kalleboo's retro tech blog

Mac Peripherals: USB

USB to Serial on MacOS 9

One thing I picked up on auctions is a 24-port managed gigabit switch for 2500 yen. But the console is serial. And my PowerBook G3 only has USB... What do? Well, get a serial adapter.

Luckily, the venerable FTDI FT232 chipset has been setting the standard for over a decade and a half, so it's old enough to have a MacOS 9 driver, and serial hasn't changed enough in the intervening time that there are still brand-new products being produced that are still compatible!

I bought this cheap DTECH DT-5011 (based on the FT232RL / ZT213 chipsets) on Amazon and it works perfectly on my G3 in MacOS 9 using drivers released in 2004.

I also ordered a QuickTake 100 digital camera, which uses an Apple DIN Serial port, so of course I wanted a period-approriate DIN serial port USB adapter, so I also bought a Keyspan USA-28X B Twin Serial adapter. I tested this one by connecting to the FT232 USB adapter connected to my MacBook Pro over a null modem cable (actually a "MIDI connection cable" which had the same crossover requird) and running ZTerm to chat to myself.

ADB Wombat

The ADB wombat is a cool way to get USB keyboards and mice working on an old Mac, or more importantly, getting ADB keyboard and mice working on modern Macs

Last updated: 2019-08-10
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