Tech Laptop with DB9

Brandon Martin lists.nanog at
Mon Nov 10 21:45:32 UTC 2014

On 11/10/2014 03:59 PM, Eugeniu Patrascu wrote:
> Prolific based USB-to-Serial adapter

Anecodotally, I recommend against Prolific-based solutions.  While doing 
some embedded dev work, I quite unintentionally found a specific data 
pattern that would reliably get corrupted by the Prolific cable I had. 
After several hours of debugging my software, finally resorting to a 
'scope to verify that the data on the line was correct, I chucked it in 
the trash after I found that it worked fine with my 1st-party FTDI 
cable.  Probably should have kept it and tried to isolate a minimal test 
case, but meh.

1st party FTDI cables can be had with bare wire ends on them.  With a 
little effort, you can crimp an 8P8C directly on and have yourself a 
Cisco-style cable that's very reliable and includes traffic indicator 
lights in the USB molded housing.  I think you can also get them 
pre-wired to DE9 connectors.  They've got RS-485 and RS-422 options, 
too.  I buy them from Digi-Key - not the cheapest place by any means, 
but you know for sure that they're real.

I've had good luck with FTDI on all OSes.  No drivers needed on (modern) 
Linux, and the drivers are easy to work with on all versions of Windows 
that I've used with them (XP, 7).  Dunno about MacOSX, but I think 
there's at least options.

YMMV, of course.  FTDI got in some hot water recently by intentionally 
bricking 3rd party clones of their stuff in a Windows driver update.
Brandon Martin

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