[clug] USB to RS232 DB9 Adapter

Bryan Kilgallin kilgallin at iinet.net.au
Wed Aug 7 12:27:21 UTC 2019

Thanks, George:

> On Tuesday, 06-08-2019 at 17:01 Bryan Kilgallin via linux wrote:
>> My ancient DOS palmtop is very unreliable.
> Bryan,
> I apologise, but below I have so many questions about that you are ultimately wanting to achieve.
> I am now curious what is it actually that you want to achieve?

Applications on my old DOS palmtop are:
	* PROLOG (my job-application writer);
	* Polar heart rate monitor; and
	* rhyming dictionary.

> I am guessing that you have and would like to use an old Polar Heart Rate device that connects to a computer via a serial port.

Yes, I don't need the others now.

I have the Polar Sport Tester. Here is the user manual.


> And that you are currently trying to do this by running the "Polar heart rate analysis software" in a virtual DOS environment to connect to the physical Polar Heart Rate monitoring device.

The heart monitor software is dated 1990 (29 years ago)! I recorded in 
the heart-rate wristwatch/receiver, several minutes of resting heart 
rate data. But the polar software, running in DOSBox window--did not 
receive any data from the watch that I had placed on the Polar receiver 
box, and set to communicate with a computer.

> I guess you have tried to find and were not successful in locating other software (e.g. OpenSource) that could connect to the physical device?


> Have you thought about setting up a old (physical) DOS computer that has a serial port?

That is a good idea! I have a 32 bit Dell PC. And it has a serial port!

> Can you please tell me as much as possible by what you mean when you said "DOS palmtop". From your other emails, I am guess this is Palmtop PC that runs Microsoft (or IBM) DOS ?
> Similar to this  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmtop_PC  ?

Yes, this is it.

> What is the make and model of the device ?

Hewlett Packard 200 LS. Unfortunately its keyboard requires percussive 
therapy to accept say the press of the `a' key. It was so much trouble 
to get going, that the last time I recorded an exercise workout--I gave 
up trying to get the palmtop going!

> What type of storage does the device use?  a 3.5" IDE hard disk drive?

It has 2 MB of RAM. And I have my applications and data on a 32 MB 
PCMCIA 2 flash card.

> What version of DOS did it come with ? Would it be 3.3 ?

The ver command reports thus.
MS-DOS Version 5.00

> You may have said, and I may have missed the point, but is there data you want to get off this drive, or is there an application that you want to run that only runs in "DOS" ?

I have copied applications and data from the flash card A: drive to the 
onboard RAM C: drive. Then I changed the PCMCIA 2 card for an adapter, 
so plugging in my 256 MB CompactFlash card. Next I copied the 
applications and data from the onboard C: drive to the CompactFlash 
card. Then I inserted the CompactFlash card into my tower-PC, and copied 
the stuff into a desktop folder. Lastly moving that to a directory that 
DOSBox can see.

> Later you said "Polar heart rate analysis software to a directory that DOSBox sees as C: drive."

I found DOSBox' configuration file, and added a line to mount my DOS 
directory as C: drive. As advised, I set Serial 1 to ttyUSB0. I wonder 
whether instead I should set serial1 to be say modem? As the Polar 
software is trying to receive data from the "POLAR INTERFACE" box under 
the wristwatch.

# serial1: set type of device connected to com port.
#          Can be disabled, dummy, modem, nullmodem, directserial.
#          Additional parameters must be in the same line in the form of
#          parameter:value. Parameter for all types is irq (optional).
#          for directserial: realport (required), rxdelay (optional).
#                           (realport:COM1 realport:ttyS0).
#          for modem: listenport (optional).
#          for nullmodem: server, rxdelay, txdelay, telnet, usedtr,
#                         transparent, port, inhsocket (all optional).
#          Example: serial1=modem listenport:5000
#          Possible values: dummy, disabled, modem, nullmodem, directserial.
# serial2: see serial1
#          Possible values: dummy, disabled, modem, nullmodem, directserial.
# serial3: see serial1
#          Possible values: dummy, disabled, modem, nullmodem, directserial.
# serial4: see serial1
#          Possible values: dummy, disabled, modem, nullmodem, directserial.

serial1=directserial realport:ttyUSB0

> Do you have a Polar Heart Rate device that connects to a computer via a serial port?


> If so what is the make and model number of the Polar Heart Rate device?

The receiver-wristwatch is stamped "POLAR ELECTRO FINLAND", and labelled 
"POLAR SPORT TESTER". The instruction manual is tagged thus.
1.90 PE
So I think it's model PE 4000. Perhaps someone who reads Finnish, can 
correct me.

> Can its software be downloaded from a reliable web site?
No, I've looked that up unsuccessfully. The best I could manage was the 
user manual, as above.

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