The ninepin serial port was eliminated on most new computers with the arrival of the universal serial bus (USB) port. Before the USB, the serial port acted in the same capacity, allowing many kinds of peripheral equipment to connect to a computer. The serial port was hampered by slow transfer speeds and quirky connectivity issues. If you have a WACOM tablet that connects to a computer's serial port, it is possible to use a serial-to-USB adaptor to connect to a newer computer that does not have a serial port.
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Things you need
- Serial-to-USB adaptor
- USB cable
Insert the CD that came with the serial-to-USB adaptor into the CD-ROM drive.
Follow the on-screen instructions if the installation application started automatically. Double click on the CD-ROM drive, and then double click on the installer icon to start the on-screen instructions if they did not come on automatically.
Attach a USB cable to the adaptor if one is not already connected to it. The USB port on the adaptor will most likely resemble a D or U shape. Match the plug on the cable to the place on the adaptor where it fits and push it in until it is fully seated.
Plug the USB cable into the USB port on the computer. This port will be approximately 1/2-inch long and 1/4-inch wide and will have a white bar on one side. Match the white bar on the cable to the opposite side of the white bar on the computer's port. Manufacturers of these adaptors generally advise to plug the USB cable directly into a computer USB port, and not into a USB hub.
Connect your serial device to the adaptor. In most cases your serial device will have a nine-hole female connector, and the adaptor will have a ninepin male connector. Push the two together and tighten the two screws on either side of the adaptor.
Follow the serial device manufacturer's instructions for configuring your device to communicate with the adaptor. In most cases the device will have a "system preferences" option where you can select the serial-to-USB connector you just installed.
Tips and warnings
- If you have connection problems then visit the web site of the adaptor's manufacturer and check for updated drivers for your particular operating system. Download those and install them.
- Connecting to Mac OSX and above, and in some cases OS 9, may be problematic. According to WACOM, Mac has discontinued support for any legacy devices that use a serial connection.
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