Monday, December 7, 2009

Serial (COM, DB9) and Parallel (LPT, DB25) PCI Bracket

I recently upgraded my computer and realized I had a problem. I no longer had a way of connecting my PC Engines Alix-based router (serial port) or my HP LaserJet 5L (parallel port) to my computer.  Most motherboards do not have these ports built in on the backplane anymore, but some motherboards have headers for adding these ports through an add-on PCI bracket. If you are looking at Intel Core i7 motherboards, you can forget about your motherboard even including headers for these "legacy" connections.  My motherboard, the Asus M4A785TD-V EVO, luckily has the headers on the motherboard. I could have always purchased some usb-to-serial/parallel adapters but based on product reviews they aren't always 100% compatible with some they are more expensive.

While it is quite easy to find separate PCI brackets for serial and parallel connections, it can be difficult to find PCI brackets with both ports.  It is even harder to find reinforced PCI brackets that won't bend as easily as normal brackets.  After some searching around, here are some links to buying the one in the picture below (notice the bottom edge that shows a length of the bracket bent underneath to provide extra support/strength):

Also, just in case you need to order PCI brackets in bulk or have them custom made... :-P

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