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Optiplex 170L - Non standard COM port?

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  • Dell
  • Comm Port
  • Software
  • Computers
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Anonymous
August 27, 2005 12:33:43 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Ok I've been working with Dell equipment for years and today is the first
time I've ever run across a problem getting hardware of any type to work on
a Dell PC.

I installed a new O170L in a trophy shop today and their engravers
communicate with the software via serial ports. Well I couldn't get the
onboard COM port to work and called the manufactures support where I was
told that Dell uses non standard serial ports where much of the hardware
expected by the driver software is actually emulated via software and that
the engravers software won't work. They then proceeded to tell me that many
customers have had luck with USB to Serial converters. Huh??? Wouldn't
that be completely software emulation?

Well I'm very suspicious about that answer, however, after some moving of
COM ports around I was able to get things working with the USP to Serial
adapter but not until moved the onboard to COM 3 made it the USB to Serial
COM1.

So I guess I have two questions.

Anyone have any idea what's going on here?
Is Dell using some firmware emulation to do serial communication?
In regards to the USB to Serial adapter, am I missing something or wouldn't
this be pure software emulation?
And if so should I assume that Dell has done a poor job of writing their
serial emulators?

Anyone else have any problems with serial devices on newer Dell PC?

TIA

--

Rob
"A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing"

More about : optiplex 170l standard port

Anonymous
August 27, 2005 5:00:37 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

i wonder if there was also a modem in the system and that was perhaps the
source of the conflict. com1/3 and 2/4 each share a single irq and can not
be in use at the same time (ie com3 can't be used if com1 is in use). some
modem driver software (if installed) have monitor utilities that keep the
modem port open and therefore disable the coresponding com port that shares
its irq.

i have found that usb to serial port converters work quite reliably. i had
to use many of them to enable legacy free laptops (no serial ports) to
syncronize with the older generation blackberries, palms, and celleur
phones. the belkin made ones never failed.

"Robert R Kircher, Jr." <rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Q5WdnUuWkZp6KZLeRVn-rA@giganews.com...
> Ok I've been working with Dell equipment for years and today is the first
> time I've ever run across a problem getting hardware of any type to work
> on a Dell PC.
>
> I installed a new O170L in a trophy shop today and their engravers
> communicate with the software via serial ports. Well I couldn't get the
> onboard COM port to work and called the manufactures support where I was
> told that Dell uses non standard serial ports where much of the hardware
> expected by the driver software is actually emulated via software and that
> the engravers software won't work. They then proceeded to tell me that
> many customers have had luck with USB to Serial converters. Huh???
> Wouldn't that be completely software emulation?
>
> Well I'm very suspicious about that answer, however, after some moving of
> COM ports around I was able to get things working with the USP to Serial
> adapter but not until moved the onboard to COM 3 made it the USB to Serial
> COM1.
>
> So I guess I have two questions.
>
> Anyone have any idea what's going on here?
> Is Dell using some firmware emulation to do serial communication?
> In regards to the USB to Serial adapter, am I missing something or
> wouldn't this be pure software emulation?
> And if so should I assume that Dell has done a poor job of writing their
> serial emulators?
>
> Anyone else have any problems with serial devices on newer Dell PC?
>
> TIA
>
> --
>
> Rob
> "A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing"
>
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 5:00:38 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

"Christopher Muto" <muto@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:VWOPe.74$LK.66@trndny09...
>i wonder if there was also a modem in the system and that was perhaps the
>source of the conflict. com1/3 and 2/4 each share a single irq and can not
>be in use at the same time (ie com3 can't be used if com1 is in use). some
>modem driver software (if installed) have monitor utilities that keep the
>modem port open and therefore disable the coresponding com port that shares
>its irq.
>
> i have found that usb to serial port converters work quite reliably. i
> had to use many of them to enable legacy free laptops (no serial ports) to
> syncronize with the older generation blackberries, palms, and celleur
> phones. the belkin made ones never failed.
>


No modem... and no indication of any IRQ conflict. interesting thing
about the USP-Serial adapter is that I couldn't get the device to work with
the adapter set to COM 2 or 3 but it worked fine at COM 1.

--

Rob
Related resources
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 7:53:52 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

when you enter the system bios you can select a mode for the on board serial
port..
it can be set to auto, com1, com3, or off. auto is the default. how is
yours set?

"Robert R Kircher, Jr." <rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:UbidnZ2dnZ0xsU25nZ2dneVbkt6dnZ2dRVn-yJ2dnZ0@giganews.com...
> "Christopher Muto" <muto@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
> news:VWOPe.74$LK.66@trndny09...
>>i wonder if there was also a modem in the system and that was perhaps the
>>source of the conflict. com1/3 and 2/4 each share a single irq and can
>>not be in use at the same time (ie com3 can't be used if com1 is in use).
>>some modem driver software (if installed) have monitor utilities that keep
>>the modem port open and therefore disable the coresponding com port that
>>shares its irq.
>>
>> i have found that usb to serial port converters work quite reliably. i
>> had to use many of them to enable legacy free laptops (no serial ports)
>> to syncronize with the older generation blackberries, palms, and celleur
>> phones. the belkin made ones never failed.
>>
>
>
> No modem... and no indication of any IRQ conflict. interesting thing
> about the USP-Serial adapter is that I couldn't get the device to work
> with the adapter set to COM 2 or 3 but it worked fine at COM 1.
>
> --
>
> Rob
>
>
>
>
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 7:53:53 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

"Christopher Muto" <muto@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:ktRPe.424$cY.3@trndny06...
> when you enter the system bios you can select a mode for the on board
> serial port..
> it can be set to auto, com1, com3, or off. auto is the default. how is
> yours set?
>

Set to Auto. I tried both COM1 and COM3 and still couldn't get the device
to work. Final solution was to set the onboard to COM3 in the BIOS and then
set the USB/Serial Adapter to COM1 with in Windows. I'm really curious
about why the device wouldn't work with the onboard serial port.

--

Rob
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 3:28:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

As an alternative, you can install a PCI serial card. If the Optiplex 170L
requires low-profile add-in cards, you may be out of luck. I have only seen
low-profile graphics and modem cards. Could not find a low-profile network card
when I needed one.

Succesful implementation of a solution to run the engravers depends very much on
the engraving software and how it is written. Some of the older serial port
software gets right down to the bare iron talking to the serial ports. Other
software is disciplined in working through the Windows API... Ben Myers

On Fri, 26 Aug 2005 20:33:43 -0400, "Robert R Kircher, Jr."
<rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Ok I've been working with Dell equipment for years and today is the first
>time I've ever run across a problem getting hardware of any type to work on
>a Dell PC.
>
>I installed a new O170L in a trophy shop today and their engravers
>communicate with the software via serial ports. Well I couldn't get the
>onboard COM port to work and called the manufactures support where I was
>told that Dell uses non standard serial ports where much of the hardware
>expected by the driver software is actually emulated via software and that
>the engravers software won't work. They then proceeded to tell me that many
>customers have had luck with USB to Serial converters. Huh??? Wouldn't
>that be completely software emulation?
>
>Well I'm very suspicious about that answer, however, after some moving of
>COM ports around I was able to get things working with the USP to Serial
>adapter but not until moved the onboard to COM 3 made it the USB to Serial
>COM1.
>
>So I guess I have two questions.
>
>Anyone have any idea what's going on here?
>Is Dell using some firmware emulation to do serial communication?
>In regards to the USB to Serial adapter, am I missing something or wouldn't
>this be pure software emulation?
>And if so should I assume that Dell has done a poor job of writing their
>serial emulators?
>
>Anyone else have any problems with serial devices on newer Dell PC?
>
>TIA
>
>--
>
>Rob
>"A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing"
>
>
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 3:28:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

<ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote in message
news:43104dcf.2439661@nntp.charter.net...
> As an alternative, you can install a PCI serial card. If the Optiplex
> 170L
> requires low-profile add-in cards, you may be out of luck. I have only
> seen
> low-profile graphics and modem cards. Could not find a low-profile
> network card
> when I needed one.
>
> Succesful implementation of a solution to run the engravers depends very
> much on
> the engraving software and how it is written. Some of the older serial
> port
> software gets right down to the bare iron talking to the serial ports.
> Other
> software is disciplined in working through the Windows API... Ben Myers
>

Ahh see now Ben you're getting closer to what I think is the truth here.
Poorly written software. This is OLD software with it's roots in Win 31.
Now it has been updated over the years including being ported to 32bit but
none the less it's old. Why this is so interesting it because the support
people insist that this issues only occurs with new DELL PCs.

As to PCI Serial card, that was going to be my first solution but Best Buy,
the closest store, didn't have serial cards so taking the support persons
advice I bought the USP->Serial adapter as was able to get it to work.

--

Rob
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 4:01:08 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

i am curious too... and it should work. they included those ports for
legacy compatibility. i wonder if some other software is at play here.
perhaps an all in one printer driver suite that allows for pc faxing and so
is emulating a comm port which isn't obviously apparent. but the important
thing is that you have it working now.

"Robert R Kircher, Jr." <rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:RLCdnTEe1PTJlo3eRVn-vg@giganews.com...
>
> "Christopher Muto" <muto@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
> news:ktRPe.424$cY.3@trndny06...
>> when you enter the system bios you can select a mode for the on board
>> serial port..
>> it can be set to auto, com1, com3, or off. auto is the default. how is
>> yours set?
>>
>
> Set to Auto. I tried both COM1 and COM3 and still couldn't get the device
> to work. Final solution was to set the onboard to COM3 in the BIOS and
> then set the USB/Serial Adapter to COM1 with in Windows. I'm really
> curious about why the device wouldn't work with the onboard serial port.
>
> --
>
> Rob
>
>
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 4:50:09 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Ben,

The Linksys Gigabit card is low-profile. The end plate isn't, but you can
work around that.

Tom
<ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote in message
news:43104dcf.2439661@nntp.charter.net...
> As an alternative, you can install a PCI serial card. If the Optiplex
> 170L
> requires low-profile add-in cards, you may be out of luck. I have only
> seen
> low-profile graphics and modem cards. Could not find a low-profile
> network card
> when I needed one.
>
> Succesful implementation of a solution to run the engravers depends very
> much on
> the engraving software and how it is written. Some of the older serial
> port
> software gets right down to the bare iron talking to the serial ports.
> Other
> software is disciplined in working through the Windows API... Ben Myers
>
> On Fri, 26 Aug 2005 20:33:43 -0400, "Robert R Kircher, Jr."
> <rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>Ok I've been working with Dell equipment for years and today is the first
>>time I've ever run across a problem getting hardware of any type to work
>>on
>>a Dell PC.
>>
>>I installed a new O170L in a trophy shop today and their engravers
>>communicate with the software via serial ports. Well I couldn't get the
>>onboard COM port to work and called the manufactures support where I was
>>told that Dell uses non standard serial ports where much of the hardware
>>expected by the driver software is actually emulated via software and that
>>the engravers software won't work. They then proceeded to tell me that
>>many
>>customers have had luck with USB to Serial converters. Huh??? Wouldn't
>>that be completely software emulation?
>>
>>Well I'm very suspicious about that answer, however, after some moving of
>>COM ports around I was able to get things working with the USP to Serial
>>adapter but not until moved the onboard to COM 3 made it the USB to Serial
>>COM1.
>>
>>So I guess I have two questions.
>>
>>Anyone have any idea what's going on here?
>>Is Dell using some firmware emulation to do serial communication?
>>In regards to the USB to Serial adapter, am I missing something or
>>wouldn't
>>this be pure software emulation?
>>And if so should I assume that Dell has done a poor job of writing their
>>serial emulators?
>>
>>Anyone else have any problems with serial devices on newer Dell PC?
>>
>>TIA
>>
>>--
>>
>>Rob
>>"A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing"
>>
>>
>
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 10:13:04 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Wow. Good emulation of a serial port via USB, then... Ben

On Sat, 27 Aug 2005 09:09:44 -0400, "Robert R Kircher, Jr."
<rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
><ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote in message
>news:43104dcf.2439661@nntp.charter.net...
>> As an alternative, you can install a PCI serial card. If the Optiplex
>> 170L
>> requires low-profile add-in cards, you may be out of luck. I have only
>> seen
>> low-profile graphics and modem cards. Could not find a low-profile
>> network card
>> when I needed one.
>>
>> Succesful implementation of a solution to run the engravers depends very
>> much on
>> the engraving software and how it is written. Some of the older serial
>> port
>> software gets right down to the bare iron talking to the serial ports.
>> Other
>> software is disciplined in working through the Windows API... Ben Myers
>>
>
>Ahh see now Ben you're getting closer to what I think is the truth here.
>Poorly written software. This is OLD software with it's roots in Win 31.
>Now it has been updated over the years including being ported to 32bit but
>none the less it's old. Why this is so interesting it because the support
>people insist that this issues only occurs with new DELL PCs.
>
>As to PCI Serial card, that was going to be my first solution but Best Buy,
>the closest store, didn't have serial cards so taking the support persons
>advice I bought the USP->Serial adapter as was able to get it to work.
>
>--
>
>Rob
>
>
>
!