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Recommend a RS232/USB adaptor for pager programming

This forum is focused on discussing Digital and Voice paging equipment, protocol's, infrastructure, and Motorola specific hardware used. Please refrain from discussing different ways to monitor the digital paging systems due to the legalities of such.

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wkr518
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Recommend a RS232/USB adaptor for pager programming

Postby wkr518 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:46 pm

Ok my old Minitor V programmer finally called it quits.The new model has RS232 cable and I have purchased and tried 5 different adaptors and they are lousy.
Can anyone recommend a type or brand? Do I need to find a four leaf ♣ to make this work or what?
Thanks
Wayne
nothing

sjxts3000
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What radios do you own?: APX

Re: Recommend a RS232/USB adaptor for pager programming

Postby sjxts3000 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:36 pm

Check out the TruLink #26887. I recently got this cable for XTS3000 communications and I'm told (by the person who referred it to me) that it works great for his Minitors. It works great for my my XTS3000's with no issues. The driver loaded without error and I never get a failed read or write.

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escomm
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Re: Recommend a RS232/USB adaptor for pager programming

Postby escomm » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:21 am

Something about it being more dependent on the driver than the cable itself. Paging Wowbagger....

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Wowbagger
Aeroflex
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Re: Recommend a RS232/USB adaptor for pager programming

Postby Wowbagger » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:37 am

Once again, it depends upon the vintage of the software. Back in the bad old days of DOS, the driver support for serial hardware was laughable at best - if you went through the DOS "drivers" you had to poll for each character received - be just a smidge too late and you had a buffer overrun. As such, almost all software totally bypassed the drivers and went directly to the hardware - which meant that the hardware had to be exactly what the software was designed for. This lead to some real abominations of serial hardware design, to keep newer parts register compatible with the older parts. (having written just such lower level software myself, trust me, it really sucked.)

Now, when you deal with modern drivers (in Windows, or in Linux), then the OS is doing its damn job of buffering the characters, handling transfers using DMA or interrupt, and abstracting the hardware so the applications don't need to care. As such, the hardware is no longer required to look like the old DOS hardware, and in the case of USB, it absolutely is completely different.

Modern radio service software is written in terms of modern drivers (usually Windows, unfortunately from my position), and thus doesn't really care what the real hardware looks like so long as the OS has drivers.

But when you try to run the old DOS based stuff, it expects a 8250-compatible UART at the standard IO address DAMMIT. Your USB cable doesn't provide that, and so your old DOS stuff won't work.

So the question is, what vintage is the software you are running? Is it DOS? Then you need a 8250 (well, 16550 usually) compatible UART, and those are getting hard to find. If the software is fairly modern and is a native Windows app, a USB to RS-232 adapter will likely work.

EXCEPT....

One of the major vendors of USB to RS232 chips, FTDI, had a little problem: several unscrupulous companies in the PAC rim were cloning their chips and selling them, externalizing the cost of writing and maintaining drivers to FTDI (and thus being able to undercut FTDI on price). Understandably enough, FTDI had two words to say about that, and has changed their newer drivers in Windows to detect those unauthorized clone chips and refuse to work with them. So, if you have a very cheap USB to RS-232 adapter, you may find that it stops working one fine day when you update Windows.
This is my opinion, not Aeroflex's.

I WILL NOT give you proprietary information. I make too much money to jeopardize my job.

I AM NOT the Service department: You want official info, manuals, service info, parts, calibration, etc., contact Aeroflex directly, please.

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SteveC0625
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Re: Recommend a RS232/USB adaptor for pager programming

Postby SteveC0625 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:51 am

wkr518 wrote:Ok my old Minitor V programmer finally called it quits.The new model has RS232 cable and I have purchased and tried 5 different adaptors and they are lousy.
Can anyone recommend a type or brand? Do I need to find a four leaf ♣ to make this work or what?

Wayne,

I had no problem with a generic USB to serial adapter with the serial Motorola cable for the Minitor V programming cradle. That was on a Win 7 64 bit computer.

Before you spend any more $$, first hop over to Prolific's website and snag the latest driver for the PL2303 chipset. I removed other drivers for the adapter before installing the Prolific one, and have been trouble free ever since.

FWIW, I did see some posts a while back either here or over on RR about using the IOGear adapter cable because it was recommended by Motorola. Part number is IOGEAR GUC232A. If all else fails, that may be your ultimate solution.

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wkr518
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Re: Recommend a RS232/USB adaptor for pager programming

Postby wkr518 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:43 am

Luckily hardly any DOS programs needed to use,I ordered both the TruLink 26887 and the IOGear adaptor cables.Both are working flawlessly after updating my prolific drivers.I am running both 32 and 64 bit on a Win7 desktop and XP (SP3) on laptop.My old Win98 IBM thinkpad is also showing positive reaction to the TruLInk adaptor,no luck on the IOGear adaptor.
Thanks for the suggestions and advice.
Wayne
nothing


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