Picture of Tea Connector for Serial RS232 Cables
Serial cables and connections can be frustrating. There are 4 different connectors in common use ( 9 pin and 25 pin each both in male and female ) and 2 common ways of connecting them, straight through and null modem.

This project is my attempt to deal with the fact that no matter how many cables and adapters I collect I never seem to have the right cable/adapter.

A tee connector is a connector with 3 connections, a Tea connector is built in a Twinings Tea case and has 8 connectors, two of each common RS232. So it is a Octopus Tea Connector.
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Step 1: Materials

9 pin and 25 pin connectors, 2 of each male and female. I got some from salvage of old computers and some from Radio Shack.( not the best place in my opinion ). They are generally easy to find.

A Twinings Tea Can: I like Prince of Wales Tea, seems to stimulate the RS232 signals.

Colored Wire, stranded fairly fine. Colored wire makes keeping track of the connections much easier.

DPDT Switch. You need this if you are using a 3 wire connection and want to have a null modem option.

Wire nuts or heat shrink tubing. For making or insulating the connections. Heat Shrink Tubing

Misc small nuts and bolts.

Step 2: Tools

Tools to cut holes in the tea tin, I used a drill, dremmel tool and finally a file.

Soldering Iron, wire cutters, and wire strippers.

Screwdriver, needle nose pliers......

Step 3: Mark it up.

Picture of Mark it up.
I put tape over the areas where the plugs were to be placed. Then I marked the shape of the connectors. If you are not happy with the layout take off the tape and try again.

Step 4: Cut it out.

Picture of Cut it out.
I drilled out the ends of the holes, then use a dremmel to remove most of the hole, and finally filed it to fit the connector. Then I drilled holes through a connector laid over the hole on the outside. This guarantees that the holes are in their right place.
iceng3 years ago
Nice work.  In my time I used cardboard cigar boxes.

romzin6 years ago
I like the way it looks. I also put electronic gadgets (guitar effects) in tea bokes - I use twinings green tea boxes and they sound very good ;-) . It's cheap and makes a faraday shield. Very nice !
russ_hensel (author) 7 years ago
Cool: best thing you have done since the really simple sex change ( rs232 )
Even though I know exactly what you're talking about, it still looks funny XD .
Yeah, that does look wrong...
cool, looks pretty hard to me! (im only 13 haha)
Not to pass judgment - but most 13-year-olds don't need serial cable universal adapters. ;-) Great gadget!