[RTTY] Motherboard Recommendation

Neal Campbell nealk3nc at gmail.com
Thu Jul 1 12:01:37 PDT 2010

There are some counter arguments to Doug's battle-scarred experiences!

I put serial cards in approx. 1/3 of the computers I sell, which isn't so
weird since they are for SDR operators and almost everything we do is with
virtual comm ports inside the computer.

I think that the exodus of serial and LPT ports from the motherboard's
backplane worries a lot of hams, but there is nothing to worry about. The
supply of PCI serial cards is quite good and very cheap (20 bucks for 2 port
cards). If you look for a good cheap supplier, look at Syba products. You
really shouldn't pay more than this as everyone is now using the MosChip
(sometimes labelled NetMos) chipset.

This is where the USB/non-USB debate gets murky! I personally prefer the
virtual comport drivers from Eltima and FTDI (which is a great majority of
them) quality-wise to the MosChip/NetMos drivers. I have blue-screened more
times after adding these cards than just about any other cause.

I personally prefer USB products from Keyspan, they work on both Macs and
Windows with equal quality (and its good) and you can move the rats nest of
cables away from the computer (via its little usb tether to the 4 port

I personally would not worry about either approach, its what best suits your
Neal Campbell
Abroham Neal Software
(540) 645 5394 NEW PHONE NUMBER

Amateur Radio: K3NC
Blog: http://www.abrohamnealsoftware.com/blog/
DXBase bug reports: email to cases at dxbase.fogbugz.com
Abroham Neal forums: http:/www.abrohamnealsoftware.com/community/

On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 2:25 PM, Doug Hall <k4dsp.doug at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 11:31 AM, Tom Osborne <w7why at verizon.net> wrote:
> > If someone could tell me the 'advantage' of USB over
> > serial ports, I'd like to know.  I know USB is the wave of the future
> (till
> > something else comes along), but why?  Maybe I'm missing something.
> >
> For the majority of stuff hams do there is probably no big advantage
> to USB, and sometimes there are disadvantages (driver issues, OS
> dependency, etc.) But the migration to USB (and away from RS-232) is
> all about speed. Speed doesn't really matter that much for rig control
> or RTTY, but the advent of digital cameras and music players has made
> the RS-232 serial port useless for data transfer. I can transfer the
> Red Hot Chili Peppers double album "Stadium Arcadium" to my MP3 player
> via USB in less than 10 seconds, but that same album would take over 2
> hours to transfer even at the fastest RS-232 speed. Likewise, I can
> pull 100 photos off of my Nikon D300 in less than a minute, but with
> RS-232 we'd be looking at 14 hours. And nobody would put up with
> RS-232 data rates for printers and scanners. Who wants to wait hours
> for a photo to print?
> In addition, USB can supply a fair amount of current (per the USB
> spec) for powering or charging devices, something that was never more
> than a kludge with RS-232 devices. (You can sometimes "steal" power
> from the RTS or DTR lines of an RS-232 port, but never more than a few
> milliamperes.)
> Granted USB is not (yet) a big advantage in the ham world, and in fact
> most USB ham peripherals are just USB-to-RS-232 ports in disguise, but
> outside the ham world USB is what makes modern gadgets practical to
> use.
> 73,
> Doug K4DSP
> P.S. From an embedded systems developer's world (my world) USB is a
> pain in the butt. RS-232 is still easier to design in and program for.
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