Share Serial Port Devices Over Ethernet with Eltima Serial to Ethernet Connector

Serial Port Devices over Network

Share Serial Port Devices Over Ethernet with Eltima Serial to Ethernet Connector

Sharing Serial Port Devices over NetworkFigure 1: Sharing Serial Port Devices over Network

Serial to Ethernet Connector allows sharing of numerous RS232/RS422/RS485 serial interface devices over network, be it Ethernet LAN or Internet. You can turn your PC into a server with multiple clients which can be locally or at remote location, they can all access a device connected to the server PC’s COM Port as if they were connected directly. This COM Port can either be a physical or a virtual COM Port.

You can also connect two applications installed in different PCs via LAN or Internet, or work with serial port devices  on a virtual machine in case the software that suppose to control the serial device does not support the operating system of the server PC.

What’s so amazing about this software, you can generate as many virtual COM ports as you need, there is no limit on the number and connections that you can create and these virtual COM ports behave exactly like physical COM ports.

Serial communication is the oldest and still popular communication protocol, many devices especially industrial devices still support this type of protocol. It’s cheaper and easy to work with, you can develop a software to communicate with a serial device quicker compared to other communication protocols like Ethernet for example.

With this in mind, the possibilities are limitless there are many Serial to Ethernet Connector usage scenarios, you can learn more from Eltima website:

Serial to Ethernet Connector Usage Scenarios

In this review, we are going to consider one scenario to monitor your serial COM Port device remotely over TCP/IP Network. This project is based on our previous project, Ethernet UDP-Based Control and Monitoring with PIC Microcontroller. In this project we learned how to control and monitor devices connected to a PIC microcontroller from a remote PC.

In this project, our device does not have an Ethernet controller like many other devices, only the simple COM Port which will be connected to a PC server where we’re gonna install the Serial to Ethernet Connector software to share our COM Port over TCP/IP Network.

Figure 2: Project Circuit DiagramFigure 2: Project Circuit Diagram

A temperature sensor is connected to the PIC analog channel 0, will read the ambient temperature every 2 seconds and send the temperature value to the server PC. we’re gonna develop a custom TCP client software that will be  installed in a remote client PC  to display the temperature read from the server graphically and plot a live chart of the temperature variations continuously.

Below is the microcontroller code using mikroC compiler.

TCP Server Connection

What I have admired about this Serial to Ethernet Connector software is its simplicity, to create a new Server connection is very simple, only very simple steps and you are good to go:

  • Select New connection → Server connection on the toolbar
  • Specify the connection name.
  • Choose the local COM port to be used in the connection.
  • Check Create as virtual port if you want a virtual COM port to be created for this connection.Virtual ports work exactly like real ones and fully emulate their settings. Their main advantage is speed and also the fact that you can create any number of virtual ports you want and with arbitrary names.
  • In the TCP port field set the port on which you want the server to listen for client connections.
    Note: The TCP port you select should be allowed by your firewall and should not be already in use by another application.
  • Configure the advanced settings, if needed.
  • Press Create connection

And that’s all, you can also configure the advanced settings if needed depending on your unique requirements. Figure 3 below shows our Serial to Ethernet Connector server settings.

Eltima Serial Ethernet ConnectionFigure 3: Eltima Serial Ethernet Connection

We used a Virtual COM1, the server is listening on port 10002. Below is the settings:

Server ConnectionFigure 4: Advanced settings

Connection SettingsFigure 5: Connection Settings

For more information to learn how to configure the TCP Server connection, please read the online user guide:

TCP Server Connection

Client Graphical User Interface (GUI) Software

Figure 6 below shows the Client GUI software.

Client Graphical User Interface (GUI) SoftwareFigure 6: Client Graphical User Interface (GUI) Software

 A temperature gauge displays the temperature from the server graphically and plot a live chart of the temperature variations continuously. The software is developed with Microsoft C#.

A TCP-Client socket connection is created to connect to the server IP address and port number. In serverThread(), we read the temperature data from the server continuously.

For more information and to download a trial copy of the Serial to Ethernet Connector, please visit Eltima Software website:

Serial to Ethernet Connector

Below is the complete code of the application. You can also download the full Visual studio project at the end of this article.

You can download the full project files below. All the files are zipped, you will need to unzip them (Download a free version of the Winzip utility to unzip files).

Proteus Schematic Project: TCP_Ethernet_Proteus_Project

MikroC Source Code: USART_Monitoring_MikroC

PC GUI Software ProjectTCP-Client_Monitoring_PC_Application

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