[TRLog] Laptops - need more serial ports

John Unger w4au@contesting.com
Tue, 16 Dec 1997 14:21:21 -0500

At 01:18 AM 12/16/97 -0600, you wrote:
>I need more serial ports for use with TR (a.k.a. Rat Log) with my laptop
>computer.  It has 2 PCMCIA ports, one of which is tied up with a modem. 
>It has only one serial port and I could use 2 more for network and 2nd
>rig connection.  
>Has anyone overcome this?  Are there any PCMCIA multi-serial cards out
>there?  If not, possibly a network card and a multi-serial box that
>connects via ethernet?

Tom - I recently asked the same question in the cq-contest mail list and
received these answers:

I recently purchased the Silicom dual-port serial card.  It works great
and the Silicom folks are really good with product support.  I thought I
had problems and they (actually the vendor from whom I bought the card)
replaced the card once.  I have not taken the time to get it running on
both DOS and Win95 but have been able to make it work on DOS when
booting into DOS and in WIN when booting into WIn.  It cost $189 from
Essex Portable Computers.  You can find them on the web but if not, let
me know and I can send you a phone number.  Also great folks to work
with.  I recommend the Silicom over the Quatech because it has better
cable connectors for both ports and you can individually select IRQs for
each port, which you need to do for CT and which you can't do with the


Here are some copies of old postings that will give you some good info.
Not many people stock PCMCIA cards... but there are a number of
sources in the Silicon Valley:

Attached is some info from K2TW if you want to purchase a dual card.  I
have other sources, but this source has a cheaper price for the same unit.
For a single serial port, try DATACOMM Warehouse    800-328-2261, for the
Fujitsu card at $79.95 (I have one)

Only thing to watch out for on the dual cards is the software (and true for
new single
port cards too).  Since the
dual cards came out recently, the software development may be focused on
Win 95.  If you are DOS based, it may be a problem.  I noticed a few cards
that said they had DOS software if you asked.  Others only mentioned that
they were Win 95.

Made a few calls to see who has what in the way of a 2-port laptop
serial card. I settled on a 2-port Silicom (that's not a typo) unit p/n
SLS2S-H from A+ Computing (1-800-878-1354) for $175. Other prices ranged
from 179 for a one-port board to 249 for a 2-port board.
They confirmed that the ports can be assigned IRQ 3-7 and 9-12 so it
should work ok with CT. Once I get it I'll provide some info on how it
Thanks to KH7U for the lead which pointed me to these folks.
73 de Tom K2TW           tjwall@worldnet.att.net

As for the Socket Serial I/O card, I may have ordered the wrong model.
They have a "ruggedized Serial I/O card" (SLO707-078) that definitely does
support DOS (and OS/2 as well), so I'm going to change my order.  The
ruggedized model has a much sturdier dustproof external connector than a
typical PC Card.



Socket Communications makes serial port PCMCIA cards.

They have three models.

1. Serial I/O PCCARD with 16550
2. Ruggedized Serial PCCard with 16550
3. Dual Serial PCCard with two 16550's.

Not sure where you can get them, their number is 510-744-2700 or


Socket Communications makes an add on serial card that works quite nicely.
I got mine about two years ago. Computer Discount Warehouse (CDW) carries
it, but I got mine from another catalog. CDW is in Vernon Hills, Illinois.
Their number is 800-295-4239.


Hope that this helps. I have decided on the Silicom, 2-port card. It's
$175. from A+ Computing.

73 - John, W4AU

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