Why your FTDI Programming Cable
or Arduino Computer Board
may Stop Working
See update below
|Two of the biggest names in
USB Programming Cable interface chips are Prolific and FTDI. Unfortunately,
many of these UART chips are being cloned
(counterfeited). As a result, these manufacturers are
being forced to take steps to discourage the
manufacturing, sales and use of these cloned chips to protect
their Intellectual Property (IP).
For several years Prolific was the target of counterfeit
chips being used in USB programming cables. The solution was to purchase a cable
using a UART chip manufactured by FTDI. Recently there
has been a Game Changer that could effect these cables
Prolific has changed their cable
drivers over the years to discourage this. Over the past
decade, the Windows drivers have been updated to work
with only their authentic chips and reject those that
were not. By using drivers dating back to 2005 (XP) and
2007 (Win7) these cables can be made to work, however,
Windows updates will automatically try to update your
drivers when you change Com Ports in your PC and again
render your cable unusable.
FTDI has now also been the victim of
counterfeiters, but has taken a totally different
approach. FTDI's most recent driver 18.104.22.168
(8-26-2014) will now alter a cloned chip by
rendering it totally disabled by changing the Product ID (PID) of
the counterfeit chip. When this occurs, even reverting back
to the original driver will produce negative results.
IMPORTANT UPDATE -
FTDI DRIVER has been WITHDRAWN
Due to the
controversy regarding FTDI's driver rendering a device
unusable, FTDI has withdrawn its latest Windows
Restoration procedure for those chips already
impacted will be posted when available from FTDI.
FTDI Driver Versions
v22.214.171.124 - 1/18/2013
v126.96.36.199 - 1/27/2014
v188.8.131.52 - 8/26/2014 Removed from Windows Updates
1) These drivers will only disable the programming
cable. They will NOT effect or 'brick' the radio being programmed.
2) Prolific and FTDI are two totally different
companies. Their drivers are Not interchangeable.
3) The counterfeit FTDI chips are most commonly
found in Arduino Computer Project kits.
4) If you purchased your programming cable or
Arduino board from a reputable source, you should have
Conclusion: When purchasing a
Programming Cable or Arduino Computer Board, make sure
they use Genuine FTDI or Prolific chips. Always
purchase from a known reliable
source that will guarantee their product.