Question transfer technical data from RS232 (3.5mm) to computer

philroe

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Nov 24, 2008
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I use a ph meter at work and it outputs to an Epson Thermal printer M188D. The connection out of the ph meter is RS232 3.5mm male.

My problem is the printer only outputs data on a thermal receipt paper that often stretches 6feet (~3"wide). This is very hard to archive for documentation.
Goal: Can I use the same ph meter but attach it to a computer to save the data for saving to an archive. Amazon and others have cabling to connect the 3.5mm to USB. (once the data is in the computer I can save as .txt, .doc, or .pdf.)

Output device: Thermo Scientific Orion 4-Star Benchtop pH https://www.fishersci.com/shop/products/thermo-scientific-orion-4-star-plus-ph-ise-benchtop-multiparameter-meter-2/p-3620471
The documentation has baud rates and such so I assume there is more to this than just plugging into a USB computer port for input.

Do you have any suggestions for transferring data to a regular computer?

TIA
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
By RS232 3.5mm male are you referring to a 9 pin plug (DB9)?

And that plug is currently plugged directly into the thermal printer - correct?

To go directly from ph meter to computer requires two things:

1) A compatible female DB9 to USB cable (adapter) that you plug the ph meter into and then a USB cable between the adapter and computer.

2) Software/drivers on the computer that when run will accept the ph meter input and store the data in some format that is readable by a graphing app to directly produce graphs or just store the data in a non-proprietary format (e.g. .txt, .csv, or a fixed string that could be parsed for printing.

Output to the thermal printer takes the raw data and converts the information into some PCL (Printer Control Language that the thermal printer understands and uses to do the graphing etc..

Output to computer/data etc. would just send raw data (format TBD) to the computer and saved in a file. That file in turn would again be processed in some manner to present the data graphically or in tables. Tables, in turn, could be read and presented graphically.

Again you will need some app that will take the stored data and format the information into something that can be graphically output. Maybe via a spreadsheet or data base.

I noted the following in the Thermo Scientific link:

"Optional Star Plus Navigator 21 software provides 21 CFR Part 11, GLP IQ/OQ documentation"

and

"1000 point datalogger, downloadable to printer or computer via RS-232 connection"

Do you have that Navigator 21/datalogger software? My impression that that may be on the ph meter - maybe some option or function you would/could select.

Any CDs or even flopply disks with the ph meter documentation?
 

philroe

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Thank you very much for responding so quickly.

The plug on the ph device is female and the connector would have to be male. (I would have sent a picture but I couldn't upload to this forum.

A similar cable like this is in use to the thermal printer. https://www.amazon.com/SF-Cable-Female-3-5mm-Serial/dp/B004T9BBJC/ref=pd_ybh_a_44?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=6ASSX9Q83M2FQS1V54HP the DB9 is on the thermal printer side. RS232 is printed on the meter output port.

The data itself is all alpha numeric. No graphs. (great thought tho!)
My thought was https://www.amazon.com/Green-utech-PL2303TA-Rs232-Serial-Stereo/dp/B00XSN5M40/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=RS232+3.55mm+to+usb&qid=1589670098&sr=8-1
where the 3.5mm goes into the meter.

After reading your reply I rooted around and found this.
https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/274287/what-is-the-difference-between-rs-232-and-ttl-uart

I think I might be biting off more than i can chew since I don't want to break this device. It's an older device now discontinued by the manufacturer.


good catch

>>I noted the following in the Thermo Scientific link:
"Optional Star Plus Navigator 21 software provides 21 CFR Part 11, GLP IQ/OQ documentation"
and
"1000 point datalogger, downloadable to printer or computer via RS-232 connection"
<<
I'll check around the lab and ask the more veteran lab folks.

Again, Thank you very much.

I'm going to post a higher level question on this forum shortly that might be easier. My original problem is to save the "receipts" to a computer archive. 3" by 6' is a difficult scan.

TY
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
You are welcome.

Afterthought: I have a family member who uses a One-Touch Diabetic Meter for daily morning tests.

About every three months we use a 3.5mm TRS to USB cable to plug the meter into a computer hosting the One-Touch software. (The cable is physically identical to the Green-utech cable that you found.)

Male 3.5mm plug goes into the meter the USB plug goes into one of the computer's USB ports.

The software finds the meter and all new data is downloaded into the computer. Then we use the One Touch software to print out a three month blood sugar history for the doctor.

One Touch uses a proprietary 3.5mm to USB cable as we did have to purchase a replacement cable available only from them.

Very much understand not wanting to break the ph meter.

However, if your facilities' IT policies permit, it may be worthwhile to download the Orion software to a test computer just to learn what options are available.

And if you can find the pinouts for the ph meter (3.5 mm) to computer (USB) cable then you may be able to identify a cable that works.
 

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