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You're right. You only need 3 wires for duplex communication. Assuming you connected these wires correctly. the next question is what kind of cable are you using. Transmission lines cause reflections and energy loss. At 10 feet, your cable is long enough to be affected by it. If you're using 3 loose wires, that's a problem; try twisting the wires together. Ideally, you want 100 ohm impedance with 24 AWG wire. If you're using a pre-built cable, check the specs. It may be designed for something else. I also suggest you make sure both computers are powered from the same circuit; otherwise, you may have issues with ground loops.
I have a whole box of serial cables that I have accumulated over 20 years of use. I have male-female, female-female, and male-male straight-through cables, and a null modem cable. This lets me make up whatever is called for. I verify my connection using one or two of these cables, then build a custom cable. If the custom cable doesn't work, I know it's the cable.
You can connect a serial port using only transmit, receive, and ground, but even at 9600 baud, a steady stream of bytes is likely to overrun your PC's receiver buffer. That's why you want to connect RTS and CTS, which do hardware handshaking. You can do software handshaking using XON and XOFF if your USB-serial box understands that and your terminal software understands that.
No need. The mystery - why did one cable work and the hand made cable didn't - answered by checking the source code. If you ask for handshake, you need to provide the appropriate cabling. Simple brainfart on my part.
<italic>Stuck in a dysfunctional matrix from which I must escape...
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." B. Franklin, 1783
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” BF, 1759
and they it wouldn't use that work in a toaster these days because the so called developers can't program without wasting resources in unneeded crap when they try to do "smart" things !
If something has a solution... Why do we have to worry about?. If it has no solution... For what reason do we have to worry about?
Help me to understand what I'm saying, and I'll explain it better to you
Rating helpful answers is nice, but saying thanks can be even nicer.
In toasters they traditionally use Intel Pentium II, which swallowed no less than 250W at full speed. Even more if you overclock it. In a toaster they don't need to actually work. With the manufacturing processes of the time they produced enough bad processors and excellent heating elements at the same time.
I have lived with several Zen masters - all of them were cats.
His last invention was an evil Lasagna. It didn't kill anyone, and it actually tasted pretty good.