[aprssig] USB-Serial

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Tue Dec 2 15:55:17 CST 2008

Kevin Sherwood wrote:
> One thing I've noticed with using USB-serial adapters and NMEA data 
> streams is if data is coming across as Windows detects the hardware, 
> it often confuses it for a serial mouse, causing all kinds of issues 
> as the pointer jumps everywhere and clicks at random.  Making sure 
> Windows recognizes the USB-Serial adapter before plugging it in to the 
> device seems to be the only way to avoid this.

This is caused by Windows "Plug-N-Pray" attempting to identify the 
device beyond the serial port.    (In the old days, modems, mice or 
printers attached to serial ports were detected and installed this way.)

Microsoft has a small freeware command-line utility for Win2K and XP,  
"ComDisable",  that will stop Windows from trying to detect what is 
attached to the port.  Contrary to the name, it does NOT disable the 
port; it only stops detection of whatever is attached to it.      This 
utility completely eliminates the  headache of active 
(powered-on-at-boot) GPS receivers being falsely indentified as 
Microsoft trackballs.     This utility is located on the sprawling 
Microsoft website and also on my webserver at:


Scroll down the list of down-loadable documents and utilities, and look 
for "*ComDisable.msi*" .  Althrough this is a Windows-style .MSI install 
package, the utility unpacked by this install is a command-line 
program.  You have to open a black window "Command Prompt" a.k.a. "DOS 
Box" to actually run the program.  

You only need to run the disable command once - the settings "stick" in 
the Windows Registry for future boots.


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com  --OR--   http://wa8lmf.net

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