Airconsole 4 Port Cable Kit (Partcode USB-TS-KIT-4) is a USB to 4 port RS232 serial cable. The kit is designed to be attached via USB to an Airconsole for Wifi/Wired/Bluetooth use or attached by USB directly to a PC or Mac for allowing concurrent access to 4 separate serial connections via a single Airconsole adaptor.
The cable unit enclosure features an additional USB female port, a slide rail on one side and slide socket on the other. The USB female port can be used to connect either an additional 4 port cable kit or the included Bluetooth radio module. When connecting up additional cable kits, the units slide together firmly to create a single physical unit.
The Kit consists of the following contents
1 x Cable unit with 4 RJ45 Serial cables (1.8m each), 1 USB male connector and 1 USB female port.
1 x Bluetooth 2.1/4.0 Radio adaptor (installed in the USB female port)
1 x Industrial Velcro self adhesive patch for mounting
For use with Airconsole:
- requires Airconsole firmware version 2.60 or later. Firmware can be downloaded for free from this site.
- All Airconsoles including version 1.0 and 2.0, Standard, Pro or XL models support a single 4 port cable kit. Airconsole Mini or TS are required where more than one 4 port cable kit is connected to a single Airconsole and extended / permanent installation (i.e. inside a rack as a terminal device server) is desired. See below note.
- A terminal client application (i.e. Get Console on iOS, Serialbot on Android, PuTTY on Windows, Macwise on Mac)
If using the 4 port cable kit connected to an Airconsole, and a COM port is needed on Windows / OS X then additional drivers are required. If COM ports are required by Windows / Mac application the best solution is to connect the 4 port cable directly to the Mac/PC via USB (see direct use below). However if Wireless/Wired operation is required then:
- (for Windows COM port mapping over WIFI) - AirconsoleConnect.exe driver or HWGroup drivers must be installed - this driver will create 4 COM ports over an IP connection to Airconsole. Your Windows application can access these COM ports as if the serial cable was directly connected to Windows PC.
- (for Mac OSX COM port mapping over WIFI/Bluetooth LE) - AirconsoleConnect.pkg must be installed which creates 4 serial tty lines over IP connection to Airconsole - your Mac applications can then access these local TTY lines as if the serial cables were directly connected to your Mac).
For Direct use with Mac via USB
- Requires OS X 10.9 or later
- FTDI drivers available from here
- USB2 port able to supply 500mA power
For Direct use with Windows via USB
- Requires Windows 7 or later (Not tested on Windows 10)
- FTDI drivers should automatically download, however if do not are available here
- USB2 port able to supply 500mA power
Note on Bluetooth Operation: Bluetooth allows only access to the first Serial port in the 4 cable kit. Ports 2,3,4 (and later if multiple kits are connected) are only accessible via IP (Wired or WIFI connection) or USB (Direct connection)
Note on multiple 4 port cable kits connected together: - current Airconsole Standard/Pro/XL can work with an 8 or 12 port cable configuration, however the charging rate of the Airconsole Std/Pro/XL battery while attached is lower than the power drain required to operate 2 or more 4 port cable kits, so after approximately 2 hours of use the Airconsole battery will fully drain and the connection will fail. We recommend for extended or permanent installation of Airconsole with 8 or more serial ports to use Airconsole TS adaptor.
Using 4 port cable with Airconsole
Like the single port Airconsole, the serial device connected can be accessed via Airconsole via 5 different ways:
- Webconsole / Browser
- Get Console App
- Windows 7/8/8.1
After connecting to Airconsole via Wifi or Wired IP method (see Airconsole User Manual), Access the web console via the Airconsole’s built in Web interface. By default the address is http://192.168.10.1/terminal.asp . This simple terminal is based on Websockets, so requires a relatively modern web browser - such as IE10+, Safari 7+, Firefox 36, Chrome 40+
For simple and rapid terminal work we recommend using this built in web console as it is fast and convenient and can be used from any Mac, PC or iOS Device without installing any additional client terminal application.
When Airconsole detects 1 or more 4 port cable kits are attached, then the dropdown port selector on right hand side of terminal will allow for selection of ports 2 onwards. Press Connect after selecting a new port.
Using Get Console Application
Get Console v2.1 and later supports Airconsole with 1 or more 4 port cable kits connected. After connecting iPad/iPhone to the Airconsole-XX WIFI network, Launch the Get Console app. Get Console will auto-detect the Airconsole device. The Get Console Quick Connect dialog will report any detected Airconsole with multiple ports as "Airconsole TS". From this point use the standard method to launch a Quick Connection: Tap Sidebar button (top right), then Tap QuickConnect -> Serial, and then select "Airconsole-TS. Once Airconsole TS is selected, the port selection row will appear - here we selected port 2, and then tapped Connect.
To use 4 serial port cable on Airconsole from Android we recommend using our free SerialBot app. As with the iOS app, before any Airconsole serial ports will be visible, the Android device must be on the same IP subnet as the Airconsole WIFI or wired network. Airconsole uses an mDNS (Bonjour) broadcast to announce to all available serial ports to clients such as Android phones that are listening. Due to the differences in Android operating systems and hardware, sometimes this mDNS broadcast is discarded.
When the mDNS announcement works, launching SerialBot and tap the bottom left connect with button - if found multiple serial ports will be visible - simply select the required port and enter the required baud rate, data bits, parity and stopbits in the format: [baudrate]-[Databits][Parity][Stopbits] - for example 9600-8N1.
If not found then use the Telnet protocol and enter into the connection box: 192.168.10.1:3696 which corresponds to Serial Port 1. To connect to port 2 and above simply increase the tcp port by 1, for example to connect to serial port 4 enter 192.168.10.1:3699. When connecting via Telnet to Airconsole serial ports the baud rate etc cannot be configured in the connection box. To set the baud rate and other settings for a particular port use the Airconsole web admin page (http://192.168.10.1)
Mac / OSX
To access the 4 serial ports via WIFI or Wired connection on Airconsole from Mac, use the AirconsoleOSX.app available for download here
Connect to the Airconsole-XX WIFI network or otherwise ensure your Mac is on the same IP subnet as the Airconsole with 4 port cable kit. Once your Mac is on the same IP subnet, launch the Airconsole OS X app. The AirconsoleOSX application will first discover all of the serial ports available on all discovered Airconsoles. For multiport Airconsoles, the ports are numbered from 1-4. Select the port you wish to map to a /dev/tty line and click connect. Once connected the port to connect to from your terminal app (i.e. terminal.app running "screen", Macwise, Zterm or SecureCRT) will be called "Airconsole-1". Do not connect to NullModem-1 - this is a control channel port used by the AirconsoleOSX program.
AirconsoleOSX can currently only map a single Airconsole Serial port to a local OS X tty line. To concurrently connect to the other ports on the 4 port cable over WIFI/Wired connection use a telnet client rather than a serial terminal client. The IP address and TCP port to connect to which maps to the corresponding serial cable is shown in the AirconsoleOSX output. By default the IP address to telnet to is always 192.168.10.1, and the TCP port numbers begin at 3696 and increment by 1 for each subsequent port - for example to connect to serial port 3, telnet to 192.168.10.1 on tcp port 3698. The Airconsole will automatically proxy this telnet connection out the serial port 3.
Alternatively, all 4 (or more) ports on the multiport cable kit can be concurrently mapped to individual tty lines in the OS X operating system by directly connecting the USB cable of the 4 port cable kit to a free USB port on your Mac (bypassing the Airconsole adaptor altogether). This is the recommended method for concurrent COM port connections - see below for further instructions.
Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1
Direct Connection - OS X
The 4 port USB-Serial cable kit can be directly attached to any OS X computer running 10.9 or later. If the FTDI driver is already installed on your Mac, it will automatically mount 4 serial ports
Download FTDI drivers from the ftdichip website. Note that if your mac has security settings preventing the installation of unsigned applications, then you will need to hold down "control" when doubleclicking the install package:
|With OS X that has security settings (default in 10.10) preventing 3rd party unsigned apps to be installed there is no way to install the driver. Hold down control key
|With CONTROL held down while clicking install package - note there is now an OPEN button. This will take user through to the package installation dialog
Once the driver package is installed, connect the 4 port USB serial cable to your Mac. The Operating System will automatically mount the 4 ports, however the naming is based on the serial number of the unit, with the last letter of the identifier indicating the port number - A=1, B=2, C=3, D=4.
When using Zterm terminal emulator, when the app launches it will ask to select the serial port to connect on, the 4 port cables will be labeled something similar as in the bottom of below screenshot
Alternatively using "screen" from the built in OS X Terminal.app you can obtain the names of the installed serial devices by looking in the /dev folder for devices that start with the name "tty.usbserial-". Once identified use the screen command to connect to the serial port.
|Here we have navigated to the /dev directory on mac, and then entered the ls -al command and then filtered the results with grep to include only those that include tty.usbserial
Finally we can launch a connection to the serial port by starting the "screen" program included in OS X.
The -U flag sets the character encoding to UTF-8
the "9600" sets the baud rate.
For other parameters type "man Screen"
Direct Connection Win7/8
As with the Mac OS X direct connection, prior to connecting the 4 port serial USB cable to the PC, the FTDI drivers must be installed. Often these are already installed by default, however if not installed go to the ftdichip.com website to install them. Please use the "VCP" drivers not the D2XX drivers.
After installing drivers, connect the USB male cable of the 4 port cable kit to a spare USB 2 or greater port on your PC. Windows will automatically install 4 COM ports associated with the 4 cables. The COM ports are sequentially numbered with the lowest number equating to cable 1 on the 4 port cable.
|Go to Control Panel->Hardware and Sound->Device Manager and look under Ports (COM and LPT) to discover the COM ports assigned. In this example they are COM 29-32
|Launch terminal App - ie PuTTY and then a serial connection on COM29 will correspond to port 1 on cable kit
|Terminal session connected on Cable 1 (COM 29(