Tuesday, 5 May 2015

A small update...

Well,  there's a nice surprise - the Baofeng UV-5R, and all its accessories,  turned up in one delivery, rather that three or four, over two days, from Amazon this morning. Only one problem,  the programming cable,  or the radio itself, may have a fault...

I tried to download the radio's firmware and pre-installed memory settings, to find the the radio was not responding. The programming cable,  which came in a Baofeng printed box,  is based on the Prolific chip,  was accepted by the computer,  and mounted apparently successfully via a USB port first time,  no drivers required.

To prove this, I checked on the Console, with the dmesg command. This displays all system messages to the screen from the moment you booted up your Linux machine that session. It's rather handy for error tracking. This is what I got:

[ 5611.658886] usb 3-1.1.2: new full-speed USB device number 6 using xhci_hcd
[ 5611.760088] usb 3-1.1.2: New USB device found, idVendor=067b, idProduct=2303
[ 5611.760098] usb 3-1.1.2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
[ 5611.760104] usb 3-1.1.2: Product: USB-Serial Controller
[ 5611.760108] usb 3-1.1.2: Manufacturer: Prolific Technology Inc.
[ 5611.761287] pl2303 3-1.1.2:1.0: pl2303 converter detected
[ 5611.762771] usb 3-1.1.2: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB0

So, not the chip in the cable, then, or it wouldn't have responded.

The radio,  once fully charged via the drop-in mains charger, turned on as expected. And that's all that seemed to go right thus far.

So, as the chip in the USB end of the cable is being recognised, then it's either a fault in the cable or the plugs at the radio end, or the radio itself.

My immediate gut feeling on this, is to look at the common cause of a lot of problems, and that will be the cable - cables can fail for a wide variety of reasons, not all of them immediately apparent, so I've ordered another cable, this time based on the FTDI chip,  in the hope that it's the cable, not the radio.

If the replacement cable doesn't do the trick,  then it's likely as not to be the radio,  and that'll get a replacement request fired off to the marketplace retailer.

To be updated once I've got the FTDI cable.

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