RS232 ports of modern laptops are not always complying with the original RS232 standard. If RS232 levels are expected to be +/- 12 volts, most of the time laptops RS232 ports produce in fact +/- 5 volts levels. For most peripherals, this is not an issue and they are responding as expected.
But some other will not act on a stable manner or not act at all. This is because they are expecting the original RS232 levels. One example of this problem is the use of a SKYSENSOR PC (Telescope controller) with a laptop.
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