[aprssig] FOUND -NEW laptops for APRS

Dave Baxter dave at emv.co.uk
Wed Apr 16 06:35:58 EDT 2008

Yep, I too use them.

I have some Viola Eserv-10 devices, I didn't get the matching software,
but the free Virtual Com port drivers from HW-Group work with them OK,
so long as you don't want to mess with the port settings.
http://www.hw-group.com/software/index_en.html and go for the HW VSP
(Virtual Serial Port) It's free...

I also have the APRS TNC in the shack equiped with one, so I can mess
with that remotely if needed, or from any network connected PC with
HyperTerminal (not my favorite, but in this case it "just works") so
long as you know the IP address & Port to use (Via WAN with a password,
via LAN or VPN with no password)

Not sure about the "low latency"..  With the Viola devices at least, you
have to be very carfull how you set them up to get the best performance
from them, and that is more often than not, as dependant on the device
they are connected to, plus the application software you wish to use
with it.

But...  Overall, Ethernet to Serial (or other I/O) devices are very nice
to use.

Also very usefull to remotely connect different bits of Hardware
together, that would otherwise be imposible to do due to physical
location, using a network as a very long serial extender, also if needed
with fixed IP addresses, so just an otherwise "dead" network cable can
be used, no need for DHCP etc.

As an asside, it seems these things run an embedded version of GNU/Linux
internaly.  With a serial port, and network port, working of 12V, and
very rugged...  They must be usefull for something else too?  Not that
I'd have a clue how to hack it's OS....


Dave G0WBX.

> -----Original Message-----
> For those of us that have lots of devices sitting near a 
> regular computer (not necessarily a laptop) I highly 
> recommend the Ethernet to serial hubs that are available over 
> trees of USB ports.  I have one at my lab that works very 
> well.  This is not a cheap solution by any means but it does 
> provide many true serial ports with very low latency and is 
> supported in all three operating systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux).
>  In all cases, using the drivers for the hub the ports show 
> up as virtual serial ports.  In this configuration, the 
> device doesn't require an IP address either.  If you do give 
> it an IP, you have the option of using telnet connections to 
> exchange data. 
> For the particular unit I have, made by Comtrol, each port 
> can be switched between RS232, RS422, and RS485 and all ports 
> support up to 192kBaud.
> The particular unit I have happens to use DC power input 
> (with an external brick) so there's a potential for mobile 
> use.  There are also small units available with 1, 4, or 8 
> ports (I have a 32 port).
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