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Larry's USB Serial Adaptor / Converter

- - - - >

To: •   <== here you can find Garmin serial cables and DIY plugs!

To buy one now, click here: find a dealer.

News May Day 2008, new fresh purple USB-G4's have arrived from Taiwan today! We'll be filling backorders tomorrow and Monday. Any questions/problems/new orders, feel free to call me, Larry, or Ardel, anytime: 541-479-8087. If no answer don't worry - be happy - call again later - or send an eMail (click on "contact" above).

Thursday, November 15, 2007 8:32 AM

Hi larry
  Well after trying a cheap ebay 
adapter (prolific) and having no joy and 
then getting a PCMCIA serial and finding 
i had no way of changing the com 
port from 5 to 1-4 required for the 
software . I got one of your adapters 
from GPSbits in the UK, now bearing 
in mind this was causing much stress 
and hours of internet searching , 
connected it up driver installed fired up 
the software little link LED lights up ,
 then click go online and success 
the little transmit and reciever leds
 blink away and i have a screen full of 
data :-) so just thought you might like
 to put this on your site as i'm sure 
i'm not the only one with this problem . 
So SMT6 piggy back engine management by 
works great with the little purple box 
of magic !


VISTA NEWS: July 2007, All our CD's now have Vista drivers, and XP, and 98, etc. BUT NOT 64 BIT versions yet, but soon!

Vista news Feb 2007: Do not load our driver CD - just plug-in and let Vista find drivers on-line! (revised July 2007, you can run our CD now, Vista drivers are on our CD now).

Vista News, 6th Dec 2006, California, USA :

Dear Larry,

I went ahead testing your USB to Serial 
device against Vista....I tried all versions 
of Vista, there are five separate versions.
Good news. They all work! Vista automatically 
found a driver for the unit and I didn't have 
to use the CD you supplied.

Just wanted to give you a heads up that 
everything came out OK and your device 
has no issues at all with Vista.

Great news, and what's more even better (for us:) Antuan said several other units he tested did not work with Vista!

Feb 2007, Carol in San Jose needed to sync her Palm Vx to her HP dv800z laptop (which has only USB), she found us, bought our USB-G4, and reports back:

The adapter arrived today and it 
worked--just like you said it would.  
I'm sooooo happy.  Been struggling 
with this problem of getting my 
Palm Vx to synchronize for over a year!  
You guys are great!  
Thanks for the courteous, speedy service.

FIREWORKS! (news June 2007) we are honored to be chosen by ODA Enterprises to be the exclusive provider of USB-serial adapters to all their customers world wide. We sell and support this unit in over 20 countries! Everyone loves fireworks and we love helping the show go on.

Woha, news April 2006, the GARMIN support people are telling customers to go to PFRANC.COM!!!!! How cool is that? (BTW we LOVE GARMIN! GRMN stock is over $100 per share! -more here. BTW: A little interesting sub-fact, Garmin sells the same unit I do, made by the same company (MCT) but Garmin sells it for twice as much as I do! But hey, they are busy growing a $billion company so are finding it difficulte to support these non-GPS things they don't make. Garmin's part number is: 010-10310-00. I introduced Garmin to this MCT unit back in the year 2000.

June 2006 news: For several months now, Suzuki Marine has been telling dealers who are using it's engine diagnostic computer systems to call Purple Computing (that's me) for "the" USB-serial adapter that works (with my support that is:-) and so far we have had 100% success.

-*--- Jump down to Latest DRIVERS HERE.
Notice: Our drivers are "signed" by Microsoft now! We include the drivers on a CD with a full "install shield" with every unit! (btw: this phrase I wrote a long time ago on this page and it's a little goofy, so I was surprised that someone would copy it, ... do a google for "our drivers are signed by" and notice that Rad can't manage to come up with his own words? (1/11/07) geee Rad, I'd be embarrassed.
All our USB-serial adapter cables have a cool translucent PURPLE plastic case/housing so you will know for sure that it's OUR unit, made for us by MCT, supported by us, and is the latest and greatest version. Why PURPLE? Well my company (one and only since 1983) is named Purple Computing. Oh, and unlike my new found competetor, Rad, I have only this one little company and only one web site selling, only this one model. Rad told me on the phone he has thousands of web sites selling these things and he'll crush me out of business. Well, I'm still here Rad. Not easy for sure because he's a powerful force in the internet marketing game. I don't know how anyone could survive when he decides to go after you.

There are lots of other USB-serial adapters, some look the same, some are old surplus, some new, several different chips and drivers, some work for some things but not others, one on eBay is selling for $1.99, --- how to shop, what to do? One thing, make sure it has drivers for your system, don't ever say "yes" to that "are you sure" question Windows asks you, just take the unit back and get your money back, there is no need to take that risk anymore. But the easiest way to shop is call me, or read the rest of this page. I know, understand, and have supported this one model since the year 2000, and I will continue to - for the duration. Not for every possible application in the world, but some, and everything Garmin related for sure,... and we (me, Ardel, and Richard here in Oregon, and our Pfrancs in 20 countries!!!!) always have the newest hardware and drivers, - So --- BUY NOW ---> scroll WAY down this page - or click: find a dealer (aka Pfranc).

Wow, this page is getting big - and lately it's getting thousands of visits a day - so maybe I should organize it? Yeah, right after I organize my office, - that'll be the day. Hey, I'm too busy having fun helping folks get a serial port added to their new laptop.

May 2006, .... news: ... Works with Megasquirt - MegaTune (fuel injection computer) applications! (more here).

May 2006, ... still new things people are using our adapter for!

Hi Larry, my name is:  Chris.  
I just purcased your usb to serial converter.  
i just wanted to say thanks and it works great.  
i am in the 2 way radio business and program 
radios for 911 centers and emergency officials.  
this product allows me to use my new up to 
date computer without a built in serial port 
in my daily business.
thanks alot, 
chris hobbs
--------- end of message -------

Many of our customers are using it with a Meade telescope - here a fellow Oregonian reports his success:

Friday, July 27, 2007 9:33 AM

Hi Larry, my name is:  Galen up in McMinnville.

     I just wanted you to know that the 
USB-to-RS232 converter you sent me 
a few months back has been working 
flawlessly to communicate with my 
Meade ETX-105 telescope with Autostar. 
The other "brand name" adapter I was 
using just wouldn't work in this application 
no matter what I tried. Your adapter worked 
out of the box and has not given me even 
a single error in over 3 months.,, and the 
cost was very reasonable.

--------- end of message -------

News: Nov 2005, Do you Linux? Check this out here: eTrex, Kismet, GpsDrive, Google Earth!!! ... once again a happy customer (Chris in Switzerland) is helping all of us have more fun with a Garmin GPS, computers, awesome software, and our little USB-G4! Thanks Chris! -- it's a WIKI page subject to change/edit/deletion at any time so I made a copy here. As of 11/18/05 the Wiki page was accessed 7 times. ... Um, sorry to make this page even MORE a mess but if you've not used GOOGLE EARTH set down your beer and go do it now! Then imagine using it with your GPS! ... just a glimps of the awesome fun things to come. For now it's time for a beer. --- I'm getting so much Linux info/feedback I started a page just for Linux serial adapter issues. If I had another lifetime I'd spend it with Linux.

News: July 2005, Magellan Meridian Platinum GPS? What's a Magellan? We are 100% Garmin. I don't have a Magellan so can't support it, but that has not stopped our customers from buying our USB-G4 serial to USB adapter! Yeah I've got a little margine but not enough to spend too many hours trying to help get things going, but he buys it anyway and guess what? It works! You can find more Pfranc Magellan news here. Still, I'm staying with Garmin. As Cramer would say: "Garmin's for me."

News: June 2005, ... Works with MotoSAT the Direcway Internet dish auto positioner - according to Ron. He tried units from two other suppliers without success and then tried our Purple USB-G4. He says: "... worked perfectly. ...process was flawless ... Your product and service are exemplary." Thanks Ron! BTW Ron is actually: Professor Ronald A. Howard Professor since 1965, School of Engineering of Stanford University. Did you see that? STANFORD! Where Knuth (the father of Computer Science) plays! Donald, I've been watching 30 years, where's Volume 4?

News: May 2005, ... Works with LabVIEW ( a $4095 software program for engineers ). You know, we started helping folks make a cable for their Garmin GPS in 1996, then in the year 2000 some new laptops were being made without a serial port - so we looked into how to add a serial port via the USB bus but discovered countless problems. Because the problems were so diverse and our limited resources (one technical guy - me) we concentrated on supporting only the relatively small Garmin GPS community (5 years ago), but now that we have that success, and thanks to many thousands of great customers who try our adapter for other things and tell us about it, and because of Windows XP, new hardware and improved drivers, we are learning we can support more applications - like LabVIEW and many others. Click here for more about the LabVIEW success

News: Feb 2005, Works for INDY 500 RACE TEAMS!!!....
Helping folks (4 years now) add a RS232 serial port (via their USB bus) is fun,
and helping small (and big companies) is fun,
but helping an Indy 500 race team is really fun!
I sure hope they win! Here's the story:


Yes your unit works great with our app. 
Here's a link!



--- Larry Berg  wrote:
> Hi Mark,
> Does this mean our unit works in your application?
> Thanks a lot for the great news!
> Would you like me to add a link to a web page about
> your car(s)?
> mybest,
> larry,
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> Sent: Friday, February 11, 2005 1:56 PM
> Subject: PT: RE: Purchase of your RS232 to USB adaptor
> Hi Larry, my name is:  Mark Albert.  I talked to
> you on the phone last week about purchasing one of
> your adaptors to use between my telemetry radio 
> and my Dell XPS (No serial port.)
> Having used several other adaptors from IOmega, 
> Targus, and others ... I had very intermittant 
> connections and the blue-screen-of-death several 
> times a day. VERY annoying when you're running 
> an IndyCar out on the track as our engineers make 
> us stop the car if we can't see what's going on.
> I've already given your address to one other team 
> with similar problems and I believe Matt has 
> already purchased a couple from you while we 
> were out at the test in Phoenix.
> I'll keep spreading the word.  Thanks for 
> an excellent product!  Feel free to post 
> this on your site.
> Mark Albert
> Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
> 4501 W. 99th Street
> Carmel, IN 46032

News April 2004: Wow, today I noticed that Garmin (who we love and support the best we can) is selling (looks like this same unit) GARMIN part number: 010-10310-00 (once again), but this time it's a lot better (if Version 2.4+) than it was a couple of years ago ( thanks to Pfranc.com we like to think). I don't know if their photo is accurate. The short version we make (our part number: USB-G4) is more convenient I think, and because it basically adds a standard COM port to your computer, it should have "nuts not screws" because every 9 pin serial port I've seen in the last 30 years has nuts. It's the cables that plug into your computers serial port that has the screws. Ha, don't take my word for it, go check. Still it took me months and months to convince some people. Is it just me? Hey, I'll tell you how much I love Garmin (stock symbol GRMN), I still have a bunch of shares that I paid $18/share for in the 90's, and I'm never going to sell them! Well maybe I'll sell some when they hit $100 a share, but just a little - so I can afford to buy the latest and greates Garmin GPS - ha, maybe a G1000 for my turboprop amphibous ultralight? (Update: 3 years have passed, it's 2007, GRMN went past $100, split 2 for 1 then up to $120!, the question is: did I sell? Answer=no, and I still don't have a G1000 :-(()

News March 2004: Almost everyday someone calls and asks: "Is your unit the same as U232-P9 (U232P9)?". The caller was told to go to Pfranc.com and buy a U232-P9. Why? Well because there are a lot of units being sold out there that simply just don't work. Anyway, the answer to the question is yes -- our unit is MCT part # U232-P9, however! - Always a however - that model number is not enough. You want VERSION 2.4. MCT makes these units for other companies and they make a custom version just for us. Our part numbers are USB-G4 (for the 4 inch version) and USBdb9m for the 6 foot version. Be careful. MCT (a giant contract manufacture in Taiwan) has revised the hardware and the software drivers several times over the years and the model number alone does not tell whole the story. You absolutely want the newest version, which is U232-P9(2.4). Or just order from us (or one of our distributors). We've sold and supported this product since early 2000 and helped MCT, Garmin, many application software providers, and countless end users find and fix the problems.

Two customers have confirmed to me in person that our adapter works with Garmin GPS + XP + The Capn software! (13-June-03)

Some Windows 2000 systems want to install our Win98 drivers for some strange reason! Don't let it. It won't work. During the new-hardware-install-wizard dialogue, look for a checkbox named [x] INSTALL ONE OF THE OTHER DRIVESR" and check it. Then look for the driver for Win2000 (which is not easy to see because you have to scroll the window left! argh!).

-*--- Jump down to Latest DRIVERS HERE.
Notice: Our drivers are "signed" by Microsoft now!

Each USB-COM device has a unique serial number inside that Windows reads and uses to "remember" which driver and what COM port number to use, etc. for that specific device. This means you can set one unit to be COM-52 (via Device Manager) and another as COM-3 and they will remain that way even when the devices are unplugged. Not knowing this can lead to a lot of confusion especially if you have more than one USB-COM device and more than one computer. Windoz considers a COM # “in use” even though the corresponding USB-COM device is not plugged in. You can override it with device manager. Long ago I thought the device itself was "remembering" what COM port number it was, but I was wrong, it's Windows and so is specific to each Windows system and each unique (via serial #) device. Very cool, but if someone doesn't tell you this stuff, it's very hard to figure out on your own, at least it sure was for me. Is it just me?

How to re-install drivers the "Murphy way" - as in Murphy, Oregon (10/22/02):
  • In DM (device mgr) under Ports (COM & LPT) right click the "Serial on USB" and "Uninstall".
  • Unplug, and plug it back in.
  • Wait for the "Found New Hardware wizard to run..."
  • Select (*) Install from list --- Next.
  • Select (*) Don't search. ... Next
  • Click on HAVE DISK
  • Click Browse,
  • --- browse to where the latest drivers are located - where you saved them, in a folder somewhere, where you can browse to. The *.inf file should be found and in the same place will be the *.sys file.
  • Click OK, -- Next,
  • Please tell me if this works or doesn't work for you, thanks!

APPLE - Mac - --- yes!

But not if it has an Intel CPU !:-((

I don't have a Mac and I really can't personally support it but many of our customers are telling me and teaching me that our purple USB-G4 is working well (with a little knowledge) and Mac users are really cool customers:
(2003-updated 2007!) Mac users:
Virtual COM port in a Virtual Machine? Why not? No COM port? No PC? Use our XP drives. No real PC required! Amazing. And now an Intel chip? You think a company named Purple is strange, think back to 1982 when there was this new little company named Apple (Apple crate packing company - because the first PCB was housed in an apple crate),... I remember when I came up with the name for my company, .... sounds like "apple", easy to spell, crazy, strange, short, simple, not compu-this, micro-that, ugh. So that's the deal. Purple grew to be a $million company and Apple grew to be a multi-$billion company, Steve has a G5, Larry has a turboprop ultralight, oh well, close.

MORE Mac news: (6-Feb-03) OS X version 10 drivers are here!!!! (I mean there on MCT site). Go get 'em! I got a report from Europe today that they work!

MAC news: 20-Jan-2004..... a patch for OS 10.3 (Panther). A customer helps us help others. Go up a few lines and click on "Virtual COM ...." link.

MAC: Our old OS X MAC drivers are new enough?...news Feb 2005: ... Sam said; " I downloaded 10.0.2, which is for one of the earliest versions of the Mac operating system OS X. However, the device driver interface usually is not changed in later versions of the OS. The downloaded version worked just fine with my version, 10.2.8. (The latest version of OS X is 10.3.8; version 10.4 is expected later this year.)"

I'll be adding a lot more info on the pages at the links above to try and better support Mac users with this product, even with the newest OS X, but you know, there is a fantastically great company named Keyspan who really knows how to support a Mac with a Serial-USB device way better than me. It may cost a little more but in the end could be worth it. Check out KEYSPAN (click here).

(8/8/2) Sony VAIO + Mapsource 4.09 + our drivers = Newest problem... it's not working for Bill, HELP!

USB <===> +power to your Garmin GPS - Eathmate too! Click here.
USB <===> Radio Scanner? Click here.
News: 3-June-02 - customer reports our converter works with Nokia 7160 w/ Phonesync & XP!

News: - XP drivers Reports below: -- we love XP! it works! Well, it works better anyway.: and now we have MICROSOFT APPROVED DRIVERS!

News: Belgium, 6-Feb-03 (Jean-Louis is Pfranc of Belgium and stocks our USB converters.)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lerinckx, Thierry" 
To: "'Larry Berg'" 
Cc: "Belgium, Jean-Louis Longueville" 
Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 2:16 AM
Subject: RE: Belgian topo on CD

> Good morning Larry,
> IT WORKS ! !  Jean-Louis sent me 
the converter which I received in less than
> 24 hours, I only had to download 
the driver, install it manually and the
> data streamed through "almost naturally" 
I didn't even have to fiddle with
> Com# assigment ! !
> It's great, now every remote spot in 
Belgium is within reach, that really
> makes my day! It does not only work 
like a breeze, it's also compact and
> lightweight, much handier than my "ex-one". 
> Thanks for making such a superior 
product available along with the best
> support one can expect !
> Cheers !
> Thierry
> Ps: feel free to publish this on the web
PROBLEM:Sometimes Windows thinks a GPS (or other serial device) is a mouse! At startup, after Windows sets up the USB to COM port converter, it looks to see if a serial mouse is attached to the COM port it just setup and under some conditions thinks a GPS is a mouse! Two customers told me their laptop running XP thinks their Garmin GPS is a Ballpoint mouse! And then it won't let you use your new COM port! Not nice!
SOLUTION: Click: Control Panel, System, Hardware, Device Manager, Mice, Microsoft Serial Ball Point, Actions, disable, OK. Reboot. (this info thanks to Rick, via Ed Johnson via Joe and Jack\'s GPS web ).

Problem: Our converter would transfer lots of data then up and lockup!
Fix: Upgrading Windows from 2000 to XP on a Dell laptop needed BIOS & video driver upgrade too. More here: 09/06/02 Greg discovered this one! How cool is this? Our customers are helping us (and you) support this product! Wow.

USB is not simple. There are HOSTS and there are DEVICES. DEVICES (like a mouse, keyboard, modem, and your PDA) can connect to a HOST (like your Desktop or Laptop) ONLY! Devices do not connect to Devices (not yet anyway, watch for OTG and tell me when it arrives!) A DEVICE is so complex it needs to have a little computer inside. A HOST is even more complex because it must manage a bunch of devices which are attached to it in a "party line" configuration - all wanting to talk and party at the same time - what a mess. A USB Device cannot connect to anything other than a USB HOST - no way, no how, period. Click here to learn WHY.

I was told that the new HP iPAQ 1910 and Dell Axim do not offer a serial port. The 1910 I'm not sure about but the Axim does, just that you need a special TTL to RS232 (spell expensive) cable. (it wouldn't be so expensive if they would use my patented circuit, but you know how they are, it not their money, it's yours!:-)

A USB Device (key word here is "device") cannot connect to a serial port. It's impossible because a "device" must connect to a USB "host" port - period - end of story.

A USB COM adapter is a very complex USB Device that contains a little computer and a real serial port, and together with special virtual COM port windows driver software lets you add a serial "COM" port to your computer via its USB bus. This is just a small sample of why USB-to-serial converters do not "just work" in all situations. It means that you may not actually end up as happy, or be as lucky as the people here (below). However, most of the time they can, and do, appear to "just work", as you will see below, and it's really great when that happens! --- Someday we hope to figure all this out so we can tell you where and when it will work and not work and why. I'm trying to learn how to write my own Windows drivers so I can better understand and fix the problems. It's not just our converters and drivers, but all of them! Until then - the best we can do for you right now is to tell you everything we know and do everything we can to try and get it to work for you're application. I started out just wanting to support just Garmin GPS's with plugs and have now somehow become the #1 importer/distributor/re-seller and "product advocate" for this USB unit made by MCT in Taiwan. Thanks everyone for your patience, understanding, and help!


(received 11/19/02) -- Our USB converter was not working for
                Doctor Prugent in Argentina in his laptop running
                Win2k and Oziexplorer until upgrading to V.3.90

Hi Larry
Your USB-G4 is working OK, I´m using the OziExplorer 
with Garmin 12 XL GPS. I got the final solution when 
I Upgraded the Oziexplorer to V.3.90
Thanks to your serial/ USB adapter I 
saved a lot of money in aspirins.
Thank you very much
My best
Dr. Carlos A. Lac Prugent
Vicerrector Académico
Universidad CAECE
Tel: (54) 11 - 5217-7888

(received 11/07/02 - funny, the USB VID for this
    product is 0711 - lucky numbers, lucky days.)

Hi Larry, my name is:  Brian in Fredericksburg, VA.  

I got your USB to RS-232 adapter today. 
Thanks for being so prompt in shipping this great product! 

Just a positive comment- I have a Sony GRX series 
laptop which has no built in serial port. Sony is happy 
to sell you their 'docking adapter' with one serial port- 
for over $200.00!  Well, it took me about 5 minutes to 
install the drivers for the USB-RS-232 serial adapter and 
my ICOM R-8500 is talking flawlessly to my Sony laptop. 
It also let me hook up  and talk to a Radio Shack Pro-2067. 
(same thing as the Radio Shack Pro-92 and a couple GRE scanners.) 

I'll let you know how things go in talking to 
GE/Fanuc 90-30 PLCs in the next week or so.  Thanks again!


(you can add this to your 'satisfied user comments' 
section if you wish.)
--------- end of message -------

(note from larry:
     remember, this device does not work with everything or
    for everyone.  It's so easy to install the wrong drivers
   or to have older software that can't deal with USB devices well.)

Hi Larry,  (Received 10/23/02)

It works just fine now!

It took me a while to find it, but an update was buried on the National
Geogrphic site.  To shorten the process for other customers, if they are
using TOPO on XP, they need TOPO 2.75 which is just out, so on none of the

Thanks for your help


((((( Thanks Steve,  The main message/lesson here - again - is this: 
    THE APPLICATION SOFTWARE can work with real COM ports yet NOT
   work with USB converters!  Everything has to be bug free, the OS,
  the USB converter drivers, AND the application! larry, pfranc.com))))

Hi Larry, (Recieved 9/27/02) 

  Your cable works great.  I have a Garmin Color StreetPilot GPS 
unit in my truck and new HP computer with XP has no serial ports.
Just as you indicated, the computer thought the GPS was a mouse. 
Once I disabled that not so great Windows Plug-n-Play feature, 
it worked fine.   I'm running ESRI's Arcpad 6.0 to view my location 
on custom made maps on the large laptop screen along with 
the normal StreetPilot display...   Too cool!


Hi Larry,    (Received 9/15/02)  

    Happy days are here again! Just received the converter 
a few minutes ago. Installed it on my laptop running XP Pro. Hooked 
up my Palm IIIx and synced without a hitch. Thanks for a great job. 

Hi Larry,       (Recieved 8/29/02)

    Just bought 2 USB>serial converters to interface 
my laptop to my robotic telescope (Meade LX200) 
and CCD imaging setup. They work great! 
The telescope has 2 RS232 ports to control 
pointing, and the autoguider uses a third 
(provided for by the laptop's existing COM1). 
Without your converters I wouldn't be able to run 
the 'scope under computer control.  One slight 
hassle (solved) was that after installing the drivers 
my Logitech trackball was no longer recognised. 
I think the problem was pre-exisiting and due to a 
conflict with the Laptop's built-in pointing device (one of 
those touch-pad things). Anyway, the solution was 
to go into the BIOS and select the option to disable 
pointing devices using IRQ12. The Trackman 
re-appeared and it works fine now. 

Hi Larry,             (Recieved 8/26/02)

    Thought I'd let you know that your converter arrived 
yesterday, and it's working good.  I use it to connect 
a Yaesu FT-817 ham radio to a HP Pavilion laptop 
running XP.  The application is a program called 817 
Commander  which allows you to control a transceiver 
with your computer.  All that was needed to make it 
work was to change the COM#  that the adapter and XP
assigned from COM3  (which my modem was trying to use!)
to COM1.  Now I can drink my beer and operate my 
radio at the same time.   It's a life saver!

GySgt J. Dunton
MCAS Futenma, Okinawa

Hi Larry,                          (recieved 8/25/02)

    Just wanted to let you know that it  works like a 
charm in Red Hat 7.3  :)  All I had to do was plug 
it in. No configuration necessary. Drivers were
already on the OS.

Thanks again!

Hi Larry,                          (recieved 6/7/02)

Sure you can publish my results. After testing 
13 different USB-to-Serial Adapters, only yours
and one other work with all my gear. It seems 
that only these two fully implement all the 
control signals in RS232! It works fine in XP too.

Richard Baldwin

Hi Larry,                 (recieved 6/5/02)

Another success story for your serial-USB converter!  
After failed attempts with both Belkin and Palm's converters, 
I installed yours and it works GREAT! My Palm Vx, 
MindPath IR50 infrared mouse, and Nextel cell phone 
dialer are all working properly on my Dell X-200 laptop 
with Windows XP Pro.

A couple of hints for others that I learned the hard way. 
HotSync "highjacks" COM4 if you allow it to open at 
Startup, so I removed it from the Startup menu and 
open the software manually.  Also, the "virtual port" 
doesn't respond well to "standby" or "hibernate" modes, 
so be sure to exit the application and remove the 
USB cable before putting it into either of those modes.

THANKS AGAIN for saving hundreds of dollars 
of serial port appliances!

Take care,
(another) Larry

Hi Larry,                             (recieved 5/21/02)

Nice talking with you last week on the phone. 
The USB to serial converter arrived today, and 
it took about 5 minutes to get it set up and 
working; my PALM IIIc is now talking to my 
laptop running WINDOWS XP Pro. 

I had originally purchased a converter from 
PALM, because I did not want to waste time 
with a converter that would not be compatible 
with PALM products. BIG MISTAKE! To make 
a long story short, I have yet to get the PALM 
converter to work after HOURS of fiddling with it 
- yours took about 5 minutes to get up and running. 

Thank you for a great product, and good luck 
in your endeavors. I will tell others of your superior 

Ron Schuetz

Hi Larry,                         ( 15-Apr-02 )

    I am running C-Map digital marine charts
on an IBM laptop (no serial port), XP Pro. 
I just plug in yours and my yacht's 
position appears on the chart. I tossed my
Belkin (USB converter) overboard!  
Thank you for the great service and product.

Hi Larry,                ( 2/26/02 )

    Compaq 2710US notebook (with no DB9M port), 
Windows XP home, Garmin GPS 12, Delorme 8.0, 
Larrys-USB-to-RS232-converter. No problem! 
Great value.....Thanks......Joel

Anthony says: "don't start up XP with 
the thing plugged in and you'll be OK" 

Richard P. says:
> You can add the following items that work
> Timex Datalink Notebook adapter 
>(Serial infrared interface to Timex watch)
> Radio Shack Scanner Pro 92
> IBM / BSR X10 timer.
> What can I say? It works just like a 
> true serial port. Of course, this is
> with XP.
NEWS: new drivers - including Windows XP are included on a CD-ROM with all units we ship. BUT, we keep getting bugs fixed so if you have a problem please see: Drivers available for download at a link below! And we have reports already that they work, however make sure you don't unplug it if the application that was using it is still open. We had one report of that causing a "blue screen of death" (12/27/01). <<== ha, see how old this is now!

NEWS: 8-May-01 - MapSource software must be Ver 4.00 or later to work with any USB-serial converter! It didn't work so I shipped two free units to the right guy at Garmin and they fixed MapSource!!!!! wow! Very cool!!! Free upgrade at garmin.com. BTW we are very happy to help anyone and everyone find the problems and fix 'em. We just want all this to work! Because it's really good stuff when it works!

Special Notice:

Warning: (btw, this was written prior to several driver updates - we got lots of updates thanks to you - your good communications -- it makes a difference! But there are still problems with some systems and with some applications.) -- (around March 2001) I was doing some testing with Hyperterminal, trying all kinds of goofy things, unplugging the USB cable and plugging it back in at the same time I was testing it to see what happens, and one time I saw "the-blue-screen-of-death" and a hard reset! Ouch! Open unsaved files lost!!! I'm running W2K Pro. So much for crash proof!   Both Ardel and I have been using several of these everyday without a problem. And we have not heard of any problems when used in a normal manner, and only one where a guy was doing the same kind of testing (see real live comments/problems from actual customers. I think the problems can be fixed with new driver downloads and am working with the manufacture to try and identify the problems and get 'em fixed ASAP! Reports from Germany say it works great with MacOS! Note: Thanks to you our sales are increasing and we're getting the manufacture to make changes and fixes for us!!! Horay!

I will update this page with the latest news. If you'd like e-mail notification when I change this page, checkout this service: ChangeDetect.com

> Purpose and Product:

NEW! (old now) Very low cost way to convert a USB port into a standard 9 pin COM port so you can plug serial devices, like a Garmin GPS, into your USB port. It basically adds a COM port to your PC! And, the cable is 6 feet long so your new standard DB-9 COM port, which is automatically configured as COM(n) where n is an unused COM port number (more about it -> here) can sit on your PHYSICAL desktop! No more reaching around back trying to find the right place to plug into! This is also a great way, actually the only way, to connect your Garmin GPS (and other serial things) to those new NO-SERIAL-PORT laptops coming out! Our new super short cable version is a good choice for laptop users. Get 6 foot one for the office and a 4" one for the road! What's more, you can add a bunch of COM ports to your PC, no more swapping, re-configuring drivers, and no IRQ problems! Add 100 COM ports! Just plug 'em in! This is really a major big deal! I sold 14 to a guy the other day for use with his 14 CNC machines. He said it saved him $10,000! I plugged my old Courier V.Everything modem (with hardware handshake enabled!) into one and plugged it into a cheap 4-port hub -- which I plugged into a 3-port hub -- which I plugged into one of the USB ports in my DELL PC, and it worked! It became COM3, W2K found it and configured it, and it "just" worked! No messing around for hours - I love it! And you can set the COM port # and the cable will remember it!,
After August 2005 make sure you buy the PURPLE one - if you want it to be the one's made for and supported by us, Purple Computing.

More photos here. <---- you can see the insides.

Ardel is using one! You can learn why here: My True USB story about our stamps.com scale. Also I'm collecting real live comments/problems from actual customers.

Requirements: Pentium-class PC with USB port, Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP. NOT W95! no way, also early versions of 98 may work but are not very USB friendly. Application software that "works". DOS programs don't work! Buggy COM32bit drivers don't work!
Specs: FCC approved for home or office use. Driver software included on mini-CD. Full RS-232 voltage levels +/- 10VDC, on all signals, Tx,Rx,DTR,RTS,CTS,and DSR! And operates up to 115k baud! It should work with everything! The best! And at $29.97? Holy moly this is going to hot! BUT! --> Known Problems!

Download the latest drivers on-line! Click on "SUPPORT" at the top of the page, then under Download in the left menu click on "Driver". Choose "USB Connectivity" then U232-P9. It's a very rare thing now to have to download drivers as we always have the latest on the CD we ship with every unit, AND - guess what? The new Vista machines new-hardware-found wizard goes on-line to a special microsoft.com place and find and load the drivers for our unit! So just be on-line, plug-in, and off you go! No CD required. You can check with Device Manager what COM port # got assigned, you'll find our unit right where it belongs under Ports-COM-n-LPT.

Note: March 2006 I added a new page just for
Linux issues!
Joe Philipps in Buffalo, NY, Linux users can use the "mct_u232 driver in drivers/usb/serial". Searching for "MCT P87C52UBAA" Joe discovered it in the kernel source. (Thanks Joe!) Also check the Driver here! -- A customer named Roelof JT Jonkman (roel\@SiliconDefense.com) pointed me to these places for lots of great Linux-USB info, http://www.linux-usb.org and http://www.kroah.com/linux-usb. He said you can contact him with Linux questions as he bought one of our converters and got it to work! (Thanks Roelof!)

UPDATE: April 2007, many more countries now! The list is: HERE. Purple USB-serial adapter sales and support around the world!

> Prices: