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'Prolific' driver fix !!


Skipper Billy
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On 6 September 2016 at 10:44, Dave In Vermont said:

People have been reporting all sorts of trouble with these. And Prolific has stated they intend to send out a 'bug' to wreck the imitation copies of the 2303's that were pouring out of China. So one needs to beware of your source when pouring one into your computer. So I'm hoping I can attach the real thing below - or at try:

 

PL2303_Prolific_DriverInstaller_v1_12_0.zip

 

This is freeware. Prolific isn't mad because "freebies" out of China are circulating. They just don't want to be held liable if a counterfeit turns someone's mount & $16,000 telescope turn into a Whirling-Dervish and throw their scope across the county!

Let me know how it goes, please?

Thanks!

Dave

Hi

 

I've been using this version for a couple of months now with no issues - have 3 x prolific chipped USB- Serial cadles

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On 06/09/2016 at 10:07, Skipper Billy said:

That process doesnt work after the Anniversary W10 update sadly.

I'm running the Anniversary edition of Windows 10 on my laptop. After the update, the yellow exclamation mark appeared next to the USB device as expected. I disabled auto updates, deleted the new Prolific driver, selected the old Prolific driver (rather than performing a rollback) then re-enabled auto updates. So far Windows has not overwritten the old driver after several reboots.

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I too had Prolific driver issues when I updated from Win7 to Win10, but at the moment everything is working consistently. I will probably invest in an FDTI-type EQDirect cable in the future. Has anyone considered making their own? I was looking at this: http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6877828/. The EQMOD website has all the wiring details for the each mount connector. And half the price...

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On 9/4/2016 at 15:17, PhotoGav said:

Steve, if you're having these issues it will be the Prolific chipset cable as used in the HitecAstro EQDir cable. I bought an FTDI based cable from Astronomiser: http://www.astronomiser.co.uk/eqdir.htm

 

I swapped over to the FTDI solution a wee while ago after having connections go south in the middle of a carefully prepared imaging run.  Got a Keyspan USB-Serial adapter (recommended by Astro Physics) and also Astronomiser EQMod FTDI cable.  Not had one drop out since with either.  Save the frustration and switch over.

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What are we actually saying here - that any Prolific based usb/serial adapter are no longer fit for purpose?  I'm struggling to get mine working at the moment, even reverted to running XP, and agree entirely with those comments above that it is a real pain.   Win 10 really is turning out to be a complete farce, first my canon laser printer no longer works now this mess. Sombody, somewhere is making a lot of money over this.

 

Jim 

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Just to add to my little rant above - I've been trying all weekend to get EQMOD talking to my mount via a EQDir (Hitecastro). I had no luck with Win 10, even with the fixes described above.  I've now swapped out to another pc running xp and still no luck.  If the chip set is a counterfeit would that prevent it working even with any of the older (pre win 10) drivers or it it likely that my problem lies elsewhere in my system?  I'm about to go down the DTDI cable route but I could do without spending any more money on yet another cable, winter is coming in and the children like the home warm!!!  Wonder if I can burn an EQDir cable:help:

 

Jim

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On 9/4/2016 at 15:17, PhotoGav said:

Steve, if you're having these issues it will be the Prolific chipset cable as used in the HitecAstro EQDir cable. I bought an FTDI based cable from Astronomiser: http://www.astronomiser.co.uk/eqdir.htm

 

I have used Prolific for a fair while and after lots of drop outs, win 10 issues,  etc, switched.  Everyone's mileage is different here, but for me the cash has been well spent switching.  If Prolific is working great - if it's unreliable you spend lots of time chasing your tail.   

 

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This little prog removes all dodgy Prolific drivers - installs the correct one and firewalls it to prevent Windows 10 interfering with it.

http://www.totalcardiagnostics.com/support/Knowledgebase/Article/View/92/20/prolific-usb-to-serial-fix-official-solution-to-code-10-error

Scroll down about half way and choose your flavour.

Works a charm. Anyone using Prolific chipsets should have this tucked up their sleeve!

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On 16/09/2016 at 13:00, Jokehoba said:

I too had Prolific driver issues when I updated from Win7 to Win10, but at the moment everything is working consistently. I will probably invest in an FDTI-type EQDirect cable in the future. Has anyone considered making their own? I was looking at this: http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6877828/. The EQMOD website has all the wiring details for the each mount connector. And half the price...

I've already made two, and they both work faultlessly.

Instructions here: http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/eqdirect2.htm Don't worry about all the technicalities, you just need to attach an RJ45 Cat5 plug on to the end of one of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302011195545?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT (other vendors exist!), with the wires in the right place, and you're good to go! Both of the FTDI leads that I bought are colour-coded correctly.

As I have access to a Cat5 crimper tool at work, the total cost to me was just that of the cable: £12 :)

Even if you don't know have access to one of these tools, you can buy them pretty cheaply e.g: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/50M-RJ45-Cat5-Internet-Network-LAN-Cable-Crimper-Cutter-Punch-Tool-End-Connector/310821182607?_trksid=p2045573.c100505.m3226&_trkparms=aid%3D555014%26algo%3DPL.DEFAULT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D38661%26meid%3Db4951424c48043ffbfd7c9c9181ac7fc%26pid%3D100505%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26

So you'd still be paying less than the commercial product and you'll be able to make up Cat5 cables for family, friends and fellow astronomers! :)

 

Edited by Pompey Monkey
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On 18/09/2016 at 18:45, Skipper Billy said:

This little prog removes all dodgy Prolific drivers - installs the correct one and firewalls it to prevent Windows 10 interfering with it.

http://www.totalcardiagnostics.com/support/Knowledgebase/Article/View/92/20/prolific-usb-to-serial-fix-official-solution-to-code-10-error

Scroll down about half way and choose your flavour.

Works a charm. Anyone using Prolific chipsets should have this tucked up their sleeve!

Nice one Billy for sharing this link I have had to set my device installation settings (were it asks do you want to automatically download apps and device settings) to no. This link solved that so I can now turn that back to yes 

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On 19/09/2016 at 13:41, Pompey Monkey said:

I've already made two, and they both work faultlessly.

Instructions here: http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/eqdirect2.htm Don't worry about all the technicalities, you just need to attach an RJ45 Cat5 plug on to the end of one of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302011195545?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT (other vendors exist!), with the wires in the right place, and you're good to go! Both of the FTDI leads that I bought are colour-coded correctly.

As I have access to a Cat5 crimper tool at work, the total cost to me was just that of the cable: £12 :)

Even if you don't know have access to one of these tools, you can buy them pretty cheaply e.g: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/50M-RJ45-Cat5-Internet-Network-LAN-Cable-Crimper-Cutter-Punch-Tool-End-Connector/310821182607?_trksid=p2045573.c100505.m3226&_trkparms=aid%3D555014%26algo%3DPL.DEFAULT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D38661%26meid%3Db4951424c48043ffbfd7c9c9181ac7fc%26pid%3D100505%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26

 

Quote

So you'd still be paying less than the commercial product and you'll be able to make up Cat5 cables for family, friends and fellow astronomers! :)

 

Paul,  I'm having no joy with the cable I made and I wonder if you could just confirm a few points in case I've missed something important.   I used a TTL232R supplied by RS online - (the 3v variant).  I spliced the TTL232R to a cat 5 patch cable as per the instructions on the eqmod sourgeforge document :

Rx (yellow on FTDI)  to pin 5 (Tx) on Cat 5

Tx (orange on FTDI) to pin 6 (Rx) on Cat 5 

Gnd (black on FTDI) to pin 4 (shared Gnd) on Cat 5

I confirmed the integrity of the splice connection using the Mitty app which confirmed the Tx and Rx lines were fine.  However when connected to Eqmod via CDC I'm still getting Eqmod not recognising the com port despite Com 4 being identified by Device Manager.  I've installed ASCOM and Eqmod but still the same and there is no driver conflict shown. I'm wondering if the 3v variant of the TTL232R just can't be recognised by the mount despite the advice in the Eqmod document.  Alternatively, would there be any reason for a virtual com port to cause Eqmod any problems - I know little about com ports to be honest.

Jim

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Just to make things even more interesting, I thought I would take a closer look at my HITEC Astro Eqdir - the wiring to the RJ45 plug does not conform to that shown on the Eqmod doc!  I'll post up a photograph latter but the wires are connected to pins 5, 6 and 7.  Anybody have any ideas why this should be different?

 

Jim

Edited by saac
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1 hour ago, saac said:

 

Paul,  I'm having no joy with the cable I made and I wonder if you could just confirm a few points in case I've missed something important.   I used a TTL232R supplied by RS online - (the 3v variant).  I spliced the TTL232R to a cat 5 patch cable as per the instructions on the eqmod sourgeforge document :

Rx (yellow on FTDI)  to pin 5 (Tx) on Cat 5

Tx (orange on FTDI) to pin 6 (Rx) on Cat 5 

Gnd (black on FTDI) to pin 4 (shared Gnd) on Cat 5

I confirmed the integrity of the splice connection using the Mitty app which confirmed the Tx and Rx lines were fine.  However when connected to Eqmod via CDC I'm still getting Eqmod not recognising the com port despite Com 4 being identified by Device Manager.  I've installed ASCOM and Eqmod but still the same and there is no driver conflict shown. I'm wondering if the 3v variant of the TTL232R just can't be recognised by the mount despite the advice in the Eqmod document.  Alternatively, would there be any reason for a virtual com port to cause Eqmod any problems - I know little about com ports to be honest.

Jim

Have you installed the FTDI drivers? Here: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

EDIT: I've also only used the 5V variant but, as you say, the eqmod instructions say that the AZ-EQ6 is 3.3V tolerant, so it should  work.

Edited by Pompey Monkey
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20 hours ago, Pompey Monkey said:

Have you installed the FTDI drivers? Here: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

EDIT: I've also only used the 5V variant but, as you say, the eqmod instructions say that the AZ-EQ6 is 3.3V tolerant, so it should  work.

Yes the correct drivers are installed, current build of ASCOM/Eqmod and Cdc -  all checks out ok until I try to talk to the mount - cdc controlling.  Really a bit annoying this one, I'm at the stage where I'm considering a reinstall of Win 10.  The irony is that I had Eqmod happily controlling my DIY mount via AstroEq last year before I upgraded to my current mount.  Win 10, so much for plug and play - more like plug and pray:hmh:

 

Jim

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22 minutes ago, saac said:

Yes the correct drivers are installed, current build of ASCOM/Eqmod and Cdc -  all checks out ok until I try to talk to the mount - cdc controlling.  Really a bit annoying this one, I'm at the stage where I'm considering a reinstall of Win 10.  The irony is that I had Eqmod happily controlling my DIY mount via AstroEq last year before I upgraded to my current mount.  Win 10, so much for plug and play - more like plug and pray:hmh:

 

Jim

So it's either Windows 10 or the FTDI voltage...

I suppose getting the 5V version of the FTDI is less pain than reinstalling windows. It works faultlessly for me under Win 7 - sorry I can't help more :(

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Cheers Paul, I think I'll bite the bullet and place an order for a commercial FTDI  based cable.  I'll wait and see what that throws up before I go through the motions of reinstalling Win 10, like you say it would be easier.  I really don't want to have to reinstall everything I have on the laptop at the moment. I'm starting to fear the worst though - dare I start to suspect my mount!  Having said that it works fine with the handset.

 

Jim

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3 hours ago, saac said:

Cheers Paul, I think I'll bite the bullet and place an order for a commercial FTDI  based cable.  I'll wait and see what that throws up before I go through the motions of reinstalling Win 10, like you say it would be easier.  I really don't want to have to reinstall everything I have on the laptop at the moment. I'm starting to fear the worst though - dare I start to suspect my mount!  Having said that it works fine with the handset.

 

Jim

Good luck Jim.

And please report how it works out so everyone else can benefit :)

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On 25/09/2016 at 22:44, Pompey Monkey said:

Have you installed the FTDI drivers? Here: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

EDIT: I've also only used the 5V variant but, as you say, the eqmod instructions say that the AZ-EQ6 is 3.3V tolerant, so it should  work.

 

4 hours ago, saac said:

Yes the correct drivers are installed, current build of ASCOM/Eqmod and Cdc -  all checks out ok until I try to talk to the mount - cdc controlling.  Really a bit annoying this one, I'm at the stage where I'm considering a reinstall of Win 10.  The irony is that I had Eqmod happily controlling my DIY mount via AstroEq last year before I upgraded to my current mount.  Win 10, so much for plug and play - more like plug and pray:hmh:

 

Jim

Hi Jim,

I think you would be better off with the 5v version since the output of the 3.3v version can be as low as 2.2v with a max of 3.2v and a typical output of 2.8v which would almost certainly be too low for your mount... I think you will find it needs 3.3v as a minimum.

The 5v version has a minimum of 3.2v and a max of 4.9v and a typical output of 4.1v which is the much more typical levels required for skywatcher mounts.

See attached link for data sheet.

http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/DataSheets/Cables/DS_TTL-232R_CABLES.pdf

FTDI drivers are pretty solid, even for W10 (unlike the Prolific drivers), so I would bet on it being the voltage levels rather than the OP System.

I hope this is of some help.

Best regards.

Sandy.

 

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8 hours ago, Lonestar70 said:

 

Hi Jim,

I think you would be better off with the 5v version since the output of the 3.3v version can be as low as 2.2v with a max of 3.2v and a typical output of 2.8v which would almost certainly be too low for your mount... I think you will find it needs 3.3v as a minimum.

The 5v version has a minimum of 3.2v and a max of 4.9v and a typical output of 4.1v which is the much more typical levels required for skywatcher mounts.

See attached link for data sheet.

http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/DataSheets/Cables/DS_TTL-232R_CABLES.pdf

FTDI drivers are pretty solid, even for W10 (unlike the Prolific drivers), so I would bet on it being the voltage levels rather than the OP System.

I hope this is of some help.

Best regards.

Sandy.

 

I totally agree with the statement about the reliability of the FTDI driver/chipset combination over the Prolific version. I had no end of "Port not found" and "mount not connected" error in EQMOD with a commercially bought Prolific based EQMOD lead. The frustration was painful.

However, as soon as I made my own lead with the FTDI serial adapter and drivers, it worked first time, every time even if plugged into a different USB socket! 

  1. Install drivers;
  2. Plug in cable;
  3. Let windows match the driver to the cable;
  4. Check COM port in Device Manager;
  5. Enter the Port number in the EQMOD config;
  6. Launch EQMOD and voila! the telescope is connected :)

 No hassle. No searching the web for a random old "working" driver. No frustration.

I did get a "mount not found" error once, but that was because I hadn't turn it on! ;)

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I've used both the 3.3v and 5v FTDI variants with no issues with my HEQ5, though 5v is always what would be recommended as this is what the mount is expecting.

Another great thing about FTDI interfaces is that the COM port is always the same every time you connect them - no matter which USB port you use.  A small thing, but on a portable setup line mine... really useful!

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Cheers Billy,my prolific driver's  been goin haywire so i tried your download but could'nt so i found similar on www.ifamilysoftware.com and is working fine now so thanks for the pointer.

Must look at the FTDI cable.

Cheers

Kenny

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