USB to Serial Port Adapters for Older Berninas

USB Serial Port AdapterIf you have an older Bernina embroidery machine, you might find that you can’t plug it directly into a newer computer. Newer computers don’t come with a serial port (sometimes called a comm port). You will need a serial port adapter, like the one shown in the picture to the right. The one in the picture, which is a Keyspan USA-19HS, is a configurable model, which means you can designate that the adapter is port 1, 2, 3 or 4 on your computer.

The port number is important, because Bernina software doesn’t recognize hardware (your machine) unless it is on port 1, 2, 3, or 4.

A serial port adapter without configuration software can still be set as port 1 through 4, but you’d have to do that in your computer’s device manager, which is a little more confusing for people that don’t have good computer skills, or who don’t know their way around their operating system.

I used to get my Keyspan adapters from dell.com, but I couldn’t find the USA-19HS model when I checked today. From the prices I saw while searching the internet, you can expect to pay about $35 to $45 for the USA-19HS.

Some of you may know that I like to build my own computers. If you build your own, you might check out the Gigabyte line of motherboards. Many of these motherboards have a comm connection, which means you wouldn’t have to buy an adapter.

Note: You should make sure that the adapter you buy works with your operating system, and that your computer meets its system requirements. The adapter and adapter configuration software mentioned in this blog post may not work on all computer systems.

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Reader Comments (44)

cat on 2/9/11 @ 11:18am

This sounds quite crazy but I think I have too many cords going in. Someone damaged my machine. It is a 180e and I just got it cleaned and fixed in August. I really am not sure of how many cords I need. It keeps saying hasp not connected - security device not connected. Do you know of a visual or clear instructions anywhere to I can get this hooked up? Granddaughter awaits ....
Thanks
cat

b.gottier on 2/9/11 @ 1:20pm

cat, if you will call my store and ask for me (Brian), I think we can get everything working. (951) 694-9576

cat on 2/9/11 @ 4:33pm

You are wonderful! Thank you so much. I will call tomorrow.
cat

Debra Geraghty on 2/16/11 @ 9:01am

Hi Brian:

I have a 180 with V3.01 firmware, and I need to purchase a new computer. Help! I want to get the upgrades I need to get to V6, but don't know how to get there. I still have my old computer with the V3 Designer Plus dongle. Can you please tell me what I need?

Thanks.

b.gottier on 2/16/11 @ 10:43am

Hi Debra,

I responded to your question over in the Bernina "Trade-in your Dongle" Software Promotion post. That's where you first asked your question, and I had replied last night. Give me a call if you need anything else: (951) 694-9576

a sprague on 2/13/12 @ 6:56pm

Thanks for this explanation! After reading about the adapter, I ordered one and can finally use my laptop to send designs to the Bernina 185!

Alisa King on 2/20/12 @ 12:44pm

Hi Brian:

I found your great website while looking for suggestions for our Bernina 180E....

We had been using the Magic Box with our desktop computer running Windows Vista; when our computer crashed, we upgraded to Windows 7 64-bit and now the Magic Box won't work. So now we're at a crossroads and are looking for advice...

What in your opinion would work best: buying an older laptop with windows XP 32 bit and continuing to use the magic box...or buying a laptop with windows 7 64-bit and using the usb to serial port adapter direct into the 180e?

I looked for a direct email address for your store but could not find one....if you would rather reply to me via email I can be reached at ajk911pd@yahoo.com.

Thanks and have a great day!
Alisa :)

b.gottier on 2/20/12 @ 4:13pm

We don't display our email addresses on our website because doing so is an invitation for spam.

I've never had to try to use a serial port adapter on a Magic Box, but I'd recommend trying one rather than moving back to Windows Vista. Have you tried getting in touch with OESD to see if there is an update?

carolyn Hill on 9/19/12 @ 1:38pm

Have a 180 E need a serial to usb connection to transfer designs. Can you tell me where to find one.

b.gottier on 10/11/12 @ 1:44pm

Hi Carolyn. You should be able to get one on Amazon.com. If you live near a Fry's Electronics, you might find one there too.

joy on 9/30/13 @ 4:04pm

I have an Bernina 180. My software is Bernina Aristia Customizer/Designer V2.0 SP1. My instructions say 2.0 will only work on Win 95/98.

I recently read where someone was using Version 2.0 with Win XP. Can I do this? I am asking because I can't find a windows 98 computer and don't use my embroidery machine enough to warrant updating/purchasing new software.

Thank you in advance for your advice.

b.gottier on 9/30/13 @ 11:58pm

Joy, this is all really old software and operating systems you are referencing. I started in with Bernina v3 software, and that was about 13 or 14 years ago, so I don't know what to tell you about the v2. I would say you're just going to have to give it a shot with XP if you have an XP computer. The worst thing that could happen is that it doesn't work, right?

charlotte on 3/4/14 @ 12:05pm

My computer is attached to my Bernina Artista 185. When I attempt to write my design to the machine it tells me no"No link to serial port" repeatedly. I have written designs to this before. A new computer, but same sewing machine. I've tried several different cords, and nothing works, or if it does connect, it is briefly, then it is gone. any suggestions?

b.gottier on 3/4/14 @ 3:23pm

Sometimes when you have connection issues with 185s, it could be that you have circuit board issues. You should take the machine to your local Bernina dealer for diagnostics.

Rebecca on 3/21/14 @ 4:09pm

Charlotte - Brian -

I got this same message but my 180 was just serviced. After plugging in the cable/adapter (above) my laptop said I needed a driver and found the driver for me. I downloaded and "extracted" that file. And when I try to go from the laptop to the bernina - I get this same message. Brian - after I extracted - was there a file I should have executed...either .exe or an application? I'll try again tonight. I just bought $60 in "art" from juju designs and can't wait to try them on my machine!! Thanks in advance - I'll check back tomorrow.

b.gottier on 3/22/14 @ 1:58pm

Hi Rebecca. Sometimes if the adapter is working correctly, it could point to a configuration issue, or not selecting the correct comm port in the software. This is difficult to diagnose without being at the computer, but if you go to the computer's device manager and all of the devices are working correctly, then you'll need to make sure the comm port being used by the software is 1 through 4, and not a port higher than 4.

Stephanie Ragan on 6/26/14 @ 12:26pm

I have a Bernina Artista 180e. I purchased the recommended serial to usb adapter. I can connect to my machine...I can read the machine and it says that I am writing to the machine, but nothing happens. I have Artlink 6.0 with the patch. Running Windows 7. I have tried sending .ART file and also .EXP file.

b.gottier on 6/27/14 @ 4:48pm

Hi Stephanie. Because we are no longer a Bernina dealer, we can't provide technical support for their products. You could have a problem with your machine, your computer, or both. The only thing we could do for you would be to sell you a Janome and new software. Let us know if we can help you.

Amit baran das on 7/4/14 @ 3:24am

plz. i want a usb to 9 pin serial port conector for bernina swing machine

lauraw on 8/29/14 @ 9:59pm

I'm having the same problem as some of the commenters above with my 165 and my serial to USB connection. All of a sudden, I'm getting the "no link to serial port" message. My machine was recently serviced, and I have Bernina DesignerPlus7. There was an upgrade to V7 recently, which I installed, so I'm wondering if perhaps there was a bug in the update.

lauraw on 8/29/14 @ 10:16pm

Just wanted to post again because I found a solution that might help other users experiencing the same problems that I was. Apparently my ports were renamed no idea how that happens), so that's why I was getting the "no link to serial port" message. I went to device manager and changed the name of one of the ports back to 1, and the design finally loaded to my machine. Yay!! I'm using Windows XP, so I did an internet search for "change serial ports windows XP" to get instructions on how to do that. Hope that helps someone else!!

joann on 9/17/14 @ 6:46am

I have a Bernina Virtuoso 160 Home Art Edition (about 15 years old) and was able to update my CPS software to v.4 through my local dealer. However, the connecting cable has a male 9 prong plug at one end a 9 hole female plug at the other end. The connection port on the sewing maching fits the female plug but my laptop only has a male port. My question is, is there a male adaptor that can be added to the female end of the cable? or does a cable with 2 female plugs exist?
My desktop has USB ports. Will the USB adaptor you wrote about in your post Jan.14,2014 work on the Virtuosa 160? Thanks

b.gottier on 9/25/14 @ 12:12am

The adapter will probably work, so you should give it a try. The cords are pretty easy to find, or at least they are in a good electronics store. Try searching for "9-pin serial port cable" or "9-pin D ring cable" on Google.

Ruth Davis on 12/13/14 @ 7:15am

My friend bought a used Bernina 180, and it came with two Serial to USB connectors. I tried the black one and it would not recognize a serial port, but the white one immediately recognized it. It is a TRENDNET TU-S9. I ordered a new one for my bernina 180, but it won't plug in, because the female little screw things are in the way. On my friends adapter they had been removed. Does any one know how to remove them?

b.gottier on 12/17/14 @ 6:42pm

Ruth I think if you pull them while unscrewing they will come out.

Jeanette Mason on 1/25/15 @ 3:15pm

I just bought a Bernina 170 however, it is my understanding that it supposed to have a dongle. I have no clue what that is supposed to be, or look like. I tried to connect the laptop to the computer via the 9pin cable, however was unable to transfer the designs to the machine. Any suggestions? I did see that you suggested a USB to Serial Port Adapters for the 180 machines, would this work for my 170? The lady I purchased the 170 from had several floppy disks, and cd's with embroidery designs that I would love to convert to a flash drive.

Thank you for your help.

Jeanette

b.gottier on 1/26/15 @ 3:03pm

Hi Jeanette. It's really hard to know what to tell you, because I don't know what CDs and floppy disks you have. If the machine was supposed to come with digitizing software, then yes you would need a dongle. I recommend visiting your local Bernina dealer, and letting them show you how to use your new 170. You might even consider purchasing mastery classes from the dealer, because they will be able to show you everything you need to know to use your machine to its full potential.

G Dann on 4/20/15 @ 8:47am

You can download for free ARTlink software from berninausa.com. Connect your machine with serial port adapter to computer, and send designs to your machine. Check out JoeKind1958 youtube videos. On ebay I saw that someone offers to transfer your designs from old floppies, cards etc onto a CD or flash drive, but I have no experience with that. A dongle only comes with software that you purchase from Bernina, i.e. Designer, Editor. Your machine will work just fine with free ARTlink, check it out.

JoAnn Mortimer on 4/15/15 @ 6:50am

I have a Bernina 180. Do they make magnetic hoops for that machine, and how large? I have upgraded to the adapter.

b.gottier on 4/15/15 @ 10:32am

JoAnn, we haven't been a Bernina dealer for about 2 years, and I'm not able to give you a good answer regarding their current line of embroidery hoops for the Bernina 180. I suggest that you contact a Bernina dealer.

Marsha on 4/25/15 @ 12:07pm

I just purchased a new laptop with windows 8.1. My machine is an Artista 185. I was able to transfer designs to me machine with my old laptop and a serial port connector. What software do I need on my new laptop to be able to do that again.

Hadi on 9/11/15 @ 7:49am

Hi. My bernina artista 180 will not return back in the buttonhole function.

b.gottier on 9/11/15 @ 8:31am

Hadi, the buttonholer probably just needs to be calibrated, which we can do for you, or you can have it done at your local Bernina dealer.

shirley ann on 1/21/16 @ 6:45am

Hi there ! thank you for your time with me about questions about my Bernina 170 QE . It is new to me but old machine. Question I bought a USB SERIAL Adapter Tripp-lite Keyspan with the driver. however does this plug in from my machine to usb to my computer, or will I need to buy also a Usb to Serial converter. Help I am confused as you can tell. I have windows 10 wanting to take embroidery designs from computer to my machine. My dongle with the machine is for a V4 which is outdated requirements for usb port windows 98 /me/200/xp/visa. or do I need a keyspan for windows 10 to do away with the v4 design and download the program from bernina web site and buy a keyspan for window 10 will this work . do I need also a usb to serial converter to make this work. So sorry I am so confused when it comes to soft ware. thanks loudon tn

Linda on 2/1/16 @ 7:35am

Hi there. I have a Bernina Artista 180. I have floppy disc embroidery cards I would like to transfer to a blank memory card. How can I do this?

b.gottier on 2/1/16 @ 1:43pm

Hi Linda. You would need Bernina's card reader/writer, because the 180 had a proprietary format. For a time there was a device called a "Magic Box", and that may help you do what you want to do, but as far as I know they are out of production. Before you go searching for the Bernina reader/writer, you might consider that it is probably a few hundred dollars for a new one, and so the first place I'd look would be ebay, or another place that people sell used items.

Vickie Sharp on 2/22/16 @ 1:32pm

I have a Bernina Artista 185. I have been sick and not able to use it for several years now then that I have it back out I have forgotten how to transfer as design to my machine. I have it all hooked up and Michael my computer sitting beside it, and when I tried to transfer the design the computer screen says serial port is engaged I have no idea what this means please help.

b.gottier on 2/22/16 @ 7:24pm

I believe that message indicates that the port is already in use by another hardware device or process. Try changing the port number (you only have 4 choices), and then if that doesn't work you will need to configure your port numbers via the Windows device manager. This isn't something that I can help you with, as I no longer have the machine, software, and adapter to walk through the steps. The good news is that any tech savy Windows user should be able to help you with that.

Pam Gorham on 2/22/16 @ 8:52pm

I have a Bernina Embroidery Software 7. I was using a 9 pin cord (Sometimes that it is called a com port cord and other times I see it's called a DB-9 cord), to transfer my software to my Bernina Artists embroidery sewing machine. I am trying to figure out which correct software driver would need to be loaded in your computer so that that adapter works properly. Also, I need a Keyspan adapter to interchange a 9-pin end and the other end of adapter with an USB end. I am wondering if you could possibly let me know which Keyspand and driver do I need to make it possible still to transfer designs from my new computer to my embroidery machine. . I recent purchase this computer and I enclosed showing what kind of windows and etc software I purchase. XPS 8900 1 - -338-BHQX 6th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6400 Processor
(6M Cache, up to 3.3 GHz)
1 - -619-AHCQ Windows 10 Home (64bit) English 1 - -480-AACF Monitor not included 1 - -321-BBUG XPS 8900, Black Chassis 1 - -370-ABWO 8GB Dual Channel DDR4 2133MHz (4GBx2) 1 - -
400-AEBQ 1TB 7200 rpm SATA 6Gb/s Hard Drive - -490-BCPS NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GT 730 2GB DDR3 - -429-AAVI DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD) -555-BCMI Dell Wireless 1801 Card 802.11bgn + Bluetooth 4.0 1 - -555-BCNU M2 Wifi Bracket 1 - -510-BBCD Integrated 7.1 with WAVE MAXXAudio 4 1 - -340-ATNV XPS 8900 Placemat 1 - -658-BCXX Additional Software XPS -658-BCUJ Additional Software -658-BCVN DW1801 SW Driver -340-AGUD Safety/Environment and Regulatory Guide
-998-BRDF Fixed Hardware Configuration - -389-BHIB Intel Core i5 Processor Label - -387-BBCE No Energy Star, Dell, - -340-ACQQ No Option Included 1 - -658-BBTV Cyberlink Media Suite Essentials for Windows

b.gottier on 2/22/16 @ 9:34pm

Well, here's the thing; Every comm-port adapter (USB to Comm-port) that I've ever seen, including the Keyspan adapter, has drivers and was originally designed to support older versions of Windows. Since we are no longer a Bernina dealer, and since I don't have any info on Bernina Embroidery Software 7, I'm going to suggest contacting your local Bernina dealer. If they can't help you, they can certainly call Bernina and get answers for you.

I think what you ought to do is try to find a configurable comm-port adapter that has support for Windows 10. Try ebay, newegg, amazon, etc.

LESTER on 9/12/16 @ 6:24pm

I have an Artista 165 that I had been running on a computer that runs Windows 95 but it finally bit the dust. I see that I can hook my machine up to my laptop via a usb-serial port adapter but my laptop doesn't have a parallel port which is required to plug in my dongle. Will a usb-parallel port adapter work so that I can use my software on my laptop...I have an older laptop that runs Vista. Thanks in advance for any help. LESTER

b.gottier on 9/12/16 @ 9:22pm

No, it won't work. At least that's what I've heard about the parallel port adapters. I think in order for you to get it to work, you're going to need to build a desktop computer with a motherboard that has the parallel port, if one even exists anymore. If you can't find a new motherboard with such a feature, you might need to find an old motherboard that works.

Dave on 12/14/16 @ 4:34pm

I have a Bernina 180 and also have the Keyspan adapter. I lost the cable that goes from the Bernina to the adaptor. I think I need a female to male adaptor but not sure where to find one and if its the right kind. I found a db9 rs232 male to female cable but not sure if its the right one to get. Do you have any suggestions?
Thank You;
Dave

b.gottier on 12/15/16 @ 6:11pm

If it's the 9-pin D ring, which I believe is synonymous with "db9" or "rs323", then I'd give it a try. As far as I know they are the same cable. Are you noticing a difference in the old vs new cable?

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