Ports again, this time not network but COM ... (Prolific)


Peter Laws / N5UWY
 

Another thread about ports, but not the TCP/IP kind, the COM port kind
-- the Windows name for serial ports. Specifically, the fake kind
created by a USB port's driver.

I have two eBayed "CI-V" cables for my Icoms. They have a USB A
connector on one end and a 3.5-mm TS plug on the other. The chip in
it talks USB to the computer converts the data to RS-232 signals then
spits out TTL-level messages to the Icoms.

I did not pay attention when I bought them and they turned out to use
the hated-by-all-hobbyists Prolific chipset. Vendor did not say this
but I never asked, either, so hardly their fault. I had Zero problems
with these from purchase in 2017 until last Fall when a Windows update
made them behave strangely. They eventually worked OK, but only after
an unplug/plug cycle once I had Commander running. Yes, I checked the
power settings, etc, and they were correct as they had been before
this started.

I put up with it for a long while and finally realized I should look
to see if there was an updated driver. Looking in the Windows Update
log, I noted that the Prolific driver had been updated (to 3.8.37.0)
back in September which sounded about right. I am uncertain whether
Windows Update installed this driver or if I told it to. I'd love to
blame Windows 10 but given that there is also a WSL update from the
same date, likely it was me. Anyway, another Prolific update
(3.8.38.2) showed up in "View Optional Updates" in the last week or so
and I clicked it. This seems to have corrected the apparent partial
invisibility problem. I *know* I told Windows Update to apply this
driver but oddly, it doesn't show up in the Windows Update log. I did
update from W10-2004 to 20H2 between the two driver updates and that
may be why the latter update doesn't show up.

The article below has an image showing the "View Optional Updates"
item in Windows Update.

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-properly-update-device-drivers-windows-10

This update did seem to fix things and now the ports are where
Commander expects them to be when I start DXLab.


--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

Another thread about ports, but not the TCP/IP kind, the COM port kind
-- the Windows name for serial ports. Specifically, the fake kind created by a USB port's driver.

+ COM ports created by a device driver are real, they just don’t exchange data with a physical serial port.

I have two eBayed "CI-V" cables for my Icoms. They have a USB A connector on one end and a 3.5-mm TS plug on the other. The chip in it talks USB to the computer converts the data to RS-232 signals then spits out TTL-level messages to the Icoms.

I did not pay attention when I bought them and they turned out to use the hated-by-all-hobbyists Prolific chipset. Vendor did not say this but I never asked, either, so hardly their fault. I had Zero problems with these from purchase in 2017 until last Fall when a Windows update made them behave strangely. They eventually worked OK, but only after an unplug/plug cycle once I had Commander running. Yes, I checked the power settings, etc, and they were correct as they had been before this started.

I put up with it for a long while and finally realized I should look to see if there was an updated driver. Looking in the Windows Update log, I noted that the Prolific driver had been updated (to 3.8.37.0) back in September which sounded about right. I am uncertain whether Windows Update installed this driver or if I told it to. I'd love to blame Windows 10 but given that there is also a WSL update from the same date, likely it was me. Anyway, another Prolific update
(3.8.38.2) showed up in "View Optional Updates" in the last week or so and I clicked it. This seems to have corrected the apparent partial invisibility problem. I *know* I told Windows Update to apply this driver but oddly, it doesn't show up in the Windows Update log. I did update from W10-2004 to 20H2 between the two driver updates and that may be why the latter update doesn't show up.

The article below has an image showing the "View Optional Updates"
item in Windows Update.

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-properly-update-device-drivers-windows-10

This update did seem to fix things and now the ports are where Commander expects them to be when I start DXLab.

+ A problem with Prolific devices is that there are many counterfeit versions floating around, some of which don't work correctly.

+ Information about updating Device Drivers for USB-to-Serial-Port Adapters is here:

https://www.dxlabsuite.com/dxlabwiki/UpdateUSBSerialAdaptorDeviceDrivers

73,

Dave, AA6YQ


Peter Laws / N5UWY
 

On Mon, Feb 8, 2021 at 2:36 PM Dave AA6YQ <aa6yq@ambersoft.com> wrote:

+ AA6YQ comments below

Another thread about ports, but not the TCP/IP kind, the COM port kind
-- the Windows name for serial ports. Specifically, the fake kind created by a USB port's driver.

+ COM ports created by a device driver are real, they just don’t exchange data with a physical serial port.
If there is no 9- or 25-pin D-shell connector, it can't possibly be real! :-D

COMs 1-4 on my system are almost real - they connect to devices via
DE-9 connectors ... but they are all on a box that connects to the
legacy-free PC where DXLab lives. The rest are fake, like the ones
described, or the two that are buried inside the Arduino Nanos that
make up my two Morttys.

They were always abstractions by the OS, of course, regardless of the
physical connection.



--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!