FAQ: Using MicroBase With USB Ports


Can I Use MicroBase With A Computer Which Does Not Have An RS-232 Serial Port?

You will probably be able to use MicroBase with a computer which is not equipped with an RS-232 serial port, provided it has an available USB port and you properly install a special adapter called a USB to Serial Port Adapter.



Where Can I Find A USB To Serial Port Adapter?

There are a variety of models available in computer stores and on the Internet. Be sure to select a model which is compatible with your computer's hardware connections and software operating system. Prices range from $20 to $40.


  What USB To Serial Port Adapters Have Been Tested With MicroBase?

We have tested the following units:

These units all produced excellent results when tested on a Sony Vaio notebook computer equipped with Windows XP Home operating system.


How Do I Install My USB To Serial Port Adapter?

You can use the following procedure to install most USB to Serial adapters under Windows XP Home:

  • Log-in to an account with administrator privileges.
  • Connect the USB to Serial adapter to one of the computer's USB ports.
  • Windows should respond with the "New Hardware Found" dialog. Insert the driver disk that came with your adapter and select the option for automatic installation.
  • When installation is complete, click finish and remove the driver install disk.

Before using the adapter, you will need to see what Com port is assigned to it:

  • Open the Windows device manager (Control Panel - System - Hardware - Device Manager) and select Ports (COM & LPT). Look for the entry that corresponds to the adapter you have just installed and note the Com Port which the adapter is assigned to use. Close the Windows device Manager.
  • Open MicroBase and select Options - Ports.  Select the proper Com port for use. Click OK when finished.

Your USB to Serial Port adapter is now ready for use with MicroBase.


My Adapter's Com Port Cannot Be Selected In MicroBase - What Now?

 If you are using MicroBase v1.50.76 or earlier, you will only be able to select COM1 through COM4. Since many USB to Serial adapters are automatically assigned to COM5 or higher, this can be a problem. You can remedy this situation by either changing the adapter port assignment or installing a newer version of MicroBase.

To change USB to Serial adapter com port assignment:

  • Log-in to an account with administrator privileges.
  • Open the Windows device manager (Control Panel - System - Hardware - Device Manager) and select Ports (COM & LPT).
  • Double-click the entry which corresponds with your USB to Serial adapter and select Port Settings - Advanced (or Port Settings - Start Assistant - Port Mapping if using the Keyscan unit)
  • Select an available com port which is in the range COM1 through COM4 and close the dialog(s).
  • Be sure to enter the new com port assignment in MicroBase under Options - Ports.

MicroBase versions later than v1.50.76 permit selection of COM1 through COM9. The latest version of MicroBase can be purchased through our sales office. Minor updates can be downloaded from the MicroBase Update Page.


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