Re: RS-232 to USB A cable KD8DZ

Michael Mickelson

Thanks Alan for that information very helpful.  Sorry my post has initiated so much traffic on this.  Mike kd8dz

On Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 8:47 AM Alan Baker <g4gnx@...> wrote:
Sorry, but there are a lot of partial facts here.
Windows Update does NOT replace one manufacturer’s driver with another manufacturer’s driver - EVER!
The cheap Chinese cables use a clone Prolific chip, but they’re too lazy (or ignorant) to write a driver for it, hence the price. These cables will sometimes work with an old version of Prolific driver, but Windows Update is likely to update the driver to the latest PROLIFIC version, which has been fixed by Prolific to recognise the fake chip and fails to run. It is possible to prevent Windows Update from updating individual drivers, including Prolific.
Buy a Prolific cable from a reputable supplier. One that comes with the very latest Prolific driver. Even if Windows does update the driver, it will recognise the chip as genuine and continue to function.
The FTDi cable is not necessarily superior to the Prolific, but it’s the chip to use chosen by Elecraft, so it would make sense to buy the FTDi or better still, the Elecraft one.


Alan. G4GNX

From: Steve
Sent: Sunday, November 3, 2019 11:22 PM
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] RS-232 to USB A cable KD8DZ
The inexpensive Chinese 6 dollar cables use the Prolific drivers which are available for download.  The better cables use FTDI.  The difficulty using the Prolific cables and drivers is that each time Microsoft updates drivers, it will replace your Prolific drivers with FTDI and your cable will fail to operate.  Save yourself the difficulty buy just using the better cable to begin with.  These are available from Elecraft or RT Systems.  

Michael Mickelson
J. Reid Anderson Professor of Physics and Astronomy, emeritus
Denison University
740-587-0687 H
740-644-1238 M

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