Finally done with my XM computer stuff

After running my new XM setup for a week on my computer, I was plagued with a problem I have experienced for years when using the TimeTrax adapter: The Dreaded “Error: Com Port Closed” window.

What would happen, is while recording music, the computer would pop up this error. Sometimes after ten minutes, sometimes after two hours. Instead of individual songs, the computer would just keep recording one file forever, so I could easily have a song file over a gigabyte if the recording went on long enough.

I decided that since I was using a completely new OS with new drivers and a new version of the software, that the problem MAY lie with the TimeTrax adapter itself. It was really designed to operate with its own software. So, I bit the bullet and built my own cable.

Firs, I bought a serial-USB interface cable online by PlugAbles. Windows 10 found it with NO drivers needed (although it came with a disk – I didn’t need it). Then I bought a Gender Changer plug, because I bought a male version of the cable by accident. Thankfully I had a spare cord that would fit the XM unit, and a serial plug with solder cups. I followed directions and pinout diagrams I found online.

First thing I did was cut the USB head off the cable, and solder on a set of USB header pins, so it would plug direct into the motherboard.


The next step was fabricating the new cable. It’s mostly electrical tape. There are 9 pins on either end, but only 3 go from XM to the computer. then there are 2 positive wires and a ground that feed power to the XM unit. Thankfully computers have readily available 12V plugs. Sorry for the wire mess, I’m running 6 hard drives and 2 DVD drives. Its a big case…


The Cables worked fine, and I ran a third cable to a front panel switch, so I can reset the XM system without having to power down the PC.

Now for the full-up test.

Thankfully everything was wired right. I checked it with the meter like 18 times. One wrong solder joint and I would be feeding 12 volts into the USB port of my motherboard, which probably would be bad.

The XM unit came on fine, and I fired up SiriusXM Recorder. Since it records over repeat songs, It’s been recording 12 hours without a hitch. 98 Individual songs, no errors. I’m very pleased, and I’m thinking I should have build my own cable quite a while ago.


I know, enough nerd stuff, get back to hiking.

Well, this relates to hiking – because this is how I get 95% of my music I listen to while hiking or in the hammock. The rest I get from YouTube Downloader.


Author: theosus1

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