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In what way is a Craft Port different from a conventional RS-232 Port? It seems to be similar. Are there any interface or other important differences? Does craft port imply a higher level protocol on top of RS-232 as well?

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Quick search reveals that it may be essentially a marketing term for Analog Devices series of RS-232 transceivers meant for low-power portable applications. This web page seems to corroborate: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1944943

Here is a datasheet for one of their CraftPort devices: http://www.analog.com/static/imported-files/data_sheets/ADM101E.pdf

So in short, it doesn't seem to be a protocol, but instead the name of the transceiver line. Shouldn't be any different from regular RS-232. I guess people like the sound of the name and use it on their products.

Ah, one edit: It seems that the output voltage levels are +/4.2V and it allows full +/-15V input. Some 'RS-232' transceivers don't like the full +/-15V range and only produce 0-5V output. This is a step above those in terms of compatibility with the true RS-232 standard, which is not often completely met nowadays in terms of input/output voltages.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Some devices draw power from the hardware handshaking pins defined in RS232 (DTR, RTS, etc.). Using less then 5 volts, even though allowed by the RS232 standard, may not be enough to power them. We had an issue with serial mouse that would work reliably on a new system and had to use RS 232 transceiver to make it work. \$\endgroup\$ – Jim C Nov 16 '10 at 16:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ There aren't even connections for the serial handshaking lines on the transceiver so it wouldn't be an issue for it, but the system surrounding it. I can't believe someone actually used them for something. I've never hooked up a serial port with more than Tx, Rx and GND. \$\endgroup\$ – AngryEE Nov 16 '10 at 19:55
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From this Expert sexchange question (scroll to bottom):

A craft interface is a direct connection to a device, usually, as you have read, through an RS232 port using an RJ45 type connector or a DB9 or DB25 connector. This interface provides access to a command line for the purpose of configuring the device or diagnosing problems, or for whatever reason the "user traffic" interfaces are inaccessible. In any event, the craft interface provides access to diagnostic and configuration functions.

It sounds like you provided the proper answer, where "Craft" is just a protocol that sits on top of lower level links--RS-232 perhaps being the most common. Perhaps analogous to AT commands.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ craft port is the telco name for a serial console. Not well known outside of legacy telco industry. \$\endgroup\$ – mcr Nov 24 '16 at 0:28
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A craft interface is a command line interface for directly configuring a network device - typically an ip router or switch. The connection is often over an rs232 or similar serial port on the physical device itself but can also be via telnet, ssh or various other methods.
Typically these interfaces are complex and hard to use for those not familiar with them. Each is specific to the manufacturer, device type and often the particular device. They can have hundreds of complex commands and multiple contextual modes with many inconsistencies in the way different commands and modes work. For this reason the word "craft" is often thought to come from the idea that when you're faced with the cli prompt you "Can't Remember A F...n Thing."

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