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RS-232 Cable Distance Limitations - Printable Version

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RS-232 Cable Distance Limitations - admin - 11-14-2011

Sometimes a long serial cable may be required to run from a PC to a device, but there are definitely limitations to the distance that a serial port will be able to communicate reliably.

The Maximum Distance recommended by the RS-232 Standard is directly related to the Data rate you’re communicating at and the type of cable that you’re using. For the most part the higher the data the shorter the maximum cable length.

For a standard shielded cable the Data Rate and corresponding Maximum cable lengths are as follows:
  • 2400 bps – 60m – 200ft
  • 4800 bps – 30m – 100ft
  • 9600 bps – 15m – 50ft
  • 19200 bps – 7.6m – 25ft
  • 38400 bps – 3.7m – 12ft
  • 56000 bps – 2.6m – 8ft
  • 115200 bps – 1.3m – 4ft

Of course it is possible to exceed these distances with different cable types but this is a pretty standard rule of thumb.

Applies to:
- All Serial Products