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I have an Altera DE2-115 with an RS232 port. I also have a USB-to-RS232 cable with the connector like this. One is male and the other is female, so they should fit just fine. However, I cannot get them to connect physically due to the protruding screws by the sides.

I can physically unscrew the metal bits on the Altera board, and these connectors would then connect just fine. However, is this a good idea? Will it damage the board somehow?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Just unscrew the protruding nuts on one side. You'd think there would be a standard, but there only sortof is and it's only sortof followed. This happens occasionally.

Most of the time, unscrewing the nuts, which are usually jack-screws, won't do any harm. I have seen cases where the nuts held the front plate on or even held things together inside. In those cases, try the other connector instead. Even if a connector comes undone, it won't hurt the signals electrically. Worst case, it falls apart and you wrap some electrical tape around the exposed conducting parts.

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I was referring to the electrical connection. I don't want to accidentally send voltage to the wrong pins and damaging the port. –  geft Jul 13 '14 at 11:05
@geft: The connectors are not symmetrical, so can't be plugged in the wrong way regardless of the case around them. –  Olin Lathrop Jul 13 '14 at 11:57

Those screws are there just for screwing the plug into place so it doesn't fall out of the socket. You can safely remove them with a (IIRC) 5mm socket or spanner.

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