[NTLK] USB <-> SERIAL Cable for Apple Newton MessagePad 1x0, 2x00 & eMate 300

Sylvain Pilet sylvain at pilet.net
Sat Apr 15 03:34:45 PDT 2023

For the sake of readability this is changing the title of this thread. Because even if we include Jacob (from Androda) in the discussion, here the main topic is: USB Serial Cable for Newton. The other thread is more specialized on DRAM + Flash cards for eMate 300 and other products already sold by Androda.

The more time goes by, the more complicated it will become, today USB type I compatible ports are disappearing from new machines, new Macs only swear by USB-C, which does not help the problem of connecting the Newton (or any other machine from the same era) to a serial port. 
But if we limit ourselves to the simple USB port, there are indeed several possible solutions. Some serial USB adapters such as the FTDI chipset based ones as mentioned by Pawel in his article. But not all of them work 100% on all the different configurations that exist today. Ah well, it was a good time when the serial standard was respected, even if Apple chose a different connector (Din8) than PCs, it was still easy to design a cable. 

Personally I have the chance to have the three different models of Keyspan USA-28 models (the ones with two DIN8 outputs.) 
The latest model is the USA-28XG which is the only one that still works with recent computers, provided you use one of the new USA-19HS drivers (depending on your OS) from TrippLite. The USA-28XG is supported by these new drivers.
By the way, the USA-19HS adapters are, of course, also compatible with the Newton.
But finding one of these adapters is not easy anymore, and when one appears on second hand or auction sites the prices are unreasonable. 
It is indeed time to find a viable and 100% functional alternative...
Ladies and Gentlemen electronic engineers of all kinds, the ball is in your court :-)

I thought the solution you mentioned in your article was viable and proven, wouldn't that be 100% the case?

But by the way...
Aren't there any solutions from groups who are passionate about beige Macs and other old-timers from that fabulous era when serial ports reigned supreme in peripherals?

Sylvain Pilet

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