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DB9 Female Cable Differences and Other FAQs

Lost on the differences between a DB9 female cable and a DB9 male cable? Unsure of what a DB cable even is? Confused on how DB9 cables are used? Then be sure to check out some of these frequently asked questions.

What’s a DB cable? DB cables, or D-subminiature cables, are a typical kind of electrical connector used heavily in computers.

What types of DB cable are there? DB cables come in numerous sizes that are dictated and named according to the number of pins or connectors used in the cable. For example, a DB cable with 9 pins or 9 connectors may be either a DB9 male cable or a DB9 female cable. In simple terms, male cables have the pins, female cables have the holes.

Where are DB9 cables used? In some cases, DB9 male cable can be used for parallel printer ports or RS-232 serial ports. DB9 female cable is typically used as a video display output for monochrome, CGA, or EGA. DB9 cables with fastening screws were also used as a game control connector for vintage gaming systems like the Atari, Commodore, Amiga, Amstrad, SEGA, or the Sinclair ZX Spectrum during the 1970’s and 80’s. Gaming systems of today do not use DB9 cables, either male or female.

What do the pins do in DB9 cable? In DB9 cable, each pin or connector has a specific function for a specific task. In the case of RS-232 or serial functions:

1. Pin 1 is the received line signal detector (carrier detect)

2. Pin 2 is used for received data

3. Pin 3 is used for transmitted data

4. Pin 4 displays the cable as data terminal ready

5. Pin 5 functions as the signal ground

6. Pin 6 shows as data set ready

7. Pin 7 gives requests to send

8. Pin 8 shows clear to send

9. Pin 9 is the ring indicator

On the other hand, in VGA video (color), a DB9 cable’s pins function as:

1. Pin 1 – red video

2. Pin 2 – green video

3. Pin 3 – blue video

4. Pin 4 – horizontal sync

5. Pin 5 – vertical sync

6. Pin 6 – red ground

7. Pin 7 – green ground

8. Pin 8 – blue ground

9. Pin 9 – synch ground

Granted, these are the more technical aspects of what goes into making a DB9 female cable or male cable function, however, if you’re interested in learning more about the inner workings of this technology, the pins are a great place to start!

Where can I buy DB9 female cable or DB9 male cable? TriangleCables.com carries both male and female DB9 cable so that you can get your PC up, running, and connected.

Still confused on how a DB9 female cable works? Want to find out more about DB9 cable applications? Then feel free to take a look at TriangleCables.com or to contact our experts at 407-369-4015.