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I'm looking to buy a system that can run windows XP, has decent horsepower, and also has 12+ comm ports, i'm not looking to slap cards into my system either, any ideas?

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This doesn't belong on stackoverflow. –  chollida Aug 26 '09 at 22:10
    
agreed... shouldn't have asked. –  Anonymous Aug 26 '09 at 22:11
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Definitely doesn't belong here. But you can easily get a single card that will support 16 serial ports. And there is no other alternative. –  nb2580 Aug 26 '09 at 22:12
    
Please delete this question and ask instead on Super User - superuser.com –  Peter Mortensen Aug 26 '09 at 22:13
    
@Peter : if you wait for long enough (depends on how many people are on the site, which depends on the time, the day, ...), the question might be migrated by the will of the community... (If the close-voting mecanism works OK ^^ ) –  Pascal MARTIN Aug 26 '09 at 22:24
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 27 '09 at 1:47

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4 Answers

See USBtoSerial for a variety of products which will do this. They provide a connector to go from the PC to anywhere from a 4-port to a 16-port external box.

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I don't think you'll find a shipping system with 12 RS-232 ports in it. It's just not a requirement that enough people have. If you change your mind and decide you can install cards, look at something like RocketPort. We used those to connect machines in a lab to kernel debuggers and they worked great.

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You're doing it wrong. You should look into RS485 or CAN.

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You may not always have a choice. My guess is that he needs all these RS232 to control some hardware. say Cisco switches maybe. –  shoosh Aug 26 '09 at 22:52
    
basically yes, it's for automated testing. –  Anonymous Aug 27 '09 at 0:20
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I have found that a good source of industrial-strength connectivity and adapters is B&B Electronics. They sell a variety of adapters, converters, and device servers that can be used for this kind of thing. If the application is testing, you might want isolation, and they sell that too.

A selection of cards to go inside a machine is here.

Other options would be USB serial ports, or an ethernet serial device server. Either way, you can get 1 to 16 ports in a single adapter, and isolated adapters are also available.

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