Currently I'm trying to make my radios (Baofeng UV-82 and Baofeng DM-860) friends with my Windows 7 and Chirp. My computer has only USB ports and no COM; Google adviced the Profilic driver (PL2303/PL23**) could help, but still no progress. Baofeng UV-82 LCD keeps blinking (blue and orange), being connected to the computer (and would not stop until the cable is put off), and no PnP sound is heard as well; Baofeng DM-860 (or DM-1801 - these two are just different names of the one model, as I can judge), surprisingly works (with their official app), but only allows reading from the radio, and the app crashes on trying to write to it. What can I do to get the stuff working? I have never had any drivers issues before, the USB ports all work properly for 'simple' devices (like mice, keyboards, flash drives).

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    $\begingroup$ Have you gotten anywhere with the problem? $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 Feb 12 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ @rclocher3, not at all, but I guess the cable is not what it should be... Will see in a couple days, thanks) $\endgroup$ – DumbStudent2016 Feb 13 at 13:26

You don't mention what programming cable that you're using. The programming cable has a very important job: it interacts with the OS as a USB device, and acts as a "virtual serial port", which means that the radio talks to the chip in the cable using a serial communications protocol.

The problem is that many inexpensive programming cables contain a USB-to-serial chip that's a close copy (a clone really) of a chip made by Prolific, so much so that Windows identifies them as Prolific chips. Windows Update will try to download the latest Prolific driver for the clone chips. Unfortunately for unsuspecting owners, Prolific responded to the flood of cloned chips by changing their driver to only work with genuine Prolific chips, so if you have the latest driver, a programming cable based on a cloned chip won't work. There is a work-around described here, which involves disabling automatic hardware driver updates, uninstalling any driver that's already installed, and then manually installing an old driver version.

But before you do anything drastic with drivers, go to the Windows Device Manager, by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard and then typing "device manager" and hitting <Enter>. All the devices that the OS can see in the computer or connected to it are listed there. If you unplug your cable, that "device" in the list will disappear, and if you plug the cable back in, then the device will reappear in the Device Manager list. Find the device that way, and see how the Device Manager describes it. If it's an "unknown device", then Windows doesn't even know what it is. If there's a problem with the driver then there is usually an exclamation point symbol next to the device, and right-clicking the device and then clicking "Properties" will usually give some explanation of the problem. If the Device Manager thinks that the device is fine, but the Properties dialog mentions "Prolific" somewhere, then you might have one of the programming cables with the clone chip.

Of course, you could be doing something wrong in the software. I've successfully used the Baofeng software in the past, but I much prefer CHIRP, because it's well thought out and it works for just about any radio that can be programmed with a computer. So you might want to try CHIRP, which has a mailing list with people who can help with problems. There is documentation; here's the Beginners' Guide.

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  • $\begingroup$ I can confirm that a counterfeit cable won't work with Chirp. The genuine cable I purchased later from Baofeng solved my problem. This was with Linux. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Feb 12 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ I got someone else's counterfeit cable to work once on Windows by following the painful work-around. I've also had USB-to-serial cables that couldn't be made to work on any OS---in other words, they were complete garbage. $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 Feb 12 at 21:57

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