Introduction: A Really Simple RS232 9 Pin Sex Change.

Picture of A Really Simple RS232 9 Pin Sex Change.

This is a very simple project that lets you change a 9 pin female serial cable/plug into a male plug. This is useful when you need a sex change to connect. This actually happens to some of us. I wire mine for just 3 pins, but if you need more just wire it up. If this description and the pictures do not make this clear, then you do not need this device.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

2 9 pin male connectors ( mine are all salvage )
2 spacers, metal or plastic tubes see picture
2 bolts just long enough to hold the connectors together
Electrical tape or hot glue gun for insulation

Step 2: Tools

Wire cutter stripper....
Pliers, screwdriver
Soldering Iron

Step 3: Step 1 Bolt Together

Picture of Step 1  Bolt Together

See the picture. The trick is to have the spacers and bolts just the right length. A little cutting may be useful.

Step 4: Step 2 Wire It Up

Picture of Step 2 Wire It Up

I just connect pin 2, 3, and 5. Beware of getting mixed up by looking at the connector from the wrong direction. These are the transmit, receive and ground. Use more pins if it is appropriate for your connections.

(Male 9 Pin DB-9)
1 2 3 4 5

\ . . . . . /
\ . . . . /

6 7 8 9

Viewed from front, the pin end.

Step 5: Step 3 Insulate It

Picture of Step 3  Insulate It

Use a wrap of tape, or first pot up in some hot glue and then tape.

Step 6: Step 4 Use It

Picture of Step 4  Use It

When you have an extra female and need a male, just insert the sex changer.

Step 7: Going Farther:

Make similar connector, but perhaps to a RJ45 connector, or use a null modem connection.
There is lots of stuff on RS232 and connectors to be found by Googling.

Finally a plug for my website, this page a long annotated list of links for electronics and robotics topics, they are intended to be easily enough to be accessible to high school students, but I think many have broader interest :


Karroo Oakey (author)2009-11-23

I had to have one made for me long time ago, shame i didn't have this. Turns out the fitting has a proper honest to goodness name, and that  is a gender bender. Kid you not. The cables really do have a social life of sorts - I often find mine all tangled up like snakes that have just come out of hibernation, and I sure as hell didn't leave them like that.

HydrantM (author)Karroo Oakey2015-02-06

Nope a gender changer is when it changes a 9 pin male connector into a 9 pin female connector, or vice versa. A gender bender is when it changes a 25 pin female connector into a 9 pin female connector, or vice versa. See image below of 25 pin male to 9 pin male gender bender, see the gender didn't change it's still male, it's just different, hence bent.

Derin (author)2008-07-22

you dirty serial ports,get a room

n0ukf (author)2008-03-14

Cables don't have sex, despite the fact that they have genders. Too much in the world today, "sex" is used when "gender" should be instead, even on employment applications.

russ_hensel (author)n0ukf2008-03-14

No I think they have sex ( and often, my cables stay plugged in for hours ) On the other hand they do not have much social life an "Gender is the social dimension of being male or female." So you can pick you gender, but without surgery you cannot pick your sex ( you can pick you friends, you can pick you nose, but you cannot pick your friend's nose.

I just liked the title.

GorillazMiko (author)2007-12-02

Cool Instrutable!

John Smith (author)2007-12-02

Nice instructable. It could be useful, if you needed one. The name sure got my attention, too.

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