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USB to serial connection times out...

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Hi all, I have a device on my boat called an AIS (which basically is a receiver and sender of my boat's position and name etc.). This is an older device that needs to be connected to with a serial port. I need to connect it to my laptop to change some details in the AIS device.


Now the AIS has a 9 pin serial out (male). I connect it to a female to female 9 pin cable. Then to that cable I connect a male 9 pin to USB cable, which will go int my USB port of the computer. The latter 9 pin serial (male) to USB cable came with a CD and I installed the device driver.


The problem: I try to connect the laptop to the AIS device with the correct software. It automatically connects to Com 3 (which is correct in my laptop too) and gives and automatic Baud rate of 115200 (but I changed it later to lower, to no avail). It tries to connect but constantly gives the message that the "Serial port connection timed out". I tried fiddling with the baud rate and the time out settings in the port settings directly, but nothing seems to work.


I really need to get into this AIS device in order to be able to continue. Any advice (step by step please, complete novice here...)


I have Windows 7 Professional, Version 6.1, Build 7601: Service pack 1.


Thanks all!!



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This could be a tricky one!


Most AIS are installed professionally, but if you want to have a go, then here's a link that provides some basic information. 





1 a likely cause of the problem may be due to a duff serial>USB cable/intermediate gender bender or:

2 incompatibility with your Win7 SP 1 so these are two areas to check out as best you can.

3 Make sure that Win 7 is fully updated, (I usually use the unofficial Service Pack 2, followed up by all post April 2016 updates),,link follows:



If after checking all of the above and still no joy, I would be inclined to find an older laptop with a serial port on it..Many will be running Win XP ( with which your serial port is more likely to be compatible..........) they are still around!


I recently closed one of my workshops and had to take to the recycle centre over 20 laptops (all fully working, and quite a few elderly ones with serial ports that customers had left for repair but never collected... or paid for!)


If it's just editing your information then it would be fine to borrow one from a chum.......maybe there are folks in a local boatyard who are in a similar boat so to speak! and would lend you their laptop for half an hour.... its worth checking.... otherwise it may be a case of contacting your local friendly Raymarine installer and getting a quote for the job!



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I have used a USB to DB9 converter for work on some older equipment and some of us have found that they all don't work the same.

We had a couple that wouldn't connect properly or gave us various issue till we settled on a Digi Edgeport model.

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