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iamdigitalman

Connecting eMate 300 to Mac OS X

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hey guys, I am trying to get my beloved eMate 300 synced to my desktop. I recently bought a USB to DB-9 serial adapter with mac drivers. It works flawlessly with my Apple II, so I figured I would try connecting something 25x as powerful.

 

Since the connector on the serial adapter is DB-9 and not mini din 8, I had to devise an adapter of some sort. I have a female to female DB 9 connector, so I plugged that into the male DB-9. Then I got a male DB-9 to female DB-25 adapter, and plugged that in. Lastly, I got a male DB-25 to mini din 8 cable off an old external 56k modem. I hooked it all up to the eMate.

 

I tapped on dock, and hit serial. After a few seconds, it said there was no response. NCX is booted up, and I selected the "USBserial" serial port in the preferences, so it is obviously detecting that.

 

I also tried the other serial speeds, 9600, 4800, and 2400. Nothing. I even performed a dreaded hard reset (no biggie, I have it all backed up elsewhere).

 

To this point I have been using my beat up and abused old Powerbook 1400. It works, but the machine is really showing it's age, and I would like to move the 2 newtons I own to the modern age.

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks.

 

-digital ;)

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Funnily enough, I did the exact same thing last night and had the exact same problem :)

 

- Newton 2100

- Prolific PL2303 chipset based USB ---> serial adapter

- Mac serial cable with DB25 connector on end (I don't think I've ever come across the mac serial to DB9 connector)

- DB25 female to DB9 female adapter

- NCX set up and running on G4 Cube (OS X 10.4.11)

 

Tried a couple of different drivers; all detected the adapter with no hassles as did NCX. Did the same thing as you - different serial speeds, hard reset, but no connection could ever be found.

 

I'm assuming the pinout has perhaps changed when you couple the Mac serial cable with the adapter; I could try making my own adapter or find a mac serial --> DB9 cable.

 

In the end, I fired up my Powerbook 2400c and NCU. I'd had problems with downloading Newton .pkg files under OS X and finding their resource forks damaged when copied to the OS 9-based Powerbook. Ended up finding a small utility that fixed the forks, so at least I was finally able to copy over some of the apps I had saved.

 

So any thoughts on our plight would be appreciated :)

 

JB

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yeah, it's a prolific based USB to serial adapter, got it at microcenter for $30 after seeing the price of the keyspan twin serial adapter ($80!!! ). I was surprised this works with my mac just fine.

 

-digital ;)

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Any ideas?

 

You may be inadvertently using a null-modem, or may need to use a null-modem to swap the TX/RX wires over.

 

Years ago there was a common little thing called an "RS232 break out box" which had jumpers for each connector and LEDs on each line which would light up when data was being transmitted. This lets you confirm who is sending on what.

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Just remembered (cleaning up the other day) I think I've a Diamond 56K external modem at my parents with the right mac serial --> DB9 connector; will report back soon :)

 

JB

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Ah yes, it may be null modem. But the way I have the Apple II set up, I have a 25 pin male to 9 pin female serial cable off another older external modem, so if this is a "null modem" cable, then I don't see why it's working for one and not the other.

 

-digital ;)

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Just an update, I just pulled out another mini DIN-8 to DB-25 male adapter I have from the serial version of the TI Graph Link. It has some pins gone on the DB-25 side, but that is how it was made. I hooked it up and got the exact same thing, so I am thinking it's my 9 pin to 25 pin adapter, which is 9 pin male and 25 pin female. It's a APC brand, part number 940-0017A. No mention of null anywhere, but QVS (the ones who made the mini gender changer I am using) have a DB-9 female to DB-25 male adapter I might pick up and try, and cut down on the adapter maze.

 

I will keep you all posted.

 

If this fails, I am just going to hunt down a mini DIn-8 to DB-9 female cord. Should not be to hard, and I think the one the guy at retrofloppy makes for the IIc+ for ADTPro should do the trick, but $20 is a lot for a cable...

 

-digital ;)

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The problem may be the drivers for the Prolific PL2303 based USB to serial adapter. Saw this on the MacBS2 site:

 

'These adapters have the advantage that they are usually very inexpensive. But the manufacturer's drivers did not appear to support setting and clearing of the Tx line, which is required by the STAMP programming protocol.

 

However, there is an Open Source driver for interfaces based on the PL2303 chipset that does work (I tested it on my PowerPC based PowerBook; I don't know if it'll work on Intel based machines). Download the driver from its SourceForge page. Thanks to Guy Umbright for the heads up on this. '

 

The SourceForge driver is here http://sourceforge.net/projects/osx-pl2303

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The eMate may require the Mac serial port to send data, the expensive mini din 8 USB adapter has the correct chip in it made to talk to Macs. If anyone has one that they could test my theory with... Go right ahead.

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Well, I also have a Belkin USB to DB-9 adapter. It was made for PDAs, and only partially seems to work with the mac, but it has lights on it for TX and RX, so it might work better for this application. I will dig it out and try it.

 

I will try the open source drivers first, and see what happens.

 

-digital ;)

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UPDATE: uninstalled the offical driver, loaded the open source one, rebooted, and still nothing.

 

Could it be because I have the RXTX library installed? I had to install it or the A2GS would not run. Maybe that is interfering?

 

Or should I just pony up the cash for the other adapter?

 

-digital ;)

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