Epson PhotoPC "Classic" Serial Cable

A little "reverse-engineering" of the serial cable supplied with my Epson PhotoPC "classic" camera revealed the following facts. The connector on the camera end is a 8-pin "mini DIN". This connector was used on early Apple Mac computers. (It is not the same connector used on "PS-2" mice and modern PC keyboard cables, which are 6-pin mini-DINs.) The other end is a standard 9-pin female D-subminature connector (a.k.a., DB-9), and is normally plugged into a PC's 9-pin serial port.

The pins on the camera's female mini DIN connector and the PC's male DB-9 connector are numbered as in the following diagrams:

Note: The above diagrams show the relative pin positions when looking at the connectors on the camera and on the PC, respectively (i.e., these are what the camera cable plugs into). Alternatively, one could view these as diagrams of the back-side of the cable's two connectors.

Pins 1 through 8 on the mini DIN are wired to pins 1 through 8 respectively on the DB-9 serial port connector, as follows:

     DIN     DB-9     Signal Name                Direction
     ---     ----     -----------                ---------
      1       1       Carrier detect (CD)        input to PC
      2       2       Receive data (RxD)         input to PC
      3       3       Transmit data (TxD)        output from PC
      4       4       Data terminal ready (DTR)  output from PC
      5       5       Signal ground (Gnd)        -
      6       6       Data set ready (DSR)       input to PC
      7       7       Request to send (RTS)      output from PC
      8       8       Clear to send (CTS)        input to PC
      -       9       Ring indicator (RI)        input to PC
Since the "photopc" software works with "hardware flow control" turned off, this implies that only pins 2 (RxD), 3 (TxD), and 5 (Gnd) are important.

Epson PhotoPC Cable for Apple MAC

Brian Zurbach reports that that he made a serial cable for his Apple MAC 7500 for a Epson PhotoPC camera he bought at an auction. (The camera only cost $3...just try and beat that!) This cable has a 5-pin DIN connector at both ends.

Polaroid Fun 640 SE

We have a report that the Epson PhotoPC "Classic" serial cable described here also works with the Polaroid Fun 640 SE digital camera.

Epson PhotoPC 700

Pinouts for the Epson PhotoPC 700 digital camera's serial cable were supplied by Dave Wilson ( Thank you Dave!

Agfa Ephoto 307

Pinouts for the Agfa Ephoto 307 digital camera's serial cable were found on one of Stephen Taylforth's Web pages.

Another pinout diagram for the Agfa Ephoto 307 digital camera (a bit easier to decipher) was provided by Maxim A. Naumov, a result of his reverse-engineering exercise, sans cable.

Olympus D-400Z

Bruce D. Lightner "reverse-engineered" the pinout of the serial cable for his Olympus D-400Z digital camera. This cable has a PC 9-pin female serial connector (DB-9) at one end and a standard 2.5 mm stereo audio stereo plug (male) at the other end.

Olympus C-410L

Andrey N. Khristov reports that the serial cable used by the Agfa Ephoto 307 digital camera also works with Olympus C-410L digital cameras.

Kodak DC40 Digital Cameras

Andrey N. Khristov also reports that the serial cable used by the Agfa Ephoto 307 digital camera works with the Kodak DC40 digital cameras.

Nikon Coolpix 990/995 Cameras

The Nikon Coolpix 990 (and Coolpix 995) digital cameras use a special 8-pin connector which supports both USB and RS-232 serial data. David Holmes has instructions on "How to make a dual USB and serial cable from the Nikon Coolpix E990 USB cable" using results from "reverse-engineering" the camera's communications connector pinouts. (The same information also can be found here.)

Other Cameras

Note: Information on other compatible digital camera's serial cables would be most welcome. Please send data/links to

"Free" Advice

To help make the "electrically inept" a bit braver about making their own camera cable, I wouldn't worry too much about possibly getting the wiring wrong at first and damaging something. PC serial ports use RS-232 signaling, which is electrically "robust" in that the inputs and outputs are protected against short circuits and unusual voltages. In my 30+ years of abusing RS232 serial port wiring, I have yet to damage a serial port. (However, you are on your own! And, please value this information according to what you paid for it!)

Bruce D. Lightner, last updated Thu Feb 24 10:20:23 PST 2005 .