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New_clothes_tilley_hat_v1_pragsmall
20 Oct 2011, 22:41
Bob Cochran (109 posts)

I am using a MacBook Pro updated to OS X 10.7.2. All my work is done through a non-administrative, standard user account on the MacBook. There are different brands of USB-to-serial cables out there, and I notice that Chapter 7 shows a photo of a blue one that looks like one of those I have. What brand and model is that? Is it running a real Prolific chip or a Prolific-compatible chip? In the past, on OS X 10.6.x, I’ve installed Prolific drivers (I think sourced from the Prolific website, not the Apple Support site) and the driver will not work on Prolific compatible chips. It expects “real” Prolific chips. So you need to use some care with the choice of cable and driver.

Since I’m using a standard user account on the Mac, I think I just need to make myself a member of the ‘wheel’ group in order to have sufficient permissions to actually use the cable. Discussing permissions issues for hardware might be a good thing.

Mikeriley_pragsmall
21 Oct 2011, 00:31
Mike Riley (57 posts)

The photo of the cable in the book is a StarTech USB to RS232 DB9 Serial Adapter Cable (http://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/Serial-Cards-Adapters/USB-to-RS232-DB9-Serial-Adapter-Cable-Male-to-Male-Serial-Adapter-USB-to-Serial~ICUSB232). There is an open source project of this driver that is 64-bit compatible with OSX 10.7 (Lion) at https://github.com/failberg/osx-pl2303

New_clothes_tilley_hat_v1_pragsmall
23 Oct 2011, 22:23
Bob Cochran (109 posts)

I “git clone”ed the osx-pl2303 project and tried to build it on Xcode 4.2, however the build failed. It looks like there are two bad compiler directives. It could also be my inexperience with Xcode as the IDE that we see here – probably is, in fact. I just opened the project directory and clicked the “Product…Build” buttons. I will try to get in touch with Bryan Berg, who “owns” that project.

Mikeriley_pragsmall
24 Oct 2011, 00:53
Mike Riley (57 posts)

According to the project’s readme on Github, compiled drivers can be downloaded from http://github.com/downloads/failberg/osx-pl2303/osx-pl2303-0.4.1-failberg.pkg. If you decide to give it a try, let us know how they work out for you!

New_clothes_tilley_hat_v1_pragsmall
24 Oct 2011, 02:07
Bob Cochran (109 posts)

Mike, the github download works fine today so I have the package now. Yesterday it 404ed me. I still want to get in touch with Mr. Berg and ask how to build it under XCode 4.2. I might as well learn now that I’m dabbling with home automation. Thanks for posting the link and thereby encouraging me to try it again.

Gravatar_pragsmall
24 Oct 2011, 21:43
James Schultz (25 posts)

Bob, any luck on that driver on your end? I’ve been trying to get it to work too. I’ve got a pretty similar setup to yours and not having a whole lot of luck getting things to talk…

New_clothes_tilley_hat_v1_pragsmall
25 Oct 2011, 01:40
Bob Cochran (109 posts)

Hi James, I too am having a problem with the Open Source driver. When I saw your post I decided to give it a whirl, and opened a terminal window and then did this:

sudo tail -f /var/log/kernel.log

[so I can see the kernel messages when I plug in the device.)

I then connected a powered hub to my MacBook Pro. The hub is a D-Link DUB-H4, hardware version B6.

I then plugged a Trendnet TU-S9 USB-to-Serial adapter into the hub. The Trendnet was the only device on the hub. The TU-S9 is a Prolific chipset device.

The device initialization failed. Here are the kernel messages:

Oct 24 20:50:55 deafeng33 kernel[0]: 0 0 AppleUSBCDC: start - initDevice failed Oct 24 20:56:39 deafeng33 kernel[0]: nl_bjaelectronics_driver_PL2303(0xffffff800be0ae00)::allocateResources failed - no fpInPipe. Oct 24 20:56:39 deafeng33 kernel[0]: nl_bjaelectronics_driver_PL2303(0xffffff800be0ae00)::start Allocate resources failed Oct 24 20:56:39 deafeng33 kernel[0]: nl_bjaelectronics_driver_PL2303(0xffffff800be0ae00)::CheckSerialState - StartSerial failed Oct 24 20:56:40 deafeng33 ccl[335]: Apple Base Script.ccl Version 3.3 Oct 24 20:56:41 deafeng33 kernel[0]: nl_bjaelectronics_driver_PL2303(0xffffff800be0ae00)::enqueueDataGated fTerminate set Oct 24 20:56:41 deafeng33 kernel[0]: ttyioss12000005: enqueueData rtn (e00002d7) Oct 24 20:56:44 deafeng33 kernel[0]: nl_bjaelectronics_driver_PL2303(0xffffff800be0ae00)::enqueueDataGated fTerminate set Oct 24 20:56:44 deafeng33 kernel[0]: ttyioss12000005: enqueueData rtn (e00002d7) Oct 24 20:56:48 deafeng33 kernel[0]: nl_bjaelectronics_driver_PL2303(0xffffff800be0ae00)::enqueueDataGated fTerminate set Oct 24 20:56:48 deafeng33 kernel[0]: ttyioss12000005: enqueueData rtn (e00002d7) Oct 24 20:56:50 deafeng33 ccl[335]: Modem error; the modem is not responding. Oct 24 20:56:50 deafeng33 ccl[335]: CCLExit: -6019 (Modem error, modem not responding.) Oct 24 20:56:52 deafeng33 kernel[0]: nl_bjaelectronics_driver_PL2303(0xffffff800be0ae00)::dequeueDataGated - INTERRUPTED Oct 24 21:04:34 deafeng33 kernel[0]: 0 0 AppleUSBCDC: start - initDevice failed

Almost right away, OSX Lion opened a graphical window proclaiming that a new network device has been detected. Lion “thinks” I have plugged in a dialup modem. I attempted to configure this with as few parameters as possible…no flow control, no phone number, etc…and click the graphical “connect” button. Since I’ve never done dialup networking in Lion before, of course I was just being stupid and playing with settings I don’t know too much about (in the OSX sense, I mean.) Clicking “Connect” got me the expected failure messages.

I then disconnected the Trendnet. I don’t think the Open Source Prolific driver works. However, to be fair, the Installation window for the driver…if I remember…did not list Trendnet in it’s list of recognized devices. It didn’t list Dynex either, which is my second USB-to-Serial cable, so I didn’t try it.

So, next experiment: see if my FTDI driver (proprietary, downloaded from the ftdichip.com website) really works on an FTDI-based device. I blew the dust bunnies off of my USB BUB 1 (from Wulfden and Modern Device) and plugged in a USB cable to the BUB at one end and a Modern Device “Really Bare Bones Board” at the other end. Presto! Instant recognition! Here is the lone kernel message:

` Oct 24 21:04:36 deafeng33 kernel[0]: FTDIUSBSerialDriver: 0 4036001 start - ok

`

I fired up the Arduino IDE, selected the serial port, selected the board, opened the Blink sketch, “verified” it, and clicked the Upload button. Presto! The LED light blinks dutifully. I change the sketch a few times to induce faster blinking, uploading the sketch again each time. The LED blinks with greater energy and no error messages come from the Arduino IDE. It works.

Note: I made myself a member of the ‘wheel’ group on my Mac. I also thought I made myself a member of the ‘uucp’ group, but OSX magically changed this to ‘_uucp”. I’m not sure what that means exactly yet. Even though I am a standard user, I appear to have sufficient privileges to use the serial port.

Hope this helps!

Bob

Mikeriley_pragsmall
25 Oct 2011, 02:07
Mike Riley (57 posts)

Nice job, Bob!

Gravatar_pragsmall
25 Oct 2011, 03:51
James Schultz (25 posts)

I saw your post about the FTDI-branded USB-to-serial from byterunner, think i’ll give that a try. If only i had a fun parts bin like you!

New_clothes_tilley_hat_v1_pragsmall
25 Oct 2011, 20:45
Bob Cochran (109 posts)

I have “collected” for years now, and my wife has a great deal to tell friends and family about it. Mike’s book will probably increase my active projects, and my collection of both working and nonworking parts. It can be like going to the hardware store 5 times before finally finding the right fitting to fix a pipe under the sink.

New_clothes_tilley_hat_v1_pragsmall
25 Oct 2011, 21:36
Bob Cochran (109 posts)

I should stress that the open-source PL2303 project we have been discussing supports a particular set of devices containing the Prolific chipset, and apparently the two cables I have here are not supported. The third cable is a no-name cable which was, if I recall, “Prolific-compatible”.

So I didn’t do a very fair test of the open source driver.

With all that openly and clearly stated, I’ll also openly and clearly state that I’ll stick with FTDI chipsets.

Gravatar_pragsmall
29 Oct 2011, 05:06
James Schultz (25 posts)

For anybody interested in the FTDI USB to serial cable approach…as mentioned in another post by Bob, I purchased the cable through byte runner http://www.byterunner.com/byterunner/product_name=USB-COM-CBL/user-id=/password=/exchange=/exact_match=exact and it seems to be working great now. Here’s the drivers http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm it took some hunting around to find them so i thought i’d post the link here.

Gravatar_pragsmall
29 Oct 2011, 05:07
James Schultz (25 posts)

Thanks Bob for the tip on the FTDI approach

New_clothes_tilley_hat_v1_pragsmall
29 Oct 2011, 12:28
Bob Cochran (109 posts)

I’m very happy to help Jim (or do you prefer “James” better?)

Supersulek_pragsmall
11 Apr 2015, 21:51
Super Sulek (1 post)

I tried to run the old Wacom tablet on MAC 10.6 by USB to serial adapter based on the Prolific PL2303. Everything as described on page http://www.thinkyhead.com/tabletmagic. But only install www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm launched serial port and tablet began to work.