BC-296D programming cable question

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Dank

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I just switched laptops and the new one does not have a comm port to accept the Uniden programming cable that came with my scanner. Is it possible to get a connector to bridge the comm port connector to a USB port? Or does anyone make a programming cable with a USB connector?
 

hiegtx

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I just switched laptops and the new one does not have a comm port to accept the Uniden programming cable that came with my scanner. Is it possible to get a connector to bridge the comm port connector to a USB port? Or does anyone make a programming cable with a USB connector?
Dank,
What you need is a USB to serial converter. There's a number of them on the market.

I'm using this one, on my Vista 64 laptop, to provide a serial port for programming. I've used it with both my DMA scanners (both of the 396's, 246, 330, etc), as well as on my BC250D, which is the model previous to your 296D.
 

Dank

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Will I need to update any driver files or will the converter by itself fix the problem? I forgot to mention that I am using the BuTel Arc250 software not the Uniden software that came with the radio.

Thanks for the information.
 

hiegtx

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Will I need to update any driver files or will the converter by itself fix the problem? I forgot to mention that I am using the BuTel Arc250 software not the Uniden software that came with the radio.

Thanks for the information.
Whichever converter you purchase (including the one I linked to) will either come with a disk with the driver files, or a link to the manufacturer's website where you can download the files. The one in the link has a driver cd. You need to install the drivers before plugging the cable in for the first time. When I ran the disk, Vista popped up a message offering to check for updated drivers via the internet. Once that was done, & I plugged in the cable, it was good to go.

The installed converter (whichever one you purchase, as I said, there are a number of brands available) is treated as a regular serial port by Windows. A normal, hardware, serial port, is usually Com 1. You don't have that. Windows likely will assign a different, higher, number to the port- Com 3, Com 5, depends on what device options are in use on your unit. If Arc250 does not have an auto-detect for the com port (I don't have that software), then open up the control panel:
In Windows XP, open up the "System" icon, then select the "Device Manager" tab".
In Vista (and probably Windows 7, though I'm not on that version), just open the separate "Device Manager" icon.
Once you have Device Manager opened, you'll see a list with categories of the various items on your pc. One of them will be "Ports (COM & LPT)".
Click the "+" sign by that item to expand it.
Your cable will be listed (named something along the lines of 'Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port'), with the assigned COM value.

One quirk of Windows: Windows has a habit of assigning a different Com # to the cable at times, depending on which specific USB port I use. I have two specific USB ports on the side of my laptop. If I plug the adapter in the front port, which I did when I first installed it (the GRE USB cable was using the other port at the time), Vista gives it COM 7. If I plug it in the rear one (they are actually side by side), it shows up as COM 6.
 

cws

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All good advice, Dank.
Also, if you have any trouble getting it going, I would recommend you do a search on this forum section, for the word "Prolific", and read all of the threads mentioning it.
My new PC has provided hours, and hours, of "fun" getting my cable to do the job.
 
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