A relaiable USB adaptor for my Windows 8 64 bit PC. This one works great. Good price and easy instal...
Pros: small and mobile, easy to install
Cons: would be nice if the USB extension cable was longer
works fine. used to pay double as much for an adapter that works with windows 7. thanks for a good p...
Thanks a lot,..works perfectly with with windows 7 62bit. Easy to install drivers. Regret I wasted t...
Got this adapter for an older computer using XP but ended up using it with Windows 7. Works fine wit...
The product works fine, overall no problems installing drivers even on windows 7. Used it for about ...
Generally about the USB to Serial Adapter
This USB to Serial adapter is as mentioned earlier ideal for laptops and other mobile devices, however it is also a good all-round adapter for most other devices where you need a simple, reliable, high performance USB to serial adapter. The drivers and chipset for this adapter is made by FTDI a British company who makes very reliable and high-performance products for many consumer data products, which can be used for professional applications such as industrial, laboratory or in some cases even mission critical applications.
If you need a reliable USB to serial adapter for either RS232, RS485 or RS422 communications we recommend using an adapter with a FTDI chip and drivers such as our Pro grade line of adapters. These USB serial adapters are made with drivers and a chipset from FTDI which offer highly reliable and high performance product for almost and serial applications.
The drivers for the low-cost Prolific (Taiwan) serial adapter usually works fine with older operating systems such as Windows 2000 and XP however we have seen several problems with newer operating systems.
Installing a USB to serial adapter is very easy regardless if you use Windows, Linux or Mac. First we recommend that you download the latest drivers from our download section. Unzip the zip file and place the folder with the drivers on your desktop. In this folder are drivers for most operating systems, an installation guide and troubleshooting tools and guides. Now connect your USB to serial adapter. As soon as the serial adapter is connected Windows will automatically detect the adapter and the Hardware Installation Wizard should start. Point the Hardware Installer to the folder with the drivers you placed on your desktop and click "OK". It is important that you point the installer to the correct folder, which depends on what operating system you are using, otherwise your operating system cannot install the drivers or in some cases it will actually install the wrong drivers and then your USB serial converter will not work.
After installing the drivers for the FTDI serial adapter a virtual COM port will be created in your operating system's Device Manager. The COM port can be accessed and used as if it was a standard built-in COM port. Notice however as with all USB to serial adapters that there usually is a latency (data delays) when communicating with devices. If you wish to avoid these data latencies we recommend using a regular RS232 serial port, for example such as a PCI based serial card which can be installed in most desktops. This is however usually only a problem if your serial device is very sensitive in regards to timing issues.
Example of a virtual COM port in Windows Device Manager
Be aware that most USB serial converters assign COM port numbers to the adapter depending on which COM port number is available in the system. Usually the next available COM port number is assigned to the serial adapter. However, if you disconnect the converter and then after a while re-connect it again it may or may not be assigned the same virtual COM port number, so always check in your operating system's Device Manager to see what COM port number is has been assigned.
Troubleshooting a USB to Serial adapter.
Troubleshooting a USB to serial adapter is actually very easy. If you experience any problems with communicating with your serial device when using a USB to serial adapter we recommend making a loop-back test. Making a loop-back test is very simple and it verifies if the adapter is working or not. To make a loop-back test you simply loop the TX and RX signals at the RS232 DB9 connector as shown on the image below.
After you have looped the TX and RX signals you use a terminal program to send some characters to the (virtual) COM port. You can for example use AccessPort for this. If the serial adapter is working properly the characters will then be received by the adapter on the RX wire and sent back to you by the TX wire and received back in your terminal software. Below is a screenshot of the loop-back test with AccessPort.
Even a FTDI based USB to serial adapter is one of the most reliable and stable serial adapters available several error conditions can emerge. Here are the most common problems explained:
USB Device Not Recognized error.
This error usually happens when the converter is plugged in to the USB port and Windows pops up with this "USB Device Not Recognized" error message. When you open Device Manager you will also see a "Unknown Device" listed under USB devices.
There can be several reasons for this error. Often the reason is because the drivers were unsuccessfully installed, not installed at all or incorrect drivers installed. If one of these is the reason simply make sure that the correct drivers are installed successfully.
You might also in some cases need to uninstall the drivers you already installed, reboot your computer and re-install the drivers.
Other reasons causing this error sometimes are problems with Windows host controller hardware or additional system hardware or configurations that may change the timing. In this case a quick fix might simply be to plug in the USB serial converter to a different USB port.
Finally another reason for this error can be that the adapter has a defect and needs to be replaced.
You can find a more detailed explanation and solutions to the USB device not recognized error in our Tech Support section.
This Device Cannot Start (Code 10) error.
The Code 10 error is somewhat related to the 'USB device not recognized' error. In Device Manager you will see a yellow exclamation mark next to the device which is not working. This error often emerges with low-cost USB to serial adapters such as adapters made with the low-cost Prolific chip and drivers. The reason is usually more or less incompatible drivers or adapter hardware. This is the reason why we always recommend using a FTDI based USB to serial adapter for all newer operating systems. For older operating systems a Prolific based USB to serial adapter might work. You can find more details about how to fix the Code 10 error in our Tec Support section.
Unable to communicate with your serial device.
If the drivers has been installed successfully and the virtual COM port is listed in your operating systems Device Manager but you are unable to communicate with your serial device, you should make the loop-back test as described above.
If you successfully can make the loop-back test with AccessPort but can't get any communication with your serial device then you may want to check if your serial device need a any special handshake signals to work. The FTDI based serial adapter has all handshake signals available but you may need to enable them in your software if your serial device requires this.
If you are getting timeout errors when using a USB to serial adapter with your serial device or serial software you may want to change some of the port settings for the virtual COM port in you operating system's Device Manager.
You can do that by opening your operating system's Device Manager, right-click on the virtual COM port under Ports (COM and LTP), then chose "Properties" from the menu list. Click on the "Port Settings" tab and when clicking the "Advanced" button you will get the Advanced Settings window as shown below:
Here you can change several settings. If you are having timing issues then you may try and adjust the BM Options, Latency Timer to a lower number.
Sometimes communication to your serial device is established and everything seems to be ready to go and it actually does communicate however not correctly. You might be getting error messages in your serial device or software. If this happens you should make sure that the baud rate of the PC software, the USB to serial adapter and/or your serial device and software are matching. All data settings must match. Usually the FTDI based serial adapter will auto detect these settings, however not always in some cases.