[aprssig] USB Software Update

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Tue Feb 6 18:51:10 CST 2007

droobie at maine.rr.com wrote:
> The PL2303 based adapters work very well.  I have yet to have a 
> problem with one and the Mac as well as Windows supports them.
> http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=123071&CatId=464 
> I bought that one a few months ago.  No complaints and a good price.  
> Now I can use my Proscan/Elmscan unit and console Ciscos using the 
> same adapter and my Macbook Pro in Windows or Mac as needed. :)
> --Droo, K1XVM

That particular unit looks particularly nice since it has only a 1-foot 
pigtail.  With most USB-to-serial adapters you wind up with another 6-8 
feet of cable added to the existing serial cable from the TNC, D700, etc 
just adding to the mess behind the computer.

> At 06:40 PM 2/6/2007, Chuck Gooden wrote:
>> Instead of looking for a laptop with RS-232 maybe we should consider
>> changing the software so we could use USB, or at least support some of
>> the USB to RS232 adapters.
>> _______________________________________________

1)    You are going to re-write someone elses program to make it work 
with native USB??

2)    You don't need to re-write anything to use USB-to-serial 
converters.  They are provided with drivers that create virtual serial 
ports that classic programs then use.   The problem is that the quality 
of the supplied "mystery box" driver utilities vary wildly.  Some work 
very well, others not at all with particular programs or versions of the 

It's a real crapshoot, and you may have to try several different models 
before you find one that works with your particular application or OS.   
In this respect, the relatively pricey Edgeport USB-to-serial devices 
are constantly being reported as working first time, every time when 
nothing else will, for various ham-related applications.

The real issue is that none of these alternatives are a via solution to 
using USB gizmos from DOS.     USB simply doesn't exist at DOS. 


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
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