F8 and a GPS -

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Wed Jul 2 03:31:36 UTC 2008

On Tuesday 01 July 2008, Roberto Ragusa wrote:
>Gene Heskett wrote:
>> On Monday 30 June 2008, Roberto Ragusa wrote:
>>> I don't know your unit, but my (black box) USB GPS is just a USB-serial
>>> converter (prolific 2303) and a serial GPS unit.
>> And that pl2303 is an Excedrin(TM) headache, and the only solution I've
>> found is to replace it with an FTDI based unit.  The pl2303's are VERY
>> fond of throwing away the first byte of a packet, particularly when being
>> used with a high traffic device such as a gps.
>I didn't have particular problems with the pl2303.
>In any case I can't change the serial converter, as it is integrated into
>the unit, not an external adapter. Linux detects the whole thing as pl2303
>so I assume it is internally an adapter+serialGPS.

My old Garmin 12 (yeah, it has gray hair) has a very dumb serial interface, so I 
have to use an adapter to make it usb.

And there are no intermittent connection problems?

Maybe Prolific has quietly fixed that bug in later issues.  Mine are 5 or 6 
years old, one I got from the shack, and another I got from Wallies a year or 
so later.  Both of them have been problems.  I tried to use one to connect to a 
ups, but every time it dropped the connection, the ups monitor initiated a shut 
down about a second later.  Several times a day.  That, and glancing over at 
the roadnav screen while in western Iowa, and noted it showing me in downtown 
Indianapolis IN for 30 seconds just got to be too much.  I moved one of them to 
the heyu circuit, that gave heyu a tummy ache & it would segfault & die.  I 
asked Charles on the heyu list & he said I wasn't the only one having trouble 
with pl2303's, and he was telling folks to go get the FTDI devices as they 
seemed to Just Work(TM), and they have, very well, as have the Atmel silicon in 
a pair of extension cables I use.

>Best regards.
>    Roberto Ragusa    mail at robertoragusa.it

Cheers, Gene
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