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
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.
Sent: Sunday, November 3, 2019 11:22 PM
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] RS-232 to USB A cable
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.