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RLC-1 RS232 Level Converter in a DB9 backshell

Ashley Roll has put together a really nice little unit here. Leave off the MAX232 and keep these handy for the few times you need true RS232! Plugs into any 0.1" header to connect to your circuit. Perfect for the BASIC Stamp or other microcontroller appications.

User comments:

Brady Palmquist says: " your RS232/TTL cable today. FAST! And it looks great. Will work great for programming radios. Thanks VERY much."

Erik Hanson reports that with a little modification, the RLC-1 can be used to talk directly to monitors such as his Sony Trinitron GDM-5402, more likely found as an OEM (his was branded by Micron) and as a result, his dead monitor is back up and running!

The little 4 pin connector on the back of the monitor is called an ECS port and is for TTL serial data sent by the Sony DAS (Digital Alignment Software) to control all aspects of the operation of the monitor. The RLC-1 must be modified by re-arranging the pins in the socket to match those on the monitor. The pinout of the connector is, from top to bottom:

For the software, see for a complete tutorial or for discussion


Shown With Backshell removed

RLC-1 Datasheet

Digital Nemesis Pty Ltd


The RLC-1 RS232 to 3-Volt or 5-Volt (CMOS/TTL) Level converter provides a simple, low-cost and easy to use solution to interfacing a CMOS or TTL based circuit to an RS232/EIA232 serial port.

The RLC-1 contains an internal circuit to provide the positive and negative voltages needed for true RS232/EIA232 compatibility and to convert these voltages back to logic levels.

It is particularly suited to micro-controller applications; for instance the PIC or ATMEL families of devices and products using these.

The RLC-1 is built into a small DB9 backshell with a short (10cm or 4") lead terminating in a standard 0.1" (2.54mm) Molex KK-series 6 pin connector. The connector is used to provide power to the converter and deliver the Serial data signals to the attached circuit.

Its small size and convenience make it ideal for prototype or one-off systems, eliminating the need to design and debug extra level shifting circuits. It is also useful for circuits that need periodic connection to a host like dataloggers where a single converter can be used with many products, reducing the parts count and therefore cost for the individual units.



Logic Level Pin Assignments

Pin Signal Description
1 Vcc Power supply to the RLC-1. 3 to 5 Volts.
2 Gnd Ground Connection (0V).
3 Data Out (TX) Data sent from the logic level device to the RS232 device.
4 Data In (RX) Data sent from the RS232 device to the logic level device.
5 RTS Request to Send signal sent from the RS232 device to the logic level device to indicate it wishes to transmit data. This signal is Active Low.
6 CTS Clear to Send signal sent from the logic level device to the RS232 device indicating that it can begin sending data. This signal is Active Low.

Logic Level Interface
The logic level (CMOS and TTL compatible) interface is a Molex KK Series, locking and polarised 6 pin crimp terminal housing. A compatible header for these connectors should be available from most electronics stores, alternatively a 0.1" (2.54mm) universal header could be used.

Note that the logic level interface is not isolated from the RS232 level interface and they share a common Ground.

RS232 Interface
The RLC-1 is build into a DB9 Backshell and comes with a female DB9 connector.

The DB9 RS232 connector is wire as a standard "Null Modem"; DTR, DSR and CD are permanently wired together but the RTS and CTS signals are provided to the 5-Volt interface and must be connected together if not used in the attached circuit.



Symbol Parameter Conditions Value Unit
Min Typ Max
Isupply Vcc Power Supply Current No Load, TA = 25 Deg C   0.3 1 mA
VIL Logic Level Input Threshold Low       0.8 V
VIH Logic Level Input Threshold High   2     V
VOL Logic Level Output Voltage Low Iout = 1.6mA (to Vcc)     0.4 V
VOH Logic Level Output Voltage High Iout = 1mA (to Gnd)



DR Data Rate   300 400   Kbps

Electrical Characteristics:
Vcc = 5V +/-10%, TA = -40 to 85 Deg C, unless otherwise specified. Typical Values are referred to TA = 25 Deg C.

Absolute Maximum Ratings:
Absolute Maximum Ratings are those values beyond which damage to the device may occur. Functional operation under these conditions is not to be implied.

Symbol Parameter Value Unit Notes
Vcc Unit Power Supply -0.3 to 6 V Relative to Ground
VDout Input Voltage on Data Out Connection -0.3 to (Vcc +0.3) V Relative to Ground
VDin Output Voltage on Data In Connection -0.3 to (Vcc +0.3) V Relative to Ground
TStore Storage Temperature Range -55 to +125 °C  


Options Available 

Digital Nemesis Pty Ltd makes a single standard unit, but is able to adapt them as needed. Note that a minimum order quantity will apply for non-standard configurations. For more information, please contact spamsales~NOSPAM~ at

The following are some of the available options: (all units now support 3 Volt as well as 5 Volt operation)

  • Rugged All Metal Backshell
  • No Backshell
  • Bare Leads for Logic Level Interface
  • Custom Connector for Logic Level Interface
  • RTS and CTS internally connected and a 4 Pin connector for the Logic Level Interface
© Digital Nemesis Pty Ltd, 2001.
Brisbane, Australia.



See also:



file: /Techref/io/serial/RLC1.htm, 15KB, , updated: 2008/9/17 17:33, local time: 2024/7/17 09:43, owner: size111-hotmail-,

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