Last updated: 25 July 2004

Homemade cable warning for dummies ( myself included )

Sent:	Friday, July 23, 2004 10:36:17
From:	Justin (
I just wanted to shoot you a quick email that may be considered useful
to others.

Yesterday I got the uncontrollable urge to control my ETX from my
laptop.  Couldn't wait for a cable to be shipped, so I gathered up the
materials, and bought the rest from Radio Shack.

After some cutting, stripping and soldering I made the cable described

Unfortunately, I hadn't educated myself enough.  I then realized that
the cable didn't fit into any of the ports on the base of the scope Aux,
or HBX.  Little did I know it wasn't supposed to.  Instead, I saw that
the aux ports on the scope needed the phone hand set end.  I promptly
pillaged an old phone and re-soldered the new end on the cable I had

I then plugged the cable into the laptop, and into the AUX port on the
scope base DUMB MOVE.  So then I see the power led light up faintly,
with the power switch still in the off position on the scope base.  Not
sure why, but I then decided that was ok, and turned on the power to the
scope base.  Seconds later I heard a dreaded 'POP' coming from the back
of my laptop.  I've heard that sound enough times to know that I had
just fried my serial port on my laptop.

I packed everything up after deciding I didn't know what I had done
wrong, and not wanting to cause further problems.  Today I have been
looking for clues as to where I messed up.  I came across the most
helpful picture, that could have saved my serial port.

Maybe you want to add that pic to any articles describing the homemade cables? Maybe not, but I figured, it could have saved my serial port if I had seen that earlier. I know it's my fault anyways for jumping headlong into it assuming I knew what I was doing. Thankfully I have another serial port with a 25 pin out. Any idea if that will work with a 25pin to 9 pin adapter between the pc and the 505? Best regards, Justin Jerzak
Mike here: Good ole Murphy again! Yes, a 25-pin to 9-pin adapter should be OK as long as it is wired correctly...

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