RS-232 Overview

In telecommunications, RS-232 is the traditional name for a series of standards for serial binary single-ended data and control signals connecting between a DTE (Data Terminal Equipment) and a DCE (Data Circuit-terminating Equipment).

It is commonly used in personal computer serial ports. The standard defines the electrical characteristics and timing of signals, the meaning of signals, and the physical size and pin out of connectors.

An RS-232 port was once a standard feature of a personal computer for connections to modems, printers, mice, data storage, uninterruptible power supplies, and other peripheral devices. RS-232 devices are still found primarily in industrial machines and scientific instruments.

PRIMUS Option C11 – RS-232

PRIMUS offers Option C11 Serial Data Output. Serial Data Output provides a RS-232 connection to transmit cycle printouts to a remote Personal Computer (PC) for record keeping of each cycle. The length of cable to tie control to the PC is limited to 25 feet.

Serial Data Output option consists of a DB9 connector that is wired in parallel with the printer. The communication is output-only and the data is transmitted in ASCII format at 9600 baud. The transmitted data is the same data that is transmitted to the printer.

The RS-232 option can be used to archive cycle runs electronically and to provide a backup in the event that the printer malfunctions or runs out of paper during a cycle. This is especially useful for sterilizers equipped with printers that do not have a reprint function. Archived data can be evaluated later for trending.

Because the data is transmitted in ASCII text, it is not encrypted and therefore does not meet FDA 21 CFR Part 11 requirements. For compliance, each site must set up a standard operating procedure (SOP) to handle archived data.

The port can be connected to the serial port of a PC and data can be collected using a program like Windows HyperTerminal or any other serial port communication software. PRIMUS does not supply or support the PC software.

Several sterilizers can be connected to the same PC. However, to do this the PC needs a separate serial port and a separate instance of HyperTerminal for each sterilizer. The PRIMUS option does not support addressing.

Have a question or having difficulties? Talk to Dave Schall, our PRIMUS sterilizer expert who is here to assist you anytime at 877.679.7800 extension 1212 or email at

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