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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
Data Communication Equipment
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communications, hardware (DCE) The devices and connections
of a communications network that connect the communication
circuit between the data source and destination (the DataTerminal Equipment or DTE). A modem is the most common
kind of DCE.
Before data can be transmited over a modem, the DTR (Data
Terminal Ready) signal must be active. DTR tells the DCE that
the DTE is ready to transmit and receive data.
DCE and DTE are usually connected by an EIA-232 serialline. It is necessary to distinguish these two types of
device because their connectors must be wired differently if a
"straight-through" cable (pin 1 to pin 1, pin 2 to pin 2 etc.)
is to be used. DCE should have a female connector and should
transmit on pin two and receive on pin three. It is a curious
fact that many modems are "DTE" according to the original