Connecting your PAT Tester to your computer using a Serial Cable or USB to Serial Converter
This guide is aimed at those users that want to connect their PAT tester to a computer using a Serial connection or Serial to USB connection. It does not cover the process of actually downloading data from your PAT Tester.
At the time of writing (May 2011) there are still a huge number of PAT Testers in use that only offer data transfer to a computer via a Serial Port (RS232).
Very few modern computers have support for a physical 9 pin Serial Port connection, USB Ports are the preferred modern communication method. Even if your computer does have a 9 pin RS232 Serial Port, you may find the “hot pluggable” nature of USB or the easy access of USB sockets preferable. If this is the case you will need to use a USB to Serial Converter as well as a compatible Serial Cable.
The SimplyPats Help File contains Serial Cable Wiring information for most PAT Testers, alternatively consult the manufacturer or SimplyPats Support if you are unsure. Connecting from Serial Port on PAT Tester to Serial Port on Computer
As far as cable connections go this is a straight forward connection, however it is critical that you use the correct Serial Cable for the PAT Tester you are using.
Plug one end of the Serial Cable (labelled 1 in figure 1.0) into your PAT Tester (normally labelled PC or Printer on the PAT tester itself) and the other end (labelled 2 in figure 1.0) into your computer Serial Port (normally situated on the back of the computer). Do not confuse a 9 pin Serial Port with a 15 pin VGA Video Port which looks very similar.
File comment: PAT Tester Serial Cable
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Connecting from Serial Port on PAT Tester to USB Port on Computer
The following assumes that you have the correct 9 pin Serial cable supplied by your PAT Tester manufacturer (or a compatible one from a 3rd party) and a compatible USB to Serial Converter cable.
The Serial Cable and the USB to Serial Converter need to be joined together as shown in Figure 1.1 below.
Connect the Female end (labelled 2 in figure 1.1) of the Serial Cable into the Serial end (labelled 3 in figure 1.1) of the USB to Serial Converter and tighten the screws if needed.
Connect the remaining end of the Serial Cable (labelled 1 in figure 1.1) into your PAT tester and the USB (labelled 4 in figure 1.1) into your computer.
File comment: PAT Tester Serial Cable and USB / Serial Converter
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If you have not yet installed the drivers for the USB to Serial Converter, your operating system will now either install the drivers automatically or prompt you to install the drivers from the internet or supplied CD Rom.Special Note on USB to Serial Converters
It is critical that you A) have a compatible USB to Serial Converter and B) have installed the USB to Serial Converter Drivers prior to use and C) have the correct Serial (9 pin to 9 pin) Cable in place.Special Note on Serial (9 pin to 9 pin) Cables
As previously mentioned, if you are using a USB to Serial Converter you will still need to use a correctly wired Serial Cable.
This may be an exception if you are using a purpose built (correctly wired) USB to Serial Converter specifically configured for your PAT Tester, or your PAT Tester requires what we refer to as a straight through data cable and the Serial End of the USB to Serial Converter fits into the PAT tester.