Lots of COM ports

Dick Dievendorff ct-user@sttng.mlo.dec.com
Thu, 19 May 1994 13:27:54 -0700

Well, I thought I found the Ideal card.  It's made by Quickpath Systems, Inc,
and it's called a Port-Folio Multiport I/O card (model 550E).  NCA in Sunnyvale
sells it for $129.

It has 2 IDE interfaces, 2 bi-directional parallel ports, 4 floppy ports (with
a special disk driver, included), 4 serial ports, and 1 game port.

The serial ports all use 16550AFN UARTS (the buffered kind).

COM1 and COM2 can be IRQ4 or 3 (the standard).  COM3 and COM4 can be IRQs
3,4,5,9,10,11,12, or 15.  The printer ports can be IRQ 5 or 7.  Each part of
the card can be separately disabled.

Unfortunately I have to take it back.  The metal brackets that support the
serial cables (one 9-pin and one 25-pin D shell) mount the 9-pin shell too
close to the top edge of the cutout in my old IBM AT chassis.  I can't get a
9-pin plug into the socket.  Also, my ATI Mach 32 video card uses the COM4
address (as do several Windows accelerator cards).

I tried to get COM3 working on IRQ 10 and 11 with K1EA's COMTSR3 program with
no success.  I don't know if the problem is in the card, an undiscovered IRQ
conflict within my machine, or if COMTSR3 supports IRQ 10 or 11.

Has anyone succeeded using COMTSR3 with IRQ 10 or 11?  I presume you just type
COMTSR3 -Bxxxx -I10 to use IRQ 10.

It's a nice card, except for the problems noted.  It looked for a while like it
had it all.

I've also been told that the "STB" 4-port serial card is worth looking into.  I
expect it's a subset of the card I have here.

73, AA6MC