Re: RS-232 to USB A cable KD8DZ

Lyn Norstad

Bob –


Like you, as a teenager I scrounged whatever parts I could from any source I could find (preferably free) and built many fun projects.  When I had some money from mowing lawns and my newspaper routes, I was able to buy more purposeful gear as kits … mostly Knight Kits and later Eico and Heath Kits.


I still love building, and can still handle a soldering iron.  But arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome have made it less pleasurable to handle very small parts, and I suspect that as our ham population ages this is a more frequent reason for buying pre-built gear.  As a result, I was perfectly happy to spend the extra $$ to buy a factory built KPA/KAT 500 combo.


What I find mildly disturbing is that so many younger hams, who may even have Extra class licenses, are not interested at all in building - and in fact are probably incapable of doing so


(I’ll overlook my other rant about Extra Class licensees who don't seem to have much of an understanding of electronics to begin with …)


OK, back to your regularly scheduled topic …


“Buy the Good Cable !!”








From: [] On Behalf Of Bob McGraw - K4TAX
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2019 7:39 AM
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] RS-232 to USB A cable KD8DZ


When I got into ham radio I built my transmitter from parts salvaged from discarded TV sets.  These were free.  I wasn't cheap nor frugal, I was in high school and didn't have much money to spend, period.   Later I got a job and was able to buy a few new parts.  And then later buy new radios.  

I think today hams look to buy and not build.  Thus the price is the first objective with most purchases.  Ham radio today is not an inexpensive hobby.    In that regard, I've learned many a hard lesson, "one gets what they pay for".   I often say when assisting others with issues, "that item should be put in a bucket of water three times and taken out twice".   In other words, it isn't worth keeping or using.   It is just junk and there is lots of that being sold today under the pretense of good merchandise.   The world has gotten into the model of less cost and lower margins to effect sales.  


Bob, K4TAX

On 11/4/2019 7:27 AM, Jerry wrote:



My dad who has been gone since 1989 and was a ham in the 30’s used to say “Hams are cheap”, but that’s not politically correct today and some people’s feelings might be hurt.




Jerry, W1IE


From: <> On Behalf Of Ken Talbott
Sent: Monday, November 4, 2019 07:21 AM
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] RS-232 to USB A cable KD8DZ


Hams are frugal

Ken ke4rg


From: <> On Behalf Of Mel Marcus
Sent: Sunday, November 3, 2019 10:15 PM
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] RS-232 to USB A cable KD8DZ


I have been watching this thread concerning the usb to serial cable.  I am not sure why people just don't purchase the Elecraft one.




-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] RS-232 to USB A cable KD8DZ
From: "Steve" <99sunset@...>
Date: Sun, November 03, 2019 5:22 pm

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.  

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