Serial Communication


Really trying to get my head around this, but not getting very far. Here’s what’s going on.

I have 2 players, 2 soundcards and 2 modules on my desk capable of serial comms when a button is pressed. I am trying to make this button act as a start button to trigger songs in Assist mode.

I understand that to make this work, I have to send an ASCII command to mairlist ( however, I can’t for the life of me figure out how! I know I can create a Serial remote control in the configuration manager, configure settings for those COMs, but have no idea how I hook a command/action to the button on the desk.

Can someone shed some light on this for me? I’m on the latest snapshot for 3.1.8.


Think I may have answered my own question. I’ve been assuming I can get the software to do something when it sees some sort of communication on COM3. What I think is actually the case, is that I can only get mairlist to listen out for commands that it understands, such as a command to start a player, which would need to be sent by the board. Something I can’t do, as far as I can tell.

Is that right?

So my above assumption was right. I totally misunderstood how this all works.

On the off chance that someone has, anybody had an experience with Sonifex S2-CSE Dual Stereo modules? I can’t seem to get any communication to it.

Stupid radio. lol.

Do you have any documentation about the protocol used by the mixer?


Sort of: actually mine are without the EQ, but no matter. The remote starts on these channels do NOT use serial comms, they’re basically push-button switches. To use them with mAirList, you need to connect pins 1 and 2 on the 9-pin socket to either the ever-popular ‘gamepad interface’ (which goes direct to a USB socket on your PC) or to Charlie Davy’s joystick simulator, plugging that into a standard joystick-to-USB adapter (available from Maplin).

Then you go into mAirList config, and create a Remote Control which utilizes your ‘joystick’ or ‘gamepad.’ Either way, on a Sonifex S2-CS, pins 1 and 2 on the 9-pin remotes socket are start-line-1, and pins 4 and 5 are start-line-2. The mAirList Remote Control would for example map gamepad button 1 to a PLAYER 1-1 START command.

If any of the above doesn’t make sense, please say WHICH parts don’t make sense and I’ll explain further. Check out pages 42 and 43 of the S2 manual. :wink:


This makes me happy and sad at the same time. I wasted so much time today. haha. Thanks alot Cad. Your answer is exactly what I needed.

I’m going to go with Charlie’s joystick simulator method as that’s easier to get parts for tomorrow. Could you clarify something for me. On his document ( it gives a common ground. I assume that Pin 1 and Pin 4 on the 9 pin D plug on the CS module will be connected to Button 1 and 2 on the Joystick simulator. Does this mean the NPN emitter pins are connected to the common ground?

Thanks again. I was tearing my hair out trying to work this one out.


Correct! And pins 2 and 5 on the Sonifex go to the common ground.


Just curious, Sam: did you get this working eventually?

Please do ask if you need any further help or guidance with this!


Hi Cad,

Late reply, I know. Thanks, your advice was just what I needed. Everything is working now. Well, button B doesn’t work but I think that’s down to dodgy soldering at the moment.



Unless I’ve missed something, it appears that the USB converter is no longer available at Maplins.

Regards, Alec

True. But other suppliers are available, such as:

And I daresay if you have a decent PC ‘bits’ shoppie in your town, they may well stock it too.