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How to connect a Psion palmtop to a PC through a USB cable/hub.

With the demise of the humble PC serial port, it's becoming more and more common to need to connect to a USB port. This is especially relevant when talking about laptops.

There are a number of suitable USB-to-serial port adapters on the market, all of which work in a similar way. Once their Windows driver is installed correctly, a 'virtual' COM port is created (usually COM5 or above). You then tell PsiWin to use this port rather than any of the default choices (usually COM1 to COM4). That's the short version!

Getting it working in more detail

  1. So you've plugged in your USB converter and installed its software. What next? Go to 'My Computer | Manage Device | Device Manager' (or similar, depending on your version of Windows) and look under 'Ports'. You should see at least one extra entry here, labelled 'USB' and with the exact COM port number listed in brackets. Make a note of this number.
    If you don't see a virtual COM port listed here then your USB converter driver software isn't installed properly. Refer to its original CD and manual for more information.
  2. Make 100% sure that your Psion is plugged into the converter properly. Then, on the Psion System screen, do Ctrl+L, to bring up the 'Link Properties' dialog. Make sure it's set to 'Link cable' and make a note of the speed used (usually 57600 or 115200).
  3. Right click the PsiWin wiggly line (OK, so it's probably flat at the moment, but you know the one I mean) in your Windows System Tray at the bottom of the screen. Choose 'Properties'.
  4. Cancel the connection attempt for now and look on the 'Connections' tab of the big dialog that opens up on screen. Untick every COM port apart from the virtual one you noted down earlier. And make sure the speed is set to match that on your Psion.
    If the virtual COM port isn't shown in the list, then try rebooting the PC. If the virtual COM port still doesn't appear, you'll need to reinstall PsiWin from your original download file or install CD. Good luck!
  5. Click on 'OK' and then try Right-clicking the wiggly line again and choosing 'Connect'. Hopefully you how have a valid connection and your usual PsiWin functions will work!