Upgrade your OEM Prolific interface cable

A Good Rainy Day Project

Today seemed like a good day for this sort of project. Having grown tired of my programming cables (both for the Baofeng and the Kenwood mobile) becoming inoperative every time I got a Windows update that updated my drivers, I decided to do something about it. As we know, thats the sign of a Chinese counterfeit Prolific chip. It’s not a real big deal, just a pain to have to uninstall the new Prolific driver and reinstall the old driver each time.

I got the idea from John Miklor. His very well written article can be found here: http://www.miklor.com/COM/UV_ProgrCable.php

cp2102_1_opt

 

It worked pretty much as described in John’s article. I got two of the CP2102 USB boards on eBay for under $4.00 total (I need to modify two cables). Search for CP2102 on eBay and you will find many sellers. The one I used was in Hong Kong, offered free shipping, and was selling the boards for $1.71 each. It took four weeks for the order to arrive at my house.

cp2102_2_opt

 

I ended up unsoldering and removing the pins on the board and soldering the wires directly to the board in order to save space and make it all fit in the original clamshell (see photos). I did find that I had to reverse two wires with red going to the connector labelled RX and white going to TX. I think the labelling on the board is just backward as the end result is the same order as the old Prolific board.

cp2102_3_opt
Also, you’ll notice I drilled two small holes in one side of the clamshell. This is so I can see the little red lights flashing on the board. It would bother me knowing they were flashing in there and I couldn’t see them. I know that’s kinda nuts, but it will make me happy.

 

 

cp2102capture

 

When you first plug in the USB, you’ll get a message asking to install the device driver. Let it explore your hard drive for the driver… should be there. I know I could have fixed this problem with a couple of RT Systems cables, but this is WAY cheaper, didn’t take but about 20 minutes, and it was fun.

 
73,

Lyle, N4ACK

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