Pololu 23201a serial adapter card swipe

Can you use the Pololu 23201a serial adapter to connect a RS232 based mag-strip card reader to a microprocessor (like the Baby Orangutan or Basic stamp)?


The 23201a serial adapter will convert higher-voltage RS-232 serial signals into logic-level (TTL) serial signals that can be read by a microcontroller (and vice versa), so if your card reader uses standard RS-232, you can use our serial adapter to connect it to a Baby Orangutan or Basic Stamp.

- Ben


I think I should clarify a bit. While you could use our adapter to do the necessary level conversion by manually making the correct connections, our adapter is intended for a PC peripheral, which I assume is what your card reader also is. Therefore, our adapter and your device will probably have the same (female) connector, which would mean you couldn’t plug them into each other.

Also, the number of lines in each direction is not the same for a 9-pin serial port: there are 3 lines from the computer to peripheral, and 5 lines from peripheral to PC. If you wanted to use all of the handshaking lines, you’ll need something else.

So if all you need to do is connect ground, transmit, and receive, you could do it by getting the kit version of our adapter and soldering wires from a male connector (which you’d have to get separately) to the appropriate pins on the adapter board.

- Jan

thank you very much

this may be a novice request, but do you know where to solder the leads from the male RS 232 connection? Is it the same or will i swap 3 and 2?

You will most likely need to swap pins 2 and 3, but it will depend on your device. Our adapter is designed to connect directly to a serial port or through a straight-through cable. If your card reader is the same, you’ll need to swap the transmit and receive lines on one end, and it’s probably easiest to do when you’re wiring your male connector to our adapter board.

- Jan