BrowserUK, Marshall, and afoken,
Thank you for your suggestions. I'm hoping to market my Perl->RS232->RS485 application, and that means fitting in a variety of real-world situations -including computers that don't have serial ports (imagine that!) There are several options for the RS-485 conversion, and I need to find the "best" option
- USB to RS-232 converter
- Most desirable. Most people will be using an older PC for this "semi-dedicated" application, so my program will run as is. For a new computer without a serial port, there would be no changes to my program - assuming the converter includes software that allows it to be addressed as COM1.
Of course, in a few years, "older" PCs won't have serial ports either. So I'm gonna have to learn USB sooner or later...
- USB to RS-485 converter
- Middle desirable. If the converter comes with a "COM1 option", it rivals the first choice. Otherwise, it means rewriting my software for USB. I have no idea what that would entail, but I suspect that it would be painful - and device manufacturer-dependent.
- RS-485 PC card
- Least desirable. The target market are techie-hobbyists, but not necessarily computer techies. They're not going to want to take apart their computers.
You've pointed me in the right direction. Now I have to do my homework... As GrandFather suggested, I will eventually be doing some TITS. But the less "shelfware" I have to purchase, the better.
Thanks - Dave