Author Topic: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters  (Read 104663 times)

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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2014, 08:21:39 am »
Long ago I came to the conclusion that Prolific are just a sack of liars.

When they didn't manage to provide working drivers they blamed the OEMs first. When people didn't believe this any more they blamed fake ICs - as if anyone would spend time cloning their rubbish ... So now it is "it is not in the datasheet".Their own datasheet, they could change it in a second.
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Offline linux-works

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2014, 08:26:00 am »
ftdi chips are cloned/faked.

why do you not believe in fake pl2303's?

they are very common and so they are a valid target for fakes.

 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2014, 08:47:00 am »
why do you not believe in fake pl2303's?

a) Own experience. I have a good number of PL2303-based adapter cables. Some no-name, some reputable brands. Some very old, long before Prolific talked about fakes. Every single one of them refuses to work with recent drivers under Windows 7 and XP and report error 10. Prolific claims this indicates a fake. Knowing the source and age of my cables I can't believe this.

b) Prolific never managed to get their Windows driver development under control. They had all sorts of fuck-ups. Like their installer trying to replace a standard windows sys driver with some version they probably lifted from an ancient hacked Asian version of Windows, breaking the driver. Or for a long time the installer as such didn't work. And just when they had another persistent driver failure they suddenly started claiming it is about face ICs. Too much of a coincidence.

c) What's the point in cloning a cheap rubbish IC that is plagued for years by driver problems? Wouldn't you clone something where you would actually benefit from working drivers from the original manufacturer?
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Offline linux-works

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2014, 09:17:11 am »
I've been bitten by the multitude of drivers for the PL chips.  hate it.

but regardless of the driver mess on windows, I think linux drivers deal with all the chips.  I probably have a few fakes and I know I have some real ones.  when I was trying to find a cheaper alternative to the ftdi for arduino devel, I was buying different cheap PL chips from china and I don't think one of them coughed when doing i/o to the arduino when using linux.  on windows, I'd have to change drivers but I rarely did devel using windows as the os platform.

and so, if you were using linux, you'd see that all the chips are working and if you were a company that could and does make fakes, you might consider getting in on some of this action.  the PL chips are not expensive but who knows what it takes to be 'worth it' to the scammers.

caps, resistors, 3 term voltage regs, chip-amp chips, pga attenuators, you name it, its being faked.  its a sorry state of things.
 

Offline uwezi

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2014, 09:23:29 am »
ftdi chips are cloned/faked.

why do you not believe in fake pl2303's?

they are very common and so they are a valid target for fakes.

Well the thing is here that Prolific officially states that they stopped support for all their pre-2012 PL-2302, whether fake or not!
 

Offline linux-works

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2014, 09:54:18 am »
if that's the case, its bad behavior for prolific.  you're saying that new drivers from them make valid old chips (from them) not work?  did they make the older versions of drivers unavailable?
 

Offline uwezi

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2014, 10:05:19 am »
To my knowledge there are no old Prolific drivers for Windows 8!

The same driver package found on Prolific's homepage contains drivers for different Windows versions. Installing this pack on Windows 7 gives you working drivers for exactly the same chip, for which the Windows 8 drivers out of the very same package don't work!

We are talking the same ZIP-file and the same USB adapter board, connected to two different computers.

http://www.prolific.com.tw/US/ShowProduct.aspx?p_id=225&pcid=41
 

Offline linux-works

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2014, 10:12:18 am »
windows 8?

uhm, ok.....

 

Offline uwezi

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2014, 10:21:13 am »
windows 8?

uhm, ok.....



Not me, but my students... :-//
 

Offline linux-works

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2014, 10:31:10 am »
ah, ok.

I would not willingly use win8 for anything.  I see no reason for it, and as you have seen, the driver issue is worse than win7.

too bad you can't choose.

at any rate, since I use the chips from linux boxes, old chip or new chip does not matter to me.  I would think the linux driver would detect if there is a 'quirk' by chip-id or even by testing it for a quirk and then picking the right path in code to support that hardware flavor.

if you don't have that kind of control over your drivers, I can see why this would be a problem.
 

Offline fluxcapacitor

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #35 on: February 26, 2014, 10:37:43 am »
There are some workarounds listed on technet forums.Read the whole thread for 32bit,64bit .

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/3f8e22a0-52bc-431b-a901-292096b46131/prolific-comm-to-usb-driver-not-working
 

Offline uwezi

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #36 on: February 26, 2014, 10:43:18 am »
There are some workarounds listed on technet forums.Read the whole thread for 32bit,64bit .

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/3f8e22a0-52bc-431b-a901-292096b46131/prolific-comm-to-usb-driver-not-working

Sounds interesting, but it's getting late here now.

My solution today was to give the Windows 8-students a USB adapter with a Silicon Labs CP2102 chip instead... And I made sure to order more of these for the next I give this course!
 

Offline linux-works

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2014, 10:45:11 am »
not sure if amazon is affordable near you, but I found some quite cheap real ftdi dongles (was using them for rs232 control of test gear/SCPI stuff).

 

Offline brainwash

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2014, 11:19:16 am »
This finding was somehow interesting: http://hackaday.com/2014/02/19/ft232rl-real-or-fake/ . But the FT232 costs a lot more than a PL2303.

On-topic, I have a fake(?) serial adapter bought probably 10 years ago, same PL2303HX chip. But I haven't had to use it lately since I mostly use my BusPirate. However I needed to flash some board that needed 'variable baud rate' which the BP could not do. Basically it meant that the baud rate had to be changed in the middle of the operation from 19200 to 57600, on TTL levels. So dug up the old adapter, chipped the rubber housing away and soldered some wires directly on the pins to get the to the TTL signals. To do the job I ran the flash program under an XP virtual machine.

With that said I find out that work without a VM is virtually impossible - it is portable run it anywhere, runs any OS including strange Unix distributions used for specific tasks (car diagnostics, signal analyzers) and it helps with organizing stuff.
I have a VM for generic Linux stuff, one for matlab stuff, some images of my old harddrives that I can boot into with the workspace ready, XP VM for running iTunes, car diagnostics and viruses, a few of them for specific hardware (routers, maemo, android), etc. Plus backups of some of those so that they can always be reverted.

Sorry for the long post, just thought to share in this wonder of technology :)
 

Offline GiskardReventlov

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2014, 04:59:26 am »
This is one of the many curses of Microsoft.  It's funny that prolific are trying to obsolete their own hardware. It's better than having someone else obsolete it. But it's so stupid. Next they will have the hardware stop working after 1GB of data has passed through it, as the printer makers do after so many prints.
 

Offline linux-works

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Re: Note: How to not get scammed with Prolific (PL2303) USB - Serial adapters
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2014, 05:38:33 am »
this is the pleasure of an open os ;)

there were times (rarely) I went in and edited the driver source to change a flag or quirk for a device or pci card.  it was nice to be able to do it, rebuild the kernel, reboot and see the device work.

windows and mac - you lose, here.  if 'they' didn't do it, it can't be done.
 

Offline ebclr

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Just follow the instructions on this blog , and the PL2303 will work just fine

http://leftbraintinkering.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/usb-to-serial-prolific-2303-device.html
 


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