Product Watch: Using Old Serial Devices On Your iMac And G3/G4 Computers

Stealth Serial Port

The Stealth Serial Port from provides a standard serial port for the newer Macintosh computers that do not have one. Current versions support the Blue and White PowerMacs and the G4/400 PowerMac. A version for the iMac will be available in early October and a version for the G4 systems based on the new logic board (G4/450 & 500) is under investigation.

The Stealth Serial Port is designed to be compatible with all serial devices that work on older Mac systems. Its interface card uses the same chipset found on earlier Power Macs and is compatible with Comm Toolbox, printers, modems, MIDI devices, LocalTalk, Wacom graphics tables and more. No new drives are required other than the Stealth Serial Port extension. A standard Mini-DIN8 connector provides the same serial port you are used to.

The Stealth Serial Port appears as a standard serial port to all applications. For applications that use the Comm Toolbox, just select the Stealth Serial Port. This includes the PalmPilot Connection kit 2.0, most communications programs, and many print drivers. Fort other applications, just select the Modem port.

The Stealth Serial Port fits in the internal modem slot of the Blue and White G3s, G4/400 and iMac. If your system came with and internal modem it must be removed before the Stealth Serial Port can be installed. The Stealth Serial Port is easy to install on the G3 and G4 systems but it is recommended that you have a technician install it in the iMac.

The Stealth has a small interface card that fits into the slot on the logic board used for the optional internal modem. There is a short ribbon cable that goes from this interface card to a mini DIN8 connector that mounts in the hole where the telephone jack for the internal modem goes. It installs in minutes with just a screwdriver. Just open the G3/G4 unscrew the metal plate covering the modem hole, plug in the controller card and screw in the mini-DIN8 connector. If you can install memory into your computer you will have no problem installing the Stealth Serial Port.

The Stealth Serial Port has one mini-DIN8 connector. There are several options to connect multiple serial devices to the Stealth (other than physically switching cables). The Stealth ThreePort is a manual 30-way switch box available for about $20. The Stealth is also compatible with the Macally Port Xpander in the same way it works with other Macs (Communication Toolbox applications).

The Stealth does to work with devices that require 9-pin mini-DIN connectors such at Geoport modems that draw their power from the serial port.

In a recent review Macworld gave the Stealth Serial Port a 4 out of 5 mouse rating, praising its ease of installation and the fact that you could add serial port functionality without using one of your PCI slots.

Stealth Serial Port MSRP: $50

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