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RS232 Connector Pin Assignment

RS232 Cable Information

DB 9 and DB 25 Connection

The original pin layout for RS232 was developed for a 25 pins D sub connector. In this pin-out
provisions were made for a secondary communication channel. In practice, only one communication
channel with accompanying handshaking is present. For that reason the smaller 9 pin version is
more commonly used today.

The diagrams show the signals common to both connector types in black. The signals only present
on the larger connector are shown in red.

Note: The protective ground is assigned to a pin at the large connector, in DB9 version protective
ground connector to encloser.

For the DEC modified modular jack. Although is differential (the receive and transmit have their own
floating ground level) still possible to connect RS232 compatible devices with this interface.

RS232 DB 9 Pin Assignment RS232 DB 25 Pin Assignment

DEC MMJ Pin Assignment

DB9 to DB25 converter

The original pin layout for RS232 was developed for a 25 pins D sub connector. From IBM-AT machine
popular 9 pins connectors are commonly used. RS232 DB9 to DB25 converter cable support mixed
applications for 9 to 25 pins.

RS232 DB9 to DB25 converter

RS232 loop-back test plug
The following connectors can be used to self-test a serial port on your computer. The data and
handshake lines have been linked. In this way all data will be sent back immediately. The PC
controls its own handshaking.
Download test software from: www.pccompci.com

RS232 loop-back test plug for PCCOM Diagnostics

RS232 null modem cables

The using a null modem cable is easiest way to connect two PC's.
For simple connections, a three line cable connecting the signal ground and receive and transmit lines
is sufficient.
Depending of the software used, some sort of handshaking may however be necessary. Use the
selection table to find the right cable for each purpose.

For Microsoft Windows use direct cable connection, the null modem cable with loop back

Null modem cables with handshaking can be defined in numerous ways, with loop back handshaking
to each PC, or complete handshaking between the two systems. The most common cable types are
shown here.

Simple null modem without handshaking

Null modem with loop back handshaking
Null modem with partial handshaking
Null modem with full handshaking
Choose your null modem cable

Simple cable Cable with Loop Cable with

Cable with Full
Use Without back Partial
Handshaking Handshaking Handshaking
Software flow control
xxx x x x
DTE/DCE compatible
hardware flow control at - xxx xx -
low speeds
DTE/DCE compatible
hardware flow control at - + xxx -
high speeds
High speed
communication using - - xx xxx
special software
Note :
xxx Recommended cable
x Good alternative
x Works, but not recommended
- Does not work

RS232 printer cable

When a serial printer is connected to a PC, the handshaking is not symmetrical any more. In that
case a cable is used where some handshaking lines at the PC side are looped back. On the printer
side only the data lines and one handshaking line are used.

RS232 monitor cable

It is not difficult to monitor the serial communication between two devices with a PC. To do this you
need the monitor cable, which is displayed in the next picture. Two sockets are connected straight
through. The PC is connected to the third one.

This monitor cable taps communication from both sides. This means that if the two devices happen
to talk simultaneously, the monitored information will be garbage. In most circumstances
communication software works half duplex, in which case this problem does not exist.


Total Number of Drivers and Receivers on One Line (One 1 DRIVER 1 DRIVER 32 DRIVER
driver active at a time for RS485 networks) 1 RECVR 10 RECVR 32 RECVR
Maximun Cable Length 50 FT. 4000 FT. 4000FT.
Maximum Data Rate (40ft. -4000ft. for RS422/RS485) 20Kb/s 10Mb/s -100Kb/s 10Mb/s -100Kb/s
Maximun Driver Output Vlotage +/-25V -0.25V to +6V -7V to +12V
Driver Output Signal Level (Loaded +/-5V to +/-
Loaded +/-2.0V +/-1.5V
Min.) 15V
Driver Output Signal Level (Unloaded
Unloaded +/-25V +/-6V +/-6V
Driver Load Impedance (Ohms) 3k to 7k 100 54
Max. Driver Current in High Z State Power On N/A N/A +/-100uA
+/-6mA @
Max. Driver Current in High Z State Power Off +/-100uA +/-100uA
Slew Rate (Max.) 30V/uS N/A N/A
Receiver Input Voltage Range +/-15V -10V to +10V -7V to +12V
Receiver Input Sensitivity +/-3V +/-200mV +/-200mV
Receiver Input Resistance (Ohms), (1 Standard Load for
3K to 7K 4K min. >=12K
RS 232 EIA, EDC and EMI Bulk Data Cable
Standare EIA, Extended Distance Low Capacitance and EMI/RFI Double Shielded Data Cable.