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Having trouble with a simple cable

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by qoncept, Feb 17, 2012.

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  1. qoncept


    Feb 17, 2012
    I'm not much of an electronics guy so hopefully someone that has a clue can help me out. I have a slotcar set that features a "PC-Link" cable (for $80) which is really just an FTDI RS232 virtual com port. I had one of the FTDI cables laying around already, so I bought a mini-din connector and a d-sub and made an adapter.

    The problem I'm having is that the control unit at the track wants 5v. Using this guide I chose pin 7 RTS (which it maps to a normal mini-din 5v) which, after it didn't work, found is actually about 9v. I figured it would probably still work, but one of the guys on the slotcar forum said it needs to be 5v.

    My question is... how do I get 5v? Is there a different pin I should be using? Do I just add a resistor on that pin? Do I need to get power somewhere else entirely?
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  2. Rleo6965


    Jan 22, 2012
  3. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    I'd do some more digging for information about how that $80 cable is wired.
    It might be wired for some special configuration, it may have components in the
    connector assembly to drop the voltage. Maybe they put a 29 cent part in their cable
    assembly, that makes it different enough from your spare cable, that they believe they
    can get the $80 from uninformed people for.
    A simple resistor installed in the connector could drop the voltage.
  4. RonJay


    Feb 13, 2012
    Hi Qoncept,
    Make sure that you are using the appropriate null modem or straight cable.
    Just a thought,
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