Comvert from Serial to Ethernet (RS-232 / RS-485 to LAN)

5 November 2013

What happened to the serial port on my laptop? Indeed it seems that our PCs are upgrading faster than the industrial devices we still use. Being an Industrial IT company, daily we still have to use HyperTerminal and other serial-based software to configure devices and get information out of systems such as belt scales and gateways.  

So what if I need to get a device that speaks serial onto an industrial Ethernet-based protocol such as PROFINET, MODBUS TCP, EtherCat or Ethernet/IP? Well for that we can use the Anybus Communicator, which we have spoken about before. That is a protocol converter. Incidentally, this device is easily configured using a serial port, but for that, I need to have a serial port on my PC. (The new generations of these gateways are moving to USB, but what about all those thousands that are in the field already?)

One solution is to buy a USB to Serial Converter, but anyone who has used one of these will most likely agree that they can be quite troublesome. So what’s my other option? My other option is to get a Serial to Ethernet converter such as the Anybus Serial Server. It can convert RS 232 to Ethernet or RS 485 to Ethernet.

It’s also so easy to use:

Step 1) Power it up with 24V and connect it to your LAN or to your Ethernet port

Step 2) Install and run the free AnybusIP config tool. It scans by MAC address so you can use this to discover what the IP address of your serial server is. Here you can change the IP address and open up its web interface from your browser.

Step 3) Click on “Configuration” and configure the ports you are going to use. I used port 2000 for the RS-232 port, and port 2001 for the RS-485 port. The server is now ready to use. 

Step 4) Now we have to tell our computer where these virtual com ports are. Install and run the Serial/IP driver. You can find it in the Control Panel.

Step 5) Choose your COM port and fill in its IP address and port number.

Here’s a tip: Choose port numbers that are less than 10!

Now I’m ready to use my COM ports. In the below example, I am now able to program my Anybus Communicator through a LAN with either COM7 or COM8. Since COM 8 is an RS485 port, I won’t be able to use that to program my Anybus communicator, but it is useful for other applications. In our Anybus Communicator and Modbus training, we used to run a slave simulator through this port.

Making Serial COM ports available through a LAN means that you can program devices that are located long distances away. We used the Serial Server to program an Anybus Communicator which was located on a distant conveyor belt, from the comfort of an air-conditioned control room.

<a href="" target="_self">Michael Garnham</a>

Michael Garnham


Michael has nearly two decades of experience spanning the information technology, energy, engineering, and automation sectors. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated proficiency in leveraging cutting-edge technologies to drive innovation and optimise processes.

Show your love!

Recent Posts

Driving Productivity with LineView Training

In light of our partnership with LineView Solutions, our team has taken up the opportunity to equip themselves with insights into the LineView system and its impact on the industry. “LineView is a production line monitoring and recording system that automatically...

Exciting New Launch: Onsite ProfiDay

IDX is excited to announce the launch of our onsite ProfiDay offering. This is available to all industries and companies that utilise PROFIBUS and/or PROFINET within their industrial communications systems. What is ProfiDAY? An exclusive onsite program offering...

Introducing our Partnership with LineView Solutions

We are excited to announce our partnership with LineView Solutions, a leading UK-based company specialising in smart factory solutions for optimising production processes. LineView developed a cutting-edge software suite designed to automatically gather data from the...

Optimise PROFIBUS and PROFINET Network Performance

As a field technician handling PROFIBUS and PROFINET systems, it is crucial to recognise the common errors that can result in costly downtime. From improper network configuration to neglecting regular maintenance, these mistakes can greatly affect system performance...

Delighted Customer Shares Experience

We recently assisted a client in rectifying damage to the Anybus ABC4090 Communicator caused by incorrect power usage onsite. We arranged for the device to be sent to HMS in Sweden for repairs, and they restored it before promptly returning it to us. Here are some...

Price Decrease on PROFIBUS Connectors

PROFIBUS connectors play a crucial role in industrial automation and data exchange systems by facilitating smooth communication between devices and networks. We are pleased to announce a significant price decrease on all our PROFIBUS connectors. Thanks to recent...

PROFIBUS Standards: Functional bonding and shielding

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and earthing issues can significantly impact the performance of your network. By following these six proven recommendations, you can ensure that your network is always up and running.

PROFIBUS Standards: Terminations

What is the Volts Direct Current (VDC) required for optimal operation of a PROFIBUS DP termination circuit? Get the answers you need in our latest video on PROFIBUS Standards: Terminations. Don't miss out on this essential knowledge to boost your system's performance!

PROFIBUS Standards: Segment Cable Lengths

Finding the perfect balance between PROFIBUS cable length and network speed is crucial. While longer cable segments might seem tempting, they can lead to signal degradation and slower speeds. Conversely, too short segments might limit your layout options. Striking the...

Sign up for our newsletter

Get exclusive updates and a sneak peek into our world every two months. Stay connected, stay informed.

Related Posts

Maintaining your PI Server

Maintaining your PI Server

Once your OSIsoft PI Server and interfaces are set up and running smoothly, the real work begins...

Our expertise lies in establishing, maintaining, and leveraging plant data for business benefit. Through our innovative solutions, we work alongside you to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and reduce costly downtime.


Main: +27 (11) 548 9960
Sales: +27 (11) 548 9970


Copyright @2024 Industrial Data Xchange. All rights reserved.