[time-nuts] [OT] Re: Bad TBolt Crashing LH?

Dave B g8kbvdave at googlemail.com
Wed Aug 30 09:26:24 EDT 2017

Yep, Prolific got badly hit by the counterfeiters.   So, they
depreciated the use of all the early generation chip-sets (even legit
ones!) and had MS push out updated drivers to enforce that.   That's why
it "appears" to be a Windows update problem that stops many older
Prolific based adapters working...

The indication of that, is a non working adapter, that shows a Yellow
triangle with an exclamation mark, when you look in the Device Manager
to see what's recognised.

Sadly... FTDI too have been hit by the bad guys out East.   They too,
had MS push out an update a while back that could detect the fakes and
brick them!   Well, you can imagine the bad press that created! 
Thankfully, it is possible to un-brick the things 100% successfully,
with a little Googling and a Linux tool.  (Rewriting the VID/PID data.)

In truth, what seems to have happened is that the counterfeiters are
using a micro-controller programmed to emulate the real things, and are
getting quite good at it.   But..  In the case of the FTDI clones, what
should be configurable options (polarity of the serial lines & auxilary
IO line functions etc) are fixed, though the FTDI configuration program
thinks the chip is good, the requested changes don't take effect, no
errors, just no changes.

I have also recently purchased "Genuine FTDI" based adapters, only to
find that one proudly installed itself with a Prolific driver!   The
other used the FTDI driver, and both worked, "as standard".   But, as I
*Needed* the user configurable options, I returned them to the seller
for a full refund.   Seems he got scammed with 1000's of them!   I
popped the lid on the one that loaded a Prolific driver, only to find
the chip marked up as FTDI!

It has to be noted, that it appears that even the very old Prolific
chips, and all fakes that I've encountered so far, just seem to be
accepted and work as standard, just fine under Linux, but for how long?

The only way to guarantee a genuine FTDI adapter, is to buy it from
FTDI   http://www.ftdichip.com/   They have a webshop, and the prices
are not that bad.

I use what does appear to be a genuine Prolific based device to talk to
my T'Bolt.   I used to use that with Windows 7, but I now use Linux Mint
(after the great Win10 fiasco) on the same PC.  Not a painless change by
any means, but I've not regretted it.


Dave B.

On 30/08/17 13:32, time-nuts-request at febo.com wrote:
> Message: 5
> Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2017 14:28:54 -0400
> From: "Jerry" <jsternmd at att.net>
> To: "'Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement'"
> 	<time-nuts at febo.com>
> Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Bad TBolt Crashing LH?
> Message-ID: <00c901d320f4$ad135230$0739f690$@att.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="UTF-8"
> Thanks to all. I am using a high end laptop running Windows 7 Pro, power settings are all max'ed for performance - no sleep modes.  I thought it had a direct DB-9 serial but it does not so have to use an adapter.  I have 3 different manufacturers USB-Serial but all use Prolific which I heard has counterfeits and driver problems.  I just ordered an FTDI type recommended for my Flex radio.  Fingers crossed not the TBolt.
> 73
> Jerry, NY2KW

More information about the time-nuts mailing list