USB adapter Prolific vs. FTDI chip set?

  • 1
  • Praise
  • Updated 3 years ago
This is a heads-up comment about problem USB to Serial adapter brands....  I have been running my 6500 and DDUtil for over a year now and have had a plethora of nuisance problems with the Prolific chip set brands which were all resolved when I replaced all 5 of mine with the FTDI chip set brands of adapters....  I remotely control my M2 rotor, antenna switch, SteppIR, KPA500, Alpha 878A and LP-100A using these serial USB adapters and since replacing all of the Prolific ones with FTDI ones everything has been working with NO failures for a couple of weeks now, knock on wood....  Just Google "USB serial adapters FTDI" and you'll get list....
Photo of k0eoo


  • 655 Posts
  • 89 Reply Likes

Posted 5 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Pat - WH6HI

Pat - WH6HI

  • 624 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
I had the same type of problems with the early ones supplied by Elecraft for my KPA500 and KAT500.  Swapped them out for the FTDI ones and no more problems. 
Photo of Andrew Russell

Andrew Russell

  • 287 Posts
  • 46 Reply Likes
Go with the FTDI chip set if you can. Some of my older prolific or clone devices worked fine under Win XP and Win7. Win8 has been much more difficult. An old version of HRD just seems to work with anything.
Photo of Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX

Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

  • 455 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes
Unfortunately the Prolific Chipset is one of the most cloned ones around and Prolific implemented a check in their drivers to cause issues with those clones - some still work, some don't and some are flaky in operations.   Now that the market is saturated with them its really hard to determine which ones are genuine and which ones are not.    I try to avoid for that reason alone.
Photo of turan kestayn

turan kestayn

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hi prolific and ftdi using same protocol but new gen boards for example open source boards gps modul etc  wont work with usb prolific
Photo of Clyde Laurido

Clyde Laurido

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
totally wrong , i have a gps ublox connected with a prolific, no problem.
Photo of turan kestayn

turan kestayn

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Budy tell how did u cause I didn't connect it any response
Photo of Kevin Va3KGS

Kevin Va3KGS

  • 96 Posts
  • 21 Reply Likes


I have recently been having problems with my remoting to the SteppIR Controller using Telepost remote software for control.  I am using a generic serial to usb converter cable.  I would like to switch it out for the FTDI you talk about above.  When I went to the website there is a large selection to choose from.  Can you recommend one to use.  Also, are these sold at a local Office Depot or only on line?

Thanks for your help.

Kevin, Va3KGS

Photo of Barry N1EU

Barry N1EU

  • 495 Posts
  • 127 Reply Likes
Use any one that specifically says FTDI chipset.
Photo of Sergey, R5AU

Sergey, R5AU

  • 865 Posts
  • 120 Reply Likes
i have expirienced , FTDI only !
Photo of Steve (N9SKM)

Steve (N9SKM)

  • 198 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
FTDI also had an issue with cloned junk chips, This is one of those times that its a good idea to go with a reputable brand over a cheapie. FTDI actually released firmware that messed with the clone chips a while back google FTDIGATE if you want to read about useless things.
Photo of Kevin


  • 931 Posts
  • 273 Reply Likes
Is there a specific make/model cable someone can suggest?

This one seems popular on Amazon:

Is the one marked Null Modem the appropriate one?

Kev K4VD

Photo of k0eoo


  • 641 Posts
  • 89 Reply Likes
I don't know about the Null Modem adapter but any FTDI USB to serial adapter, including the one in your link, will work.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9204 Posts
  • 3569 Reply Likes
Not any FTDI adapter.  It must be a genuine FTDI chipset and not a counterfeit one, which is usually very inexpensive.  If you connect it to the FLEX-6000 and it isn't recognized, it isn't a genuine FTDI device.
Photo of AB9UU


  • 60 Posts
  • 14 Reply Likes
The FTDI chip for the Flex is the only way to go for the USB connection.  I could not get the cables I bought to work with my Flex and Expert amp.  I fortunately had another USB serial cable in my drawer.  I plugged it into the computer first to see what chip it had. It was the FTDI unlike the other cable.  When I used this cable, the Flex communicated immediately and flawlessly with the amp.