[CQ-Contest] Universal Serial Port

Ward Silver hwardsil at WOLFENET.com
Thu Jun 5 08:50:42 EDT 1997

> I was reading a computer magazine today, and saw reference
> to Pentium II systems that were being shipped with serial
> ports that were "USP compliant." I got the impression that
> specially-designed serial devices could be daisy-chained
> together on one of these ports, and that the problems of
> insufficient ports and conflicting irq's on contest radio
> lashups would be solved.
> Dave Hachadorian, K6LL
> k6ll at juno.com

The reference is to the Universal Serial Bus, which is a new data bus and
low-level protocol.  There's a good discussion of it in the latest
"Embedded Systems Programming", but I realize that it might be difficult
to find that rag in the rack at the grocery stores :-)

To sum it up, USB can handle data rates in two ranges: 10-100kbps and
100k-500kbps.  It's designed to handle plug-and-play connections to PC
peripherals, such as keyboards, game controllers, audio, low-frame-rate
video, etc.  It will NOT replace the RS-232-based serial ports currently
used for radio control, etc.

It's actually a very interesting protocol and I can see it being used in
the shack (eventually) to eliminate a great deal of the control and audio
cabling that creates the rats-nest of cables behind the table.
Manufacturers would have to put this bus into their devices and there
would have to be a "ham-shack" protocol written that would allow routing
of all the various signals to the proper destinations.  A fun project for
someone that needs a hobby :-)

If you're interested in finding out more about the details of USB, there
were a couple of web page pointers in the article:

www.usb.org		USB Implementer's Home Page
www.intel.com/embedded	Good technical paper

Go for it!

73, Ward N0AX

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