Arduino to RS232 with UART

I’m trying to connect arduino’s RX and TX pins to a female RS232 for UART communication.
Would taking three wires, one for RX, other one for TX, and the final one for Ground and hooking them up directly from Arduino’s RX, TX, and Ground pins into RS232 corresponding slots work?
I understand that its not the best solution as the wires could get pretty loose, but I just need something that can do basic communication over UART for right now.

Thanks in advance.

That depends on exactly WHAT it is you’re connecting to.

The RS-232 standard uses higher voltages than the Arduino can cope with - up to +/- 12V, so do NOT just plug it in without checking first.

You can directly connect to something that uses TTL-level (+5V / 0V) UART signalling, but not direct to, say, a PC’s serial port. For that you will need something like a MAX232 chip to convert the voltages.

Please tell us what it is you’re connecting to so we can advise better.

Thanks for the reply. I am connecting the arduino to the Altera De2 RS232 port, and I believe that its voltage is not even close to 12V. More like around 3.3.

If that's coming straight from the FPGA then yes, it'll be 3.3V. You may want to add a level shifter to your Arduino's TX so it doesn't over-power the FPGA's input, but other than that it should work fine.

Ah, alright. That takes a load off of my mind.

As far as the level shifter is concerned, could you please explain why would the arduino's transmit data overpower DE2's input, and what would be the results of overpowering it?

The Arduino id 5V, the DE2 is 3.3V, that's 1.7V too many.