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PRO-163 Driver Sofware Nightmare :(

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#1
I bought a a Pro-163 scanner, and I also got the USB cable/driver utility disc to go with it in an attempt to make my life easier. I'd like to program it before I give it to my husband as a gift. My only problem is the USB cable doesn't work, and I just can't figure it out. I put in the CD-Rom and plugged in the cable. I have windows Vista, and it searched and installed something before I had the chance to tell it to get the software from the CD-ROM like the crappy directions say. When I check out the files on the CD-ROM, I can't open any of them or it's all gobbeldy-gook to me. I've done a million searches online, watched some rediculous videos and wasted a lot of time getting nowhere. How the heck do I install the driver for this friggin' USB cable? Is there anyone out there who can help?
 

gmclam

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#2
I bought a a Pro-163 scanner, and I also got the USB cable/driver utility disc to go with it in an attempt to make my life easier. I'd like to program it before I give it to my husband as a gift.
Hello and welcome to RadioReference.com. I just want to point out first that the cable you purchased can be used to program many different scanners, not just the PRO-163. There are two different USB cables which can work with this scanner; one from Radio Shack model 20-047 (orange in color) and one from GRE (blue in color).

My only problem is the USB cable doesn't work, and I just can't figure it out. I put in the CD-Rom and plugged in the cable. I have windows Vista, and it searched and installed something before I had the chance to tell it to get the software from the CD-ROM like the crappy directions say.
Dontcha just love Vista? Most of us like XP or Windows7 over it. There seems to be a lot of "little" issues like this.

The KEY here is to get the correct driver loaded for the USB cable. What I would do is the following. Plug the cable in to the computer. Do NOT plug the cable in to the scanner. Go to Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> Ports and see if the cable is listed there under COM ports. If it is, it will be assigned a COM PORT number. If that's true, go into WIN97 and set the port to the same number. When you connect the scanner, do NOT use that short pigtail that comes with it. It is not needed for this scanner. Things should now work.

If the cable is listed, but no COM port assigned, I'd suspect you have the wrong driver installed. If it is not listed at all, either no driver is installed, or an incorrect driver installed. Your exact situation will dictate the next step you'll need to take. You might need to uninstall a driver before intalling the correct driver. Do you know for sure if the CD that came with the cable has VISTA drivers on it? You might be better off getting the correct driver from the Internet. Right now there are too many variables here to give you specific directions. I can tell you that others have gone through this same problem, and a search here on RR will likely show you the answer to fit your scenario. Otherwise, just let us know where things stand. Good luck.
 
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#3
Hi gmclam. Thanks for the reply! I don't know how to do the quote thing, but you said:

"Plug the cable in to the computer. Do NOT plug the cable in to the scanner. Go to Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> Ports and see if the cable is listed there under COM ports."

I did that and found it listed as "USB Serial Port (COM4)" with a little exclamation point in a triangle. When I click on it to view it, it says "Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)."

Okay... so one other thing you had said was "If it is, it will be assigned a COM PORT number. If that's true, go into WIN97 and set the port to the same number."

My question now is, what is "WIN97" and where do I find it? Beacuse I'm guessing that (COM 4) is the port number I'm looking for.

Oh, and I also want to let you know that yes, I do have the drivers for Windows Vista on the disc it came with. Only, I haven't used it because Vista installed this cable on it's own, not from my disc. How do it tell it to get the stinkin' driver off the disc?

I'm still searching around, but haven't found an answer to my problem yet. Thanks for all the help so far, and anything you can add :)
 
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#4
Ok, hang on a sec. I may have sent my last reply a wee bit too soon. I did figure out how to get the driver off the disc (I think). I clicked on "Update Driver" (after going into Device Manager, and double-clicking USB Serial Port (COM 4)) and selected the Vista driver file/folder from the dics. Whew!

Now that I have done that, and re-booted the computer, it says "This device is working properly" when I go back and double-click on it again.

Of course, one problem goes away and I find another :) I tried pluging in the cable to the scanner (without the little 3-inch doo-hickey adapter) and the scanner says:

"**CLONE MODE** Press UP to send. Remove cable to exit." I press the up arrow, then it says "Confirm to send data? 1-> YES. Press other key for NO." So of course I press 1 for yes even though I'm not sure why, and it says "**CLONE MODE** No response! Remove cable."

So... what'd I do wong this time? :)
 

mikey60

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#6
Ok, hang on a sec. I may have sent my last reply a wee bit too soon. I did figure out how to get the driver off the disc (I think). I clicked on "Update Driver" (after going into Device Manager, and double-clicking USB Serial Port (COM 4)) and selected the Vista driver file/folder from the dics. Whew!

Now that I have done that, and re-booted the computer, it says "This device is working properly" when I go back and double-click on it again.

Of course, one problem goes away and I find another :) I tried pluging in the cable to the scanner (without the little 3-inch doo-hickey adapter) and the scanner says:

"**CLONE MODE** Press UP to send. Remove cable to exit." I press the up arrow, then it says "Confirm to send data? 1-> YES. Press other key for NO." So of course I press 1 for yes even though I'm not sure why, and it says "**CLONE MODE** No response! Remove cable."

So... what'd I do wong this time? :)
That is normal for this scanner when the cable is plugged in, and you are correct in not using the 3 inch adapter. That screen just means that the scanner is waiting to either send it's configuration to another scanner or the computer, or to receive a new configuration from another scanner or the computer.

The next step would be software, of which Win97 is one. There are others as well. All of them provide a 30 day free trial, so you can program the radio how you think your husband would like it without having to select the software for him.

WIN97 can be downloaded from Software for RadioShack PRO-series (PRO-92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 99, 163, 164, 106, 197) and GRE PSR-series (PSR-500, 600, 300, 400) scanners
PSREdit300 can be downloaded from PSREdit - Configuration Editors for the new GRE line of scanners
ARC300 can be downloaded from Butel Software

All of these are compatible with your scanner.

Mike
 

gmclam

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#7
... "USB Serial Port (COM4)" with a little exclamation point in a triangle. When I click on it to view it, it says "Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)."

Oh, and I also want to let you know that yes, I do have the drivers for Windows Vista on the disc it came with
It looks like you have gotten past the first major hump -- getting the cable to work. Yay!!!

My question now is, what is "WIN97" and where do I find it? Beacuse I'm guessing that (COM 4) is the port number I'm looking for.
As I look back at your first post, you indicated that you want to program a PRO-163. Silly me, I assumed you had WIN97, which is one of several programs used to program this scanner. It is the software I use. I also see that someone else has posted a link to it. Some software is needed to do the programming (unless you do it by hand), and that is the second hurdle to get past.

"**CLONE MODE** Press UP to send. Remove cable to exit."
I know the scanner can be confusing. Back when they added serial ports to these scanners, the intention was to be able to 'copy' what is programmed in one scanner into a similar scanner (to clone one of them). But us techies realized that we could use a computer to do the programming, rather than another scanner.

When a cable is properly plugged in to the scanner, it thinks you've connected it to another scanner. So it prompts you to start the cloning process. But NONE of that is needed when you are using software like WIN97.

In order to properly use a program like WIN97, you'll need to know the firmware version your scanner is running from. To find out, do this. Power the scanner OFF. Press and HOLD the PGM key while powering the scanner ON. After a moment it will display the firmware version and boot version. You might want to jot the info down on a piece of paper. Then power off the scanner and re-power it normally.

When the time comes to send data from WIN97 to the scanner (or read what is programmed in the scanner back into your PC), you'll find there are several options. If your firmware is version 1.03 or earlier, one command is needed. If you have a later version, it is a different selection in the pull-down menu. If the scanner has version older than 1.06, I'd consider updating it. The latest currently available is v1.07.

... and it says "**CLONE MODE** No response! Remove cable."
Once you are ready to go with WIN97, if you select the wrong scanner or the wrong firmware version, the scanner will display a similar message. If you make a boo-boo, DO UNPLUG the cable and start that part of the process over. Once you do it, it will get easier the next time.
 
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#8
Nearly all USB cable drivers are generic. I have 3 different devices that utilize a USB cable for connection to my computer and they all came with the drivers on a mini disc. They were all different manufacturers but the drivers were all the same. When I have used the different cables after installing drivers for one of them , they never asked again for drivers when connecting a different cable.

And by the way, learning is not a waste of time. Once you learn how to screw up something, you'll learn how to undo the error. Experience learning and you won't have any worries. Learning is an experience.
 

gmclam

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Nearly all USB cable drivers are generic.
That's a fairly broad statement. They might be generic across USB to COM converters for a specific operating system. But a specific cable may use different drivers for XP, Vista and Windows7, etc.
 

UPMan

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#10
They might be generic across USB to COM converters for a specific operating system.
And even that isn't the case. There are two major suppliers of USB to COM chipsets. Prolific (the PL2303 chipset) and FTDI. Each chipset requires its own driver.
 
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