As long as COM port assignments remain unique, there shouldn't be any
problem running multiple radios from a single computer. You will have
problems if more than one application tries to run the same radio at
the same time (go ahead -- ask how I know.)
At least under XP Pro, I've not seen any problems with mixing
different USB-to-serial adapters. I have two different kinds (both
no-name) and they work fine. The OS handles the different driver
requirements without whining.
What I do notice is that if I un-plug one of the USB-to-serial
devices, start the system, and then plug it back in, the system loses
track of the driver and it has to be re-installed. I keep a copy of
the drivers on the hard disk, so it's only a minor annoyance.
Obviously, the USB-to-serial devices I have do not have embedded drivers.
Also, if I remove a hub for any reason, restart the system, and then
plug it back in all the COM port assignments get rearranged. This is
also an annoyance and I have to keep a list of COM port settings
somewhere so I can manually reconfigure the settings and then
restart, (natch'; it's windows!) the OS for the new setting to take effect.
I'll also add that so far, I have never run into a no-name
USB-to-serial adapter that didn't work just fine. I read various
cautions that only certain brands will work in certain applications
and, while this may be true in some cases, I haven't run across such
a case in my limited experience.
Kim Elmore, N5OP
At 06:53 PM 8/21/2007, Mark wrote:
>It probably depends on the USB / Serial adapter. Some USB / serial
>adapters work with some software and not with other software. Others may
>work with the other software. There may also be a problem with multiple
>USB / serial adapters on a hub. The driver software may map the adapters
>to different COM ports the next time you start the computer. The
>drivers I have seen have no provision for hard coding which adapter is
>which COM port. Lastly, I'm pretty sure you won't be able to have
>different models or versions of USB / Serial adapaters installed at the
>same time. Each requires a different driver and installing one driver
>requires removing the other driver.
>If you are only concerned with running one radio at a time, consider a
>mechanical A-B-C-D serial switch. They should be available for $10 or
>so. You will probably need some gender changers as most of the serial
>switches I've seen use female DB-9's all around, and unfortunately, the
>4 output (from switch to radios) are the ones that need to be male.
>I use the A-B-C-D switch approach in my shack.
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