Laptop serial card adapter?

Posted by: michael_d

Laptop serial card adapter? - 02/23/12 10:50 PM

I come with hat in hand in need of computer advice again....

So I continue to find a need for a serial port on my laptop. USB to RS232 adapters kinda sorta work, sometimes... I was expressing my frustrations with this to a friend and he told me "Just get an express card serial adapter". I did a search on the net and found out this isn't as easy as just buying one and installing one. After looking at the things, I have no idea how to begin to install one. There does not appear to be any sort of knockouts on my laptop case and there's nothing to slide any sort of card into the side of the damn thing.

Can someone give me the high level on how to go about installing one of these things and what I should look for??

My laptop is a Toshiba Satelite L305s5921. I just use this laptop for calibrating my displays and tuning my vehicles. It has Vista on it now, but I intend to upgrade it to Windows 7.

Here's my laptop....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834114611

thankyouthankyouthankyou...
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Laptop serial card adapter? - 02/23/12 11:16 PM

If that's your laptop, then you've got an ExpressCard/54 slot on the left hand side near the front of the case. If you don't have that slot (about the width of a credit card, but thicker), then that's not your laptop.

If it is, all you do is slide the card in.

This might be the card for you, but don't take my word for it:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16839158047
Posted by: Kruncher

Re: Laptop serial card adapter? - 02/23/12 11:25 PM

Also on Newegg, there's this one too. A bit cheaper and should be fine (54mm), as Ken says, if that's your laptop.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16839158033
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Laptop serial card adapter? - 02/24/12 08:38 AM

Ah, I missed that that one had the adapter included. Nice find!
Posted by: avjunkee

Re: Laptop serial card adapter? - 02/24/12 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d
USB to RS232 adapters kinda sorta work, sometimes...


If you're willing to try another USB-serial adaptor then the Tripplite USA-19HS has always worked for me where others have failed. Amazon has them for only $28. If you're gunshy then the expresscard suggestions already mentioned will work as well.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Laptop serial card adapter? - 02/24/12 04:12 PM

I have bought four of the damn things to date. Looking for something more reliable, hence the question.

Thanks for the tips fellas. I better have a closer look at the laptop. I do not recall seeing any sort of "slot", but will look closer.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Laptop serial card adapter? - 02/25/12 06:37 PM

Are you trying to find a way to get to a DB9 serial connection? I've used Kensington USB to serial adapters for years on my Mac and they have the best driver support.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Laptop serial card adapter? - 02/26/12 11:47 AM

Yes, I am. Seriously, I've tried four of the usb to serial adapters. Some work some of the time for some devices. None work all the time for all devices. I did not buy cheap adapters either. The one that works the best so far is a Keyspan.

So I looked a bit closer at my laptop, and sure enough, there is a slot in it with a nifty little door that I completely overlooked. I ordered the card you linked to above along with a couple more RS232 cables.