- What is a serial port splitter
- Serial splitter software
- RS232 Splitter Hardware
What is a serial port splitter?
A serial port splitter is a tool that enables multiple serial applications to achieve simultaneous access to a serial device attached to a computer’s COM interface.
Using an RS232 splitter can provide substantial benefits to an organization or business. There are both financial and productivity gains associated with employing serial port splitters. Peripheral equipment can be more readily shared, removing the need to make redundant purchases, saving valuable monetary resources. The ability to share serial devices without swapping and reattaching cables saves time for more productive activities.
How are serial splitters used?
A serial splitter can be used in a variety of settings where multiple applications need to communicate with a serially attached device. A simple example can be seen with a monitoring device that provides details on environmental factors such as humidity or temperature. Several applications may need to make use of the same flow of data generated by the device. The output might be used for local weather reporting and also be forwarded to a system making more widespread predictions. A COM port splitter enables this scenario to be implemented easily.
The communication options afforded by a splitter also allow an application to communicate with multiple serial devices at the same time. This enables the application to write to or exert control over these devices simultaneously. An example can be found by looking at an automated assembly line where a control application sends instructions to a group of actuators to shut down in an emergency. Without the ability to split the serial signal, this would have to be done sequentially instead of simultaneously with the risk of additional damage to the affected facility.
Two types of serial splitters
Serial RS232 port splitters are available in two main varieties. They can be implemented as a hardware device or a software application. At times, one of these solutions may be better suited to your situation. Let’s take a closer look at the two types of comport splitter and some specific products that extend the functionality of your serial devices and applications.
Serial splitter software
RS232 serial splitter software offers significant advantages over a hardware solution. The software works by creating virtual serial ports that fully emulate physical serial interfaces. Virtual serial ports created by the software offer the same level of functionality to a serial application as does a physical port.
In addition to the flexibility provided by an unlimited number of virtual ports, a software solution to splitting serial ports reduces office clutter and the need for purchasing extra cables. The software can be easily scaled to handle additional users, something that cannot be done with an RS232 splitter box or cable. Unless there are compelling circumstances, a software solution is the recommended method of sharing serial traffic.
Here are some serial splitter software utilities for your review.
Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO
Serial Splitter is an industrial-grade software solution to the problem of splitting serial port data transmission. It enables users to effectively address situations such as:
- A computer’s lack of serial ports;
- Splitting or joining serial points for interaction with serial applications;
- Creating a many-to-many port connection;
- Automatically access a free COM port.
Some of the outstanding features of this software solution include:
- Creating an unlimited number of virtual ports;
- Granting individual read and write permissions;
- Connecting two computers with virtual null-modem connections;
- Simple and intuitive GUI;
- Easy installation with no restart required.
VSPD Pro is the best choice in a serial splitter software solution. You can see the tool in action by viewing this informative video overview.
A 14-day trial period is offered with the demo version of the application. Download Serial Port Splitter.
Supported Operating Systems:
Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO supports the 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 2008/ Vista/7/8/10 as well as Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2016.
The fully licensed product costs $199.95 with a 50% discount offered to previously registered users.
Serial Port Splitter by FabulaTech LLP
Serial Port Splitter is another software solution that enables serial data from one port to be shared with several serial applications. It creates the required number of virtual interfaces to provide the necessary communication. Some of its features include:
- Splitting COM port data between virtual serial ports;
- Sharing serial interfaces with multiple applications;
- Emulating physical serial ports;
- Runs in the background as a system service.
Take a look at the software in this video to get a sense of its functionality.
Serial Port Splitter runs on the Windows operating system and costs $129.95.
The 15-day free trial lets you create three configurations of up to three serial ports.
Shared Serial Ports
The last software package we will look at is Shared Serial Ports. It also provides a hardware-free method of splitting COM ports. The virtualized ports exhibit the same functionality as physical ports and their parameters can be configured to fit the needs of any serial applications or devices. Some of its features are:
- Flow control emulation;
- A scripting API for automation;
- Plug-and-play compatibility.
This application runs on the Windows platform from Vista through Windows 10 and costs $99.95. A 15-day money-back guarantee is available from the developers.
RS232 Splitter Hardware
Serial port splitter hardware is the alternative to the software solutions discussed above. There are some benefits and drawbacks to using this type of splitter.
- A hardware solution is generally less expensive with cables available for under $10.
- Installation is simply a matter of connecting the splitter to the required devices and computers.
RS232 Passive Splitter
This hardware splitter does not require external power, as it draws it from the connected port. Some of its features include:
- Suitability for permanent or temporary installations;
- Connects two computers to one peripheral;
- Plug-and-play installation.
The price for this hardware solution is $79.95 and it is backed by a five-year warranty.
SF Cable: DB9 Male to 2 Female Serial Rs232 Splitter
Cable 12 Inches
This 12-inch cable is an economical solution for splitting the data transmission from serial devices. It is constructed with a single DB9 male connector and two DB9 female connectors. Molded connectors with thumbscrews allow the connector to be easily attached to computers and devices. The 9 pins are wired straight through and are fully shielded. Its utility is limited by its length and the number of ports, but it may be just what you need. You can purchase this hardware serial splitter cable for $5.95.
The flexibility provided by a software solution like Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO can handle the needs of enterprises which require the ability to split serial data transmissions. If your company needs that functionality, you should download a demo today and see what the tool can do for your computing environment.