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VPortPro-client with Com Port Control by Labtam.
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7. COM Port Redirector

This chapter describes how to start and use the COM Port Redirector program supplied with VPortPro.

The COM Port Redirector is a software program designed to convert serial (RS232) data to the TCP/IP packets format and TCP/IP packets to serial data. While running on your PC, COM Port Redirector can receive serial data from a serial port of your PC and then send them out to a TCP/IP network through a TCP/IP socket connection on your PC. COM Port Redirector can also receive serial data from a TCP/IP network through a TCP/IP socket connection on your PC and send them to a serial port on your PC.

COM Port Redirector supports two transport data stream protocols:

  • Raw TCP connection (without sending configuration or status information from the PC to the serial device or server)

  • Telnet (with the features provided by the COM Port Control protocol specified by IETF RFC-2217)

COM Port Redirector can be configured to function as a TCP/IP server and as a TCP/IP client for both the protocol types.

As a TCP/IP client, COM Port Redirector will initiate and establish connection with remote systems (by sending connection requests), and then communicate with connected TCP/IP servers. As a TCP/IP client, COM Port Redirector allows to establish connection to a single TCP/IP server for each serial port. Normally any data received through the TCP/IP port that it connects to will be transmitted out the serial port and any data received through the serial port will be sent back to the TCP/IP server. This enables fully bi-directional communications. So, COM Port Redirector redirects a local COM port to a TCP/IP port of a remote server and vice versa (using a local TCP/IP socket connection).

As a TCP/IP server, it will wait for remote TCP/IP clients' connection requests to TCP/IP ports (you specified as listening on your PC) to establish connection with remote systems, and then to communicate with connected TCP/IP clients. As a TCP/IP server, COM Port Redirector allows to accept only a single client connection to a TCP/IP port. Incoming data received from a TCP/IP client is transmitted out a serial port as it is received. Incoming serial data is sent to a connected TCP/IP client. This enables fully bi-directional communications. So, COM Port Redirector maps and redirects COM ports to a TCP/IP ports and vice versa.

Also with COM Port Redirector, you can create "virtual serial ports". A virtual serial port (VSP) appears to application software as a "standard" MS Window's communications port (virtually identical to an RS-232 port). Data may be written to VSP by applications, and data may be read from VSP as though it were a standard COM port. You can configure COM Port Redirector to map TCP/IP ports onto virtual serial ports as well as to physical COM ports. This allows MS Windows applications to generate or consume data to and from VSP as though the data were being processed by physical hardware.

You can use the virtual COM port driver on multi-processor and Hyper-Threading machines too.

While you are using COM Port Redirector, you can:

  • Configure COM-TCP/IP connection channels (i.e., make COM and TCP/IP mapping and settings for a connection channel)

  • Manage the connection channels list (i.e., Add/Delete connection channels)

  • Watch connection channels activity (i.e., status)

  • Monitor data logging for a selected connection channel from the list

  • Trace the COM Port Redirector (driver) session using a variety of trace flags

  • Connect/Disconnect connection channels (for the Client mode)

Currently, COM Port Redirector supports physical serial ports and virtual serial ports as well. Virtual serial ports can be created by COM Port Redirector itself or by software tools other than COM Port Redirector, for example, by VCOM-TCP Primary Client (COM Port Redirector will treat them as physical serial ports).

Currently, COM Port Redirector cannot redirect a serial port to more than one remote TCP/IP port, and a remote TCP/IP port to more than one serial port.

Also a single virtual serial port cannot simultaneously be used for both Client and Server modes.

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