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Old 01-05-2015, 04:19   #1
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windows 8 and new com port for ssb

After 9 years of using a Windows Vista and winlink I had to get a new computer as the old one was getting a bit unstable.
So with window 8 I downloaded and got RMS Express working except for the radio portion.
I click on com ports and have 2, 3 and 4, which say Bluetooth next to them. I plugged in the ssb via a pactor iiex modem and get no communications between the modem and the computer. The device manger in the control panel has the same thing = 3 and 4 with Bluetooth.
But I did get a other devices above the device manager and it showed usb ver 1.2 device. I clicked on it and I think it asked if I wanted to download a new port and I said yes and then it showed a communications port in the device manager but nothing else and on properties no properties. I asked it to install the device from the net and got nothing. Then I tried from the computer itself and got a message that I could create an unstable computer.

Any one have any ideas?
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:19   #2
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

Are you using a USB to Serial adapter? If so, my guess would be that you have the wrong drivers for that adapter. In particular, some of the USB-Serial adapters that use an older version of the Prolific chipset (and there are a lot of those out there) will not work with the latest drivers for Win 8. You have to install older versions of the drivers to get them to work.

The problem with that is that Win 8 wants to update all your drivers every time you start up the machine. To get around that you have to set system settings to tell it not to do that.

The easier alternative, in my opinion, is to get a newer USB-Serial adapter that uses the FTDI chipset.

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:16   #3
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
The problem with that is that Win 8 wants to update all your drivers every time you start up the machine. To get around that you have to set system settings to tell it not to do that.

The easier alternative, in my opinion, is to get a newer USB-Serial adapter that uses the FTDI chipset.

Hope that helps.
Yes using a USB serial port. Attach the usb cable from the pactor iiex modem.

What do you mean "get a newer usb-serial adapter that uses the ftdi chipset"

thanks
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:12   #4
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

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Yes using a USB serial port. Attach the usb cable from the pactor iiex modem.
This may be a language barrier thing, but there is no such thing as a "USB serial port." A port is either a serial port, or it is a USB port. They are two different things. If this is a newer laptop, then my guess is that it does not have any serial ports, only USB.

Doing some research on Pactor modems (I do not have one myself), it appears that the IIex uses a serial connection. So, is there a connector somewhere on the modem, or on your computer, or somewhere between the two that looks like the picture below?

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Old 05-05-2015, 07:29   #5
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

No not what you showed. It is a regular usb connection. Worked on vista but with brand new machine and windows 8 it is a no go.
When I open the control panel and device manager and ports I see 2 -- standard series over Bluetooth link (com 3) and another is the same except (com 4).
So on RMS express I set the TNC serial port to com 4 and get the following message - unable to open radio. serial port com 4 may be in use by another application. So I unplugged everything and got the same message.
So I set the RMS Express TNC to com 3 and got the following message. there is a problem with the pactor TNC serial port. the serial modem port com 3 failed to open. the semaphore time out period has expired.


Some how the computer seems to need a communications port but I have no idea.
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:50   #6
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

At this point, my best guess would be that the Pactor has an internal serial-to-USB converter, and the drivers for it are not working with Win 8. I would suggest that you contact SCS to see what they might advise. Good luck.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:10   #7
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

You can also download the latest PTC-II USB drivers from the Airmail site.
Airmail Version 3 for Sailmail

John
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:00   #8
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
This may be a language barrier thing, but there is no such thing as a "USB serial port." A port is either a serial port, or it is a USB port. They are two different things. If this is a newer laptop, then my guess is that it does not have any serial ports, only USB.

Doing some research on Pactor modems (I do not have one myself), it appears that the IIex uses a serial connection. So, is there a connector somewhere on the modem, or on your computer, or somewhere between the two that looks like the picture below?

There is such thing as a USB serial port. USB is universal serial bus. If he has a new notebook it is unlikely he has a db9 serial port, so he would need a USB version (type a) and should avoid an adapter with the prolific chip set.

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Old 05-05-2015, 09:15   #9
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

A whole bunch of confusion here...

Yes there's such a thing as a USB to RS232 serial adaptor or cable. And the Prolific chipsets aren't necessarily a problem; both my USB to serial cables are older prolific and they work fine with my 6-month old Win 8.1 laptop, without touching the drivers or installing anything.

(Adding to the confusion - there have been alot of USB to serial adaptors using counterfeit FTDI chips, and last summer FTDI released a new driver to Windows that effective cripples the bogus chips)

chuckr, could you post a picture or more info of the USB to serial cable you're using with your Pactor? We might be able to determine what chipset it is and whether it should be expected to work.

A faster route to victory, maybe: just take your laptop and your USB to serial cable to a good computer or nav gear store, and ask them to set it up. Or just ask them for a new USB to serial cable that WILL work with your new laptop, and try it right in the store to make sure your laptop recognizes it.
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Old 05-05-2015, 18:23   #10
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

I've been running airmail on a win8 laptop with a usb to serial adaptor to my pactor for 18 months.

A newer usb to serial adaptor will fix the problem.

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Old 05-05-2015, 21:08   #11
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
A whole bunch of confusion here...

Yes there's such a thing as a USB to RS232 serial adaptor or cable. And the Prolific chipsets aren't necessarily a problem; both my USB to serial cables are older prolific and they work fine with my 6-month old Win 8.1 laptop, without touching the drivers or installing anything.

(Adding to the confusion - there have been alot of USB to serial adaptors using counterfeit FTDI chips, and last summer FTDI released a new driver to Windows that effective cripples the bogus chips)

chuckr, could you post a picture or more info of the USB to serial cable you're using with your Pactor? We might be able to determine what chipset it is and whether it should be expected to work.

A faster route to victory, maybe: just take your laptop and your USB to serial cable to a good computer or nav gear store, and ask them to set it up. Or just ask them for a new USB to serial cable that WILL work with your new laptop, and try it right in the store to make sure your laptop recognizes it.
You can get a FTDI chipset cable on Amazon for around $15. It's Prolific that has issues--their chip was copied, but they figured out a way to make their driver reject the counterfeit chip. If you can get the old driver, it works, or it appears there are other work-arounds now, but for $15 it's easier to just get one that will work without the hassle.

Products

Warning Notice:
Please be warned that counterfeit (fake)
PL-2303HX (Chip Rev A) USB to Serial Controller ICs using Prolific's trademark logo, brandname, and device drivers, were being sold in the China market. Counterfeit IC products show exactly the same outside chip markings but generally are of poor quality and causes Windows driver compatibility issues (Yellow Mark Error Code 10 in Device Manager). We issue this warning to all our customers and consumers to avoid confusion and false purchase.


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Old 05-05-2015, 21:44   #12
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

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Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
You can get a FTDI chipset cable on Amazon for around $15. It's Prolific that has issues--their chip was copied, but they figured out a way to make their driver reject the counterfeit chip.
Ftdi has fake chips as well
https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1629
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:35   #13
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Re: windows 8 and new com port for ssb

Leftbrain - exactly what the folks at farallon, the pactor mfger said - get a new serial adapter for windows 8. Now to find it in Tunisia. Went to a guy today and he said he thinks he can get me one by Monday.


thanks to all for thoughts.
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