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TUCoPS :: Cyber Culture :: zany232.txt

Some wacky additions to the RS-232 serial standard

                      DL-232 -- A New Standard

                           by Dave Lyons
        (CompuCenter Iowa: JoeApple; CompuServe 72177,3233)

     I may never understand how the designers of the RS-232 "standard"
for serial communication managed to use 25 wires where only 3 are
really necessary.  Maybe they made a deal with the companies that
make cables, connectors, and switch boxes...I just don't know.

     Well, I thought of a few things that the RS-232 standard lacks,
and since there are already so many extra signals, a few more can't
hurt anybody, right?  Heck, let's go for 50-pin connectors and cables
and add the following new signals.  (Just to make sure this isn't
compatible with any old equipment, all OLD signals are moved up one
pin number (Carrier Detect becomes 9 instead of 8, etc., and pin 25
goes to pin 1).

 Pin  Name      Description
 ---  ----      -----------
  26  XCAT      Should be connected to chassis of devices.  Used with
                the next two signals, this provides protection
                against cats who haven't learned not to walk on
                floppy disks or serial equipment.  This signal should
                supply about 2000 volts (at a VERY low current level;
                wouldn't want to HURT the cute little thing, just
                teach it not to walk on anything in the computer
  27  CATGND    Cat ground.  Used with pin 26.  This signal should be
                connected to another part of the chassis or the
  28  CTD       Cat detect.
  29  SD        Self-destruct.  This signals causes the device to
                destroy itself.
  30  SDACK     Self-destruct acknowledge.  Acknowledges that the
                device has destroyed itself.
  31  VADIC     This signal indicates to a computer that the device
                on the other end is a modem that uses VADIC protocol.
                (Note:  CompuCenter Iowa users should jumper this
                signal to SD and then buy a decent modem.)
  32  STBIT1    Stutter bits.  With pin 33, sets the number of
                "stutter bits" (0 to 3 of them) to be included before
                each byte transmitted.  This may reduce the number of
                people who feel inferior to computer equipment by
                showing them that computers have problems
                communicating with each other.
  33  STBIT2
  34  CABR      Cable ready.  It's not enough to know that the Data
                Set is ready (DSR) and the Data Terminal is read
                (DTR).  We also need to know that the CABLE
                connecting them is ready.
  35  GRR       Gremlins ready.  Not everybody knows it, but there are
                little green guys inside most modern computer
                equipment.  Most of the time they sleep, but other
                times they cause trouble.  The next 6 signals are for
                dealing with gremlins.
  36  220A      Used with pin 37, supplies 220 volt power for the
                gremlins' air conditioning.  On hot days when
                gremlins can't sleep, applying power to these pins
                may solve your problems.
  37  220B
  38  110H      110 volts, hot side.  When the 220 volt power doesn't
                help and gremlin problems persist, use this with pin
                39 to supply 110 volts for the gremlins' TV and video
                game center.
  39  110N      110 volts, neutral side.
  40  MOON      Indicates the phase of the moon.  Sometimes solves mysterious

  41  LHI       Pins 41 through 45 can be used to implement the
                "like" protocol when the normal RTS/CTS protocol
                isn't enough.  This one means "Like HI" and is used
                to establish a connection.
  42  LHTY2     Like HI to You Too.  Acknowledges pin 41.
  43  LLTT      Like Listen To This.  Requests permission to send
  44  LOK       Like OK.  Grants permission to transmit data.
  45  LWOW      Like WOW.  Acknowledges receipt of data.

  46  HEY       Pins 46 to 50 may be used to implement the "Eighties"
                protocol when RTS/CTS and "Like" protocols won't do
                the job.  This signal is similar to RTS (Request to
  47  NP        No Problem.  Acknowledges HEY.
  48  HUH?      Signals that data was not received correctly
                (possibly wrong number of stutter bits).
  49  YEAH      Acknowledges data received.
  50  KMG365    Like YEAH, but for avid Emergency One fans.

That makes 50!  Let's hear your suggestions for MORE serial signals.
Maybe we can get 100 and REALLY make the cable manufacturers happy.

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