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Author Topic: PK-232 on USB  (Read 10399 times)

Posts: 217

« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2012, 01:18:36 PM »

Well, I never did use my PK232 much. I did contact, and get a QSL from, China on packet. BZ4FB I believe.

I believe that JT65 was a EME mode for very low level signals. It works great for very low power, and restricted antennas, on HF. It is NOT a rag chew mode. Anyway, not sure what to do with my PK232, but will wait a bit to decide.

Posts: 875

« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2012, 02:42:38 PM »

Perhaps I am delusional, but in my experience, a USB device will appear in device manager, even if it does not have a driver.

However, it will appear with a fault marker next to it, and be marked as non operational.
At least this is what has happened in my cases.
The next stage for me is to then take the update driver option for this device, and navigate to where the driver is located.
This is what I have been doing for many years and with many USB devices.
However, I generally manually locate and install my drivers using the browse option in the driver install protocol.

USB devices are specified to send a description of themselves to an interrogating operating system, even if they do not have a functional driver to support them.
This of course assumes your operating system is not ancient, and has usb support natively - almost certainly true these days.
It's then a matter of - you can look but not touch, until a driver is installed.

What 8JX said about the USB signalink not being ideal for packet (or any ACK/NACK mode) is correct.
I recently trashed an MFJ1278, but before dumping it, tried some dumb terminal programs on the net, and they work well - and are free.

By the way, I recently purchased a couple of $3.00 CT62-USB cables from overseas, and they work great.
They appear as prolific chipsets, but so far have been working fine.
In many cases, its marketing, not quality which defines price.
Same sweatshop - different labels.

73 - Rob

« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 03:42:31 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged

Posts: 14283

« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2012, 06:02:06 PM »

Yes, I think the USB device will show up if the hardware is working but the COM port will not unless the drivers are properly installed.

As I said earlier, the most recent USB-serial converters I've worked with require that the driver install program from the supplied CD be run to install the driver BEFORE you plug the USB device into the computer. If you plug the USB device in first then the OS will ask to search for the driver and then it will not install correctly.

I have a Belkin converter that absolutly will not be recognized by some programs - even if I set it to COM1. Those with FTDI or Prolific chip sets work 100%. My experience has been that if you buy a cheap "no-name" converter then you take your chances on whether it works correctly or not. If you stick with FTDI or Prolific chip sets then the odds of success are very good and the chip set mfg will have plenty of drivers available on their web site for different operating systems.


Posts: 10

« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2012, 01:16:15 PM »

To complicate all of this, my cd drive in the laptop ceased operating.  The light flashes and programs try to read but are unsuccessful.  So I took the driver cd to another computer on my little network and downloaded its contents to a file which I now can access from the laptop.  Nothing is ever easy.

I have installed drivers but can't find any evidence of that.  The USB/serial dongle I bought from China for a couple of bucks doesn't work.  It included a connecting cable and cd, and they didn't charge for shipping.  How can they make money like this?

I have, essentially, given up.  Operating my PK-232 isn't important enough to spend any serious money.  And I can fire up the old Win2000 machine if I really want to do it, as it works fine on serial and has a dongle to access the network.  Too much hardware!  I may just offer the combination compter/PK-232 to someone for a low price.  It also has some ham software, like Digipan and MMTTY and so on.

Posts: 875

« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2012, 03:16:26 PM »

If this were a cartoon I would watch for falling piano's !
Sounds like you have the right idea of just moving on.

Perhaps you can make a few dollars from selling the combo PC/interface.
Like you, I marvel at how they can make money selling stuff so cheaply with free postage.
I guess I was lucky with my purchases, and sorry to hear yours did not work.

I have not tried it personally, but I believe there are ways of using packet with a soundcard.
I think it uses a program called hamscope (an old digital modes program) with an add on program called AGWPE.
Again, I have never tried it, but if you look on the net for hamscope and AGWPE you will get the idea.

Good luck (and watch for falling piano's),

73 - Rob

Posts: 995

« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2012, 10:51:13 AM »

Old modems and their software can be used with modern computers by installing Oracle VM Virtualbox ( which will install older operating systems such as XP, or even 3.1, under Windows 7, etc. I am using XP Pro (32 bit) under Win 7/64 bit. You will need the extension pack to give you serial ports. It is all free! The software also works with USB to serial adapters.

You can run Windows 7 simultaneously with Windows XP on two screens connected to the same PC, how cool is that.

I run a KAM with XPWare for Windows under the Virtualbox and it works great.

Problem solved!

73 Dave

Posts: 14283

« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2012, 04:37:43 PM »

It doesn't matter what operating system you are running, you can't have a serial port without some type of serial port hardware (either real RS-232 or a USB-Serial adapter). I don't think his problem is with the OS or the application software, it's his USB-Serial adapter that is the problem.

Posts: 10

« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2012, 08:34:08 PM »

Wow I just managed to dodge a falling piano.  What a noise they make when they land!

I see all sorts of solutions, nonsolutions, pseudosolutions, and quasisolutions, none of which looks simple enough for me to attempt.  Not that I am afraid of it, just lazy and the reward doesn't justify the effort.  I'd rather spend the time making a new plastic pointer thing for my HP200CD that came with that part missing.  I already made one but it's neither attractive nor rugged so that's another project.  Very low tech.

So I hereby thank everyone for their participation and effort, and at least I feel I have learned something.
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