DL-232 - A New Standard
by Dave Lyons (CompuCenter Iowa: JoeApple; CompuServe 72177,3233)
I may never understand how the designers of the RS-232 "standard" for serial
communication managed to use 25 wires where only 3 are really necessary.
Maybe they made a deal with the companies that make cables, connectors, and
switch boxes...I just don't know.
Well, I thought of a few things that the RS-232 standard lacks, and since
there are already so many extra signals, a few more can't hurt anybody,
right? Heck, let's go for 50-pin connectors and cables and add the follow-
ing new signals. (Just to make sure this isn't compatible with any old
equipment, all OLD signals are moved up one pin number [carrier detect
becomes 9 instead of 8, etc., and pin 25 goes to pin 1]).
Pin Name Description
--- ---- -----------
26 XCAT Should be connected to chassis of devices. Used with the
next two signals, this provides protection against cats who
haven't learned not to walk on floppy disks or serial
equipment. This signal should supply about 2000 volts (at a
VERY low current level; wouldn't want to HURT the cute
little thing, just teach it not to walk on anything in the
27 CATGND Cat ground. Used with pin 26. This signal should be connected
to another part of the chassis or the tabletop.
28 CTD Cat detect.
29 SD Self-destruct. This signals causes the device to destroy
30 SDACK Self-destruct acknowledge. Acknowledges that the device
has destroyed itself.
31 VADIC This signal indicates to a computer that the device on the
other end is a modem that uses VADIC protocol. (Note: Compu-
Center Iowa users should jumper this signal to SD and then
buy a decent modem.)
32 STBIT1 Stutter bits. With pin 33, sets the number of "stutter bits"
(0 to 3 of them) to be included before each byte transmitted.
This may reduce the number of people who feel inferior to
computer equipment by showing them that computers have prob-
lems communicating with each other.
34 CABR Cable ready. It's not enough to know that the Data Set is
ready (DSR) and the Data Terminal is read (DTR). We also need
to know that the CABLE connecting them is ready.
35 GRR Gremlins ready. Not everybody knows it, but there are little
green guys inside most modern computer equipment. Most of the
time they sleep, but other times they cause trouble. The next
6 signals are for dealing with gremlins.
36 220A Used with pin 37, supplies 220 volt power for the gremlins'
air conditioning. On hot days when gremlins can't sleep,
applying power to these pins may solve your problems.
38 110H 110 volts, hot side. When the 220 volt power doesn't help
and gremlin problems persist, use this with pin 39 to supply
110 volts for the gremlins' TV and video game center.
39 110N 110 volts, neutral side.
40 MOON Indicates the phase of the moon. Sometimes solves mysterious
41 LHI Pins 41 through 45 can be used to implement the "like" pro-
tocol when the normal RTS/CTS protocol isn't enough. This one
means "Like HI" and is used to establish a connection.
42 LHTY2 Like HI to You Too. Acknowledges pin 41.
43 LLTT Like Listen To This. Requests permission to send data.
44 LOK Like OK. Grants permission to transmit data.
45 LWOW Like WOW. Acknowledges receipt of data.
46 HEY Pins 46 to 50 may be used to implement the "Eighties" pro-
tocol when RTS/CTS and "Like" protocols won't do the job.
This signal is similar to RTS (Request to Send).
47 NP No Problem. Acknowledges HEY.
48 HUH? Signals that data was not received correctly (possibly wrong
number of stutter bits).
49 YEAH Acknowledges data received.
50 KMG365 Like YEAH, but for avid Emergency One fans.
That makes 50! Let's hear your suggestions for MORE serial signals. Maybe
we can get 100 and REALLY make the cable manufacturers happy.