How to Use an RS232 Cable to Set Up a Satellite Receiver

By Quinten Plummer

Updated September 28, 2017

Set up your satellite reciever via a serial cable.
i serial adapter image by Paul Moore from

Firmware is the utility software that controls electronic components, like satellite receivers, MP3 players and cell phones. Firmware updates are especially important with Free-to-Air satellite receivers. And if you happen to be using an older FTA satellite receiver, you could run into some problems trying to locate satellites or while setting up channels, or you could just experience some navigational bugs. But with the help of an RS232 cable, you can load the latest firmware update for your FTA satellite receiver from your computer.

Connect a USB-to-RS232 serial cable between the serial port on the back of your satellite receiver and a USB port on your computer.

Flip on the power switch at the back of your receiver and leave the receiver in stand-by mode -- only press the power button on the front if it will put your receiver in stand-by mode.

Download the latest version of your receiver's firmware, along with the receiver's serial upload software --you can find both on the satellite receiver manufacturer's support site online.

Install the serial uploader. Import the firmware update into the uploader utility -- click on the utility's "Load," "Import" or "File" option to locate the firmware update.

Specify which USB port your USB-to-RS232 cable is connected to on your computer -- like "USB1" or "USB2," for example.

Select the "Upload" or "Update" option in the uploader utility to send the update to your receiver.