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The RS-422, RS-485 and RS-530 interfaces are wonderful. Devices with these interfaces support high speeds and very long distances, and they communicate very reliably. There's just one problem: these interfaces aren't native to PCs or to most of today's office equipment.
If you want a modular, inexpensive, compact and powerful solution to this dilemma, look no further. Black Box Async RS-232 Interface Converters are designed to plug directly into the RS-232 serial ports of PCs and other devices, effectively turning those ports into RS-422, RS-485 or RS-530 ports. They don't require AC power or batteries; they operate using just the small voltage present on the RS-232 data and control leads.