Serial terminal emulation software

Serial terminal emulation software, essential when working with SBC’s like the KIM-1.

I started working with computers long long ago. I loved the Digital Equipment devices, the VT100 (1982!), the excellent VT220, the VT340. All serial, the base of the ASCII control codes.

A wide selection is available of programs that work with the serial line.

    • Most implement a subset of the ASCII control codes, VT100 and more. for SBC’s a subset is sufficient
    • Some have strengths in debugging and showing what is sent or received (hex view, control characters etc).
    • Also important is flow control (off, hardware/software).
    • Sending/receving files (text or binary) is also often the only way to get data to/from the SBC. Simple character based (includes hex formats like Intel, S records Motorola, MOS papertape) or with a protocol (Xmodem, Ymodem. Zmodem etc).
    • TCP?ip protocols like SSH are a bonus
    • And last but not least the ability to wait/delay after sending a character or Line end (Enter key) to let the slower SBC handle the incoming data. For example the KIM-1 MOS papertape format receive, but at higher baud rates needs delays

I found a page on Sparkun that has an excellent description what is essential in dealing with serial communication on a PC, be it Windows, Linux etc.

Also this page names good free terminal emulation programs, running as GUI programs, for serial I use myself.
– Coolterm (croos platform)
– Tera Term (Windows)
– Realterm (Windows)
– YAT (WIndows)

Not named in this list

– Putty (linux and Windows)
– Minicom (Linux console mode)

KIM-1 and clones

Most programs allow character and line delay for sending to slow devices. The KIM-1 with its bit banging serial routines is one of them.

For me 9600 baud, 5 msec character delay and 100 msec line delay worked for me to upload papertape format, this also applies to the clones like PAL-1, Corshams KIM Clone and the Micro KIM.
For Microsoft Basic text file uploads of program sources a line deay of 200 msec may be required.

Serial ports

Nowadays serial ports are only available with USB devices. Work fine in general.

On my other website I have information on USB serial communication and how to write programs (Lazarus of course).

PL2303HX misery
USB serial adapter testing