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To understand why RS422 is an upgrade from older cable systems, we need to talk about RS232. Before USB, RS232 was how you connected your computer to your mouse, keyboard, and printer.

The RS stands for recommended standard. Almost all desktop PCs come with at least one RS232 port.

If you don't have an RS232 port, adapters are available. Keep reading to learn how to use adapters with your computer.

Why We Upgraded to RS422

There are some major downsides to 232 making 422 a great upgrade:

  • RS232 cables can't go more than 50 feet,
  • They are vulnerable to interruption from unwanted signals.
  • RS232 ports only support one device at a time.

Why RS422 Is Better

RS422 cable provides faster data transmission with up to 500 feet between devices. Slowing down data speed gives you a range of up to 4000 feet.

But why are we still using old technology? Some brands, like Apple, have done away with RS 422 cable and the like. USB is a sleek alternative to the bulky RS422.

But USB has a major downside for electronics makers: cost. A vendor ID for USB costs $5,000. The logo costs an extra $3,500 every two years.

These costs can make a new electronics company unprofitable. There are no fees or licenses to use RS422.

RS422 also uses serial communication. Serial communication means a computer is sending data one bit at a time, instead of multiple bits at once. This makes the signal more reliable.

How Does It Work?

What makes rs 422 cable specification different than older cables is its use of a balanced signal. The older RS232 sends data by changing the voltage on a single wire.

RS422 uses two wires and the difference in voltage to send data.

A balanced signal is able to send data faster and farther than an unbalanced signal.

Balanced connections are also able to deflect outside signals. These interfering signals, or "noise", interrupt your connection.

RS422 VS. Ethernet Cables

RS422 predates ethernet. Ethernet is very popular but has some drawbacks that RS422 doesn't.

RS422 specs include a built-in system for preventing data loss. Ethernet is faster but risks losing parts of your data.

The reason for this loss is due to the way Ethernet works. Data gets broken into smaller "packets" when going across a network.

Ethernet guarantees that as soon as a packet is ready, it gets sent off. This also means that your packets might arrive out of order.

This can be confusing for data that needs to be in chronological order.

RS422 always sends data in the correct order. This is the main takeaway in the rs422 ethernet debacle.

Using Your USB Port for RS422

Laptops and some modern desktop computers may not have an RS422 port. Not to worry, with a USB converter you can still use RS422 devices.

USB adapters also supply power to your RS422 devices. This eliminates bulky power supplies and chords from your setup.

Adding an RS422 port to your computer adds to its functionality.

Start using your USB port to power RS422 devices today.