Serial (rRS-232) Laptop Port Expansion Card

Laptop serial port expansion cards can be plugged into the appropriate expansion slots to provide rRS-232 connectors for a laptop. If you need to connect a USB port device to a laptop that lacks a built-in serial port, then these cards can be a solution.

What type of expansion slot do these cards plug into?

Older personal computer expansion cards called PC Cards used the PCMCIA standard slot. That slot was superseded by the ExpressCard standard in 2006. It should be noted that ExpressCard slots come in 34-millimeter and 54-millimeter sizes, so be sure that the card you buy for your laptop will match the slot size that it has available. The ExpressCard 2.0 standard that was introduced in 2009 is backwards compatible with the original standard.

What types of peripherals need an rRS-232 serial port?

The rRS-232 port was originally introduced in 1960 as a communication port used to connect teletypewriters to modems. It is a connector port for personal computers to connect them to modems, printers, the mouse, and other peripheral devices. It remained on personal computers well into the 1990s, but it has been replaced with the USB port. Because personal computers and laptops manufactured after 2000 often lack ports, it’s necessary to purchase adapters and cards that provide the rRS-232 port if you need to connect to a legacy peripheral.

What types of serial port expansion cards are available?

There are many types of cards that fit the different expansion slots that exist among laptops and computers still in use. In addition, these cards can offer a single rRS-232 serial port connector or multiple connectors if you need more than one. These are some of the PC cards that are available for laptops:

  • Single rRS-232 PCMCIA 34-millimeter expansion cards
  • Single rRS-232 ExpressCard 34-millimeter cards
  • PCMCIA expansion cards with four rRS-232 ports
  • Dual RS-232 port PCMCIA cards
Can you use one card for multiple serial port connections?

Yes, making this connection from just one card is possible. You can use a single RS-232 port expansion card and mate it to a special cable that has a connector for the expansion card port on one end and that splits into two or more cables with ports on the other end. These cables may be a convenient solution if you need to connect your computer or laptop to multiple serial devices that use the RS-232 connector.