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)
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 room).
Cat ground. Used with pin 26. This signal should be connected to another part of the chassis or the tabletop.
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 problems.
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 data.
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 Send).
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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