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Using a Serial to USB converter cable for Astro portable CPS

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4-crime

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Quick question, does anyone know if there would be a problem programming my xts5000's with a serial to USB converter cable? My laptop does not have a serial port only USB. I have an oem Moto USB programming cable but I can't seem to find it so I was just going to use my regular serial cable. Anyone ever use them?
 

rescue161

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I never could get a USB to serial adapter to work, so I got a PCMCIA serial card and it works every time. I think it was $5.00 or so dollars on Ebay. It acts as (is) a true serial port. If you have an empty PCMCIA slot, then this is the best solution.
 

a1emt

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+1 for the PCMCIA serial card...works great!
 

wa8pyr

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Quick question, does anyone know if there would be a problem programming my xts5000's with a serial to USB converter cable? My laptop does not have a serial port only USB. I have an oem Moto USB programming cable but I can't seem to find it so I was just going to use my regular serial cable. Anyone ever use them?
Serial>USB works flawlessly for me, but you have to be careful about which chipset is in the adapter you choose. I've had the best all-around luck with radios in general with the FTDI chipset, and have bought several very nice converters (with 6-foot cables) from eBay for about $12 each. All have worked very well for programming Astro radios, portable and mobile.

Some folks have suggested a PCMCIA card with a serial port, but I think they're forgetting that many laptops these days don't have a PCMCIA slot, unfortunately....
 

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Serial>USB works flawlessly for me, but you have to be careful about which chipset is in the adapter you choose. I've had the best all-around luck with radios in general with the FTDI chipset, and have bought several very nice converters (with 6-foot cables) from eBay for about $12 each. All have worked very well for programming Astro radios, portable and mobile.

Some folks have suggested a PCMCIA card with a serial port, but I think they're forgetting that many laptops these days don't have a PCMCIA slot, unfortunately....
I agree. It seems that lots of people have had troubles with USB-Serial converters. I acquired one a couple of years ago (I forget the brand or part number) and it has worked flawlessly. Not only does it work with Motorola CPS, but it also works with Zetron Series 4000 programming software (essentially DOS-based), Motorola old C200 programming (ditto), and Cimarron programming (essentially ditto; ANSI terminal based).

The big limitation, however, is that running any DOS or ANSI stuff from Windows will only work if the transmission mode is pure RS232 serial. If it is bit based (e.g., HT1000), you're going to run into problems.
 

rescue161

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The big limitation, however, is that running any DOS or ANSI stuff from Windows will only work if the transmission mode is pure RS232 serial. If it is bit based (e.g., HT1000), you're going to run into problems.
That was my problem with using serial/USB adapters. CPS would work, but DOS based RSS would fail every time, not matter which radio type it was. I had a bunch of Kenwood and Uniden radios that required DOS style software, so after I got the PCMCIA card, it did everything.

That sucks if you don't have a PCMCIA slot. If you don't, then I'd do what Skypilot007 said and look real hard for the USB cable. If that fails, I'd go down to the local Good Will and search for an old laptop with a serial port.
 

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That was my problem with using serial/USB adapters. CPS would work, but DOS based RSS would fail every time, not matter which radio type it was. I had a bunch of Kenwood and Uniden radios that required DOS style software, so after I got the PCMCIA card, it did everything.

That sucks if you don't have a PCMCIA slot. If you don't, then I'd do what Skypilot007 said and look real hard for the USB cable. If that fails, I'd go down to the local Good Will and search for an old laptop with a serial port.
The issues with DOS-based RSS go beyond simply the question of whether the USB/Serial adapter satisfies the RS232 standard. Most Motorola RSS require direct access to the UART chip, which DOS discourages but nonetheless permits. Windows (including a so-called "DOS Window") does not permit applications to take direct control of the UART chip, and it will intercept all such service calls. If nothing else, such interceptions can brick older Motorola radios.
 

rescue161

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The issues with DOS-based RSS go beyond simply the question of whether the USB/Serial adapter satisfies the RS232 standard. Most Motorola RSS require direct access to the UART chip, which DOS discourages but nonetheless permits. Windows (including a so-called "DOS Window") does not permit applications to take direct control of the UART chip, and it will intercept all such service calls. If nothing else, such interceptions can brick older Motorola radios.
Yes, that is why I pointing out to the OP that he more than likely won't get a USB converter to work in a DOS environment, but the PCMCIA card will function very well.
 

gtriever

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Cables to Go, part number 26886. That one has always worked for us.
 

4-crime

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Thanks for all the tips. I bought a Dynex serial to USB adapter from best buy and it worked just fine without any problems.
 

RKG

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Yes, that is why I pointing out to the OP that he more than likely won't get a USB converter to work in a DOS environment, but the PCMCIA card will function very well.
My point is that, if the person is trying to program an HT1000 under Windows, solving his serial adapter issue doesn't solve the problem. HT1000 RSS (like most of the older RSS) will appear to run under a Windows "DOS Window", and you can open and edit a codeplug, but when you try to write to the radio you risk corrupting it. This happens because Windows will intercept the RSS's direct UART controls, causing bad bits to go to the radio. Since the RSS and HT aren't using RS232 protocols, you won't be able to correct the corruption by trying another overwrite. Usually the radio has to go back to Depot for a new MLM or equivalent board.
 

rescue161

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My point is that, if the person is trying to program an HT1000 under Windows, solving his serial adapter issue doesn't solve the problem. HT1000 RSS (like most of the older RSS) will appear to run under a Windows "DOS Window", and you can open and edit a codeplug, but when you try to write to the radio you risk corrupting it. This happens because Windows will intercept the RSS's direct UART controls, causing bad bits to go to the radio. Since the RSS and HT aren't using RS232 protocols, you won't be able to correct the corruption by trying another overwrite. Usually the radio has to go back to Depot for a new MLM or equivalent board.
:D We're saying the exact same thing.

He is not going to get a USB converter to work in pure DOS, hence why I suggested a PCMCIA card, which will work in pure DOS.
 
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