I wonder if someone with a bit of serial port programming experience would riddle me this: recently it popped into my head that I would like to have a go at making some hardware, essentially a PIC project that controls a few (looking at 4) serial ports.
However, given that I know very little about PIC programming and loads about Windows programming I would like to be able to prototype the software design on my computer. Fortunately my computer does expose 1 serial port, and if I'm that fussed I can buy a PCI card for some more.
The idea behind the hardware is that you use a straight through (DCE-DTE) serial cable to connect to it, like a modem. What I would like to know is, can you change (with the aid of a gender bender) the working mode of a computer serial port from DTE to DCE? Would it involve changing the driver or is there a way that you can raise signals directly on a COM port?
For the purposes of designing this hardware I need to be able to raise the DSR signal. In theory by connecting the port to another normal port on the computer I should be able to work on the design no probs.
I've tried looking for an actual PCI serial port card that lists this in its abilities but it's either ambiguous or costs about £400.