Friday, October 16, 2020

AT motherboard serial connector pinouts can differ between motherboards

Older AT format motherboards don't have a back panel with many connectors, like an ATX motherboard. The only direct external connection is for a keyboard. Many motherboards have onboard serial and parallel ports. These connect to the outside via ribbon cables which go to standard connectors. The standard connector is mounted on an expansion slot cover or elsewhere on the case (so slots aren't wasted for this), and the ribbon cable connects to the motherboard.

Different motherboards can have the same ribbon cable connectors for serial and parallel ports. However, the pinout of those connectors differs, and swapping motherboards may require swapping those connectors.

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