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Old 09-01-2014, 11:27   #16
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

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Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
I have a Windows 7 laptop and had trouble connecting the Pactor II modem via USB-Serial cable. It is looking like the cheap eBay USB-Serial cables don't work with the Pactor serial communication. It is interesting that the USB-Serial cable seems to work when using a telnet session (I can talk to the Pactor II modem); however, I kept getting weird modem communication errors with both Airmail and RMS Express. I confirmed this by dragging my old desktop computer, with a serial port, to the boat and was able to send/receive email and then failed when using the cheapo USB-Serial cable. I have a more expensive (FTDI based) USB-Serial cable on order, which folks on the internet claim works. From what I've seen, the low-cost USB-Serial cables don't work well.

Having said that - there might be USB port assignment and USB-Serial cable issues too, especially when running Windows on a Mac. I doubt the mac has a serial port.

As far as which version of Windows - I tried Windows 8 for about 2 months and went back to Windows 7. I did not like the "metro" interface. I'm now of the opinion that I'll keep using Windows 7 forever.

Don
I'm using a Prolific chipset USB/serial without problem on both Mac and WinXP/7 running in a VM.

USB to Serial Convert Cable ( DB9M / USB A Male) - 3FT - Monoprice.com

I just noticed the warning about lack of support for Win8. Not a problem for me, but could be for you!
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Old 09-01-2014, 13:44   #17
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

I use VMWare Fusion on a Mac Mini to run Windows 7. Under windows 7 I run Rose Point Coastal Explorer as my primary navigation program. All interfaces are via USB. I have a Rose Point USB to N2K adapter, Maretron USB100, and Maretron IPG100. All work fine. Coastal Explorer uses the Rose Point USB/N2K adapter, Maretron N2Kview uses the IPG100, and Maretron N2KAnalyze uses the USB100.

I don't have a Pactor or anything that uses serial ports, so I can't speak to that. But so far I've found Fusion works really well with the USB hardware that I've tried.

I haven't tried parallels, but hear pretty much all good things about it. I use Fusion because back when I first tried this, that's what I knew about, so that's what I tried.
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Old 09-01-2014, 14:02   #18
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

Capt Don, It sounds like your OS is straight Windows, not Mac with dual boot, or virtual machine, is that correct?

Did Windows 8, regardless of Metro interface, connect to the pactor and other USB like GPS ok? Thanks.

I like Win7 too, but want to find out more about Win8 before venturing.
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Old 09-01-2014, 14:05   #19
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

Dotdun and twisted tree, that information is very helpful. Thanks.
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Old 09-01-2014, 14:10   #20
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

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Capt Don, It sounds like your OS is straight Windows, not Mac with dual boot, or virtual machine, is that correct?

Did Windows 8, regardless of Metro interface, connect to the pactor and other USB like GPS ok? Thanks.
Yes, I was using straight Windows 7 on my laptop.

No, I didn't try Windows 8 - I couldn't stand the interface, all the live tiles, lack of start menu, and complex keyboard commands....

Regarding the issue between the various Windows - when diagnosing my issues with the USB-Serial cable, it boils down to issues with the supported USB drivers. The cheapo USB-Serial cables on eBay claim to work for WinXP, Vista and some even claim Windows 7. The cable I was using was labeled HL-140 and has Windows 7 drivers and seemed to work for simple telnet serial communication. Unfortunately it didn't work with the Pactor II modem.

If you search USB-Serial ham radio on the internet, various posts claim that the FTDI chipset works well with Windows 7 and 8. I saw several brands on Amazon with the FTDI chipset, around $20. I purchased, though I'm waiting for delivery, the Tripp-Lite Keyspan with FTDI chipset and current Windows 7 and 8 drivers.

Don
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Old 09-01-2014, 14:24   #21
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

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I don't think this is a Mac problem. If you're communicating with the modem, you either have a config issue with the software, or a cable issue between the modem and radio. The modem controls the radio, not the software on the Mac.
Understood....
I'm sure it is an XP Pro SP2 problem or as you say in my settings which I have been over quite a few times and are all the same as on the other puters. For some reason that copy ( quite legit) resolutely refuses to upgrade to SP3.

The C-IV cables I have are two different types, generic chinese , but both with Prolific drivers. They all work quite happily with W2000 ( old boat puter) XP Pro SP3, and W7 64 bit Home Premium and ditto W7 Prof.
My serial to usb cables are both marked with 'N287'... nothing else and both have prolific drivers... they work across all my Windows systems including the fussy XP Pro SP2 one.
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Old 09-01-2014, 18:03   #22
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

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colemj, goboatingnow, and twistedtree
Can you each write what the setup is, what versions of Windows, and if you connect to pactor and ssb, what version of pactor, and if you have any trouble with usb connections to pactor etc.

Would like to know if Win8 works ok too.

Thanks.
Macbook Pro running Mountain Lion. VMWare Fusion with both Windows XP SP3 and Windows 7 virtual machines. Icom 710RT with original Pactor II modem with P3 license.

USB-serial connector is the cheapest generic Prolific chipset I could find ($6). No problems making connections or controlling the radio from the Mac.

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Old 10-01-2014, 05:23   #23
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

Newer Prolific drivers recognize cloned chipsets and wont work with them. Older drivers usually work OK.
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Old 10-01-2014, 14:33   #24
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

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Newer Prolific drivers recognize cloned chipsets and wont work with them. Older drivers usually work OK.
I had heard that elsewhere and think that may be my problem with using the el cheepo C-IVs on one copy of XP as I only tried to download the drivers and use them recently.
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Old 10-01-2014, 17:47   #25
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

It seems like if you use the drivers that come with your usb-serial device, you will be fine.

Mark
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