One of my major frustrations with my new HP Windows 7 box (model p6330f, purchased at Office Depot) is that it simply didn’t want to use my old USB-to-RS-232 dongles. And I have to have the RS-232 to connect my Ten-Tec Jupiter to the computer for control while using digital modes. I searched the web for drivers and found nothing. I searched Microsoft’s website for compatible RS-232 hardware—everything was a PCIe card. So, after a long search on the web for a PCIe card, I finally found www.usconverters.com in Gardena, California, which offer a PCIe card that provides two RS-232 ports and works with Windows 7. The card is Model ANPCI232X2 and set me back $29.50 + $5.75 S&H for a total of $35.25. (Note that the link shows the card is now less expensive.)
The card itself is tiny, and fits into a PCIe slot in my new machine. (Try as I might, I couldn’t get the point-and-shoot to focus correctly, but this rather hazy picture gives you an idea.)
And here’s the box it came in. Not a hint of a brand name anywhere.
Well, one has to install the driver before installing the card. I used the small-size CD that came with the product, but the included Win 7 driver simply wouldn’t execute. So, I looked at the brief printed instructions and then the chipset itself. There was also some pdf documentation on the disk. But…first I had to figure out what kind of card it was (the documentation covered lots of permutations), then the chipset (strong magnifying glass), and then click through in the pdf documentation to what ended up being a dead link. So, I truncated the link to end up at www.moschip.com (I have never heard of this outfit before) and navigated my way to the chip type (MCS9901CV-AA), which is marked as end-of-life. But…lo and behold they had a Windows 7 (64 bit) driver for download (even though I had to register first to get to it).
And, it worked! The driver installed itself. I turned off the computer and installed the card. It took several minutes, but the computer finally claimed it had installed the driver.
The proof it worked was simple. I turned on my Ten-Tec Jupiter and brought up Ham Radio Deluxe on the computer. The mate was easy! The link worked both ways—if I tuned the radio manually, it showed up on the computer, and vice versa. I was able to receive several RTTY stations on 20 meters (some sort of contest is going on).
Anyway, the bottom line is that RS-232 is indeed possible with Windows 7, but it does take some work. It probably helped that I’m an electrical engineer and am familiar both with ham radio and computers. This took lots of doing.