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RS-232 expansion for TS-4200

My project, built around a TS-8160-4200, requires more RS-232 ports. I see you have a quad-port PC/104 expansion card. My chief reservation is that its power consumption seems to be in excess of that of the TS-4200! However, my duty cycle for the extra serial ports should be quite low. Is it possible to completely power off the card, or even the PC/104 bus entirely?

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I'd forgotten that I made this post. I did also contact Technologic via a support request, and Michael Peters replied:

> Good morning Samuel,
>
> The TS-8160-4200 is an awesome solution for low-power needs for sure!  Great find!
> Unfortunately the TS-SER4 is quite a bit more power hungry with its hardware, and perhaps doubly unfortunate there's no really good way to turn it off.  It should consume less power when it is not actively transmitting, and certainly should consume a bit less when the ports themselves are not "open" in software, but there is no way to completely deprive the peripheral of power without also shutting off the TS-8160-4200.
> The only alternatives I can think of to suggest at the moment are the TS-SER2 or perhaps the use of a USB-based solution.
>
> Best Regards,
>
> Michael Peters, Technologic Systems

I responded:

> Hi,
>
> Thanks for the response.
>
> The TS-SER2 power requirements are listed as “200mA @ +5VDC only”:
almost three times the power consumption of TS-SER4. Do you suggest
using it because this listed figure is actually an overestimate/based on
active ports, or because it's possible to turn the board off?
>
> Thanks,

And Michael responded again:

> Good afternoon Samuel,
​>
​> The TS-8160-4200 cannot turn PC104 off at all.  Power to PC104 comes from main VIN, the same line that powers the TS-8160 itself.
​>
> I suggested the TS-SER2 as an alternative because it would only need to power two serial transceivers instead of four.  In theory it should consume  less than the TS-SER4.
>
> Test numbers will probably vary with these peripherals, and unfortunately I was not present at the time of that specific product's testing, so I don't have the full details of how that test was performed.  I am not very surprised about the consumption numbers published on the TS-SER* peripherals.  They are a fair number of years older in design than the TS-8160-4200 combination, and were probably not designed with the kind of obsessive power saving mindset that we had with the TS-4200.
>
> Best Regards,

So there you have it, straight from the proverbial horse's mouth. A pity, but perhaps something which can be improved upon in a future product!
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