equipment (DTE) to data terminal equipment (DTE).
The most common example is computer to modem connection, where the computer is the DTE and the modem is the DCE.
Null modem cables
Null modem cables are used for two DTE devices, such as computer-to-computer connections.
The pin wires are usually crosslinked and designed to allow full or partial handshakes between the two devices.
Choosing Serial Cables (Buying tips)
Insulation: Choose a serial cable with a PVC or plastic insulating cover to protect the wiring. Make sure the cover is thick but lightweight, and does not easily fray or tear.
Cable length: Choose a serial cable that is long enough to provide mobility, but does not cause clutter. Six- to ten-foot cables are usually sufficient for desktop applications.