I intend to use this (in the beginning not so) nice dingy to attach serial ports over USB to a Virtual Machine running W2KSP4 on my Opensuse Linux notebook. Yep, you guessed right, many things in my collection have serial ports for communication and data exchange.
The plugs just have arrived by mail from Singapore (the shop claimed to be in HK), I had bought them on ebay (searching for
USB 2 serial wordlwide and sorted by increasing price & shipping, and they were not really expensive (2.3 Euros incl. shipping and a USB extension cable. Meanwhile, I found a similar adapter *with* driver CD for even 1.69, shipping included, from Mainland China. Strangely, this is much cheaper than buying from a German source, but when buying from a +- local dealer, maybe you won’t run into challenges like this one, at least, it will be easier for you to catch someone whom you may rip off the head in this case). For a windows driver, there was a link on the seller’s page, it pointed to the 1.5M file dx0038.rar, stored on box.net, a filehoster. I ran the setup, plugged the adapter into a USB slot and: Nope! Of course, nothing worked (if it had, you wouldn’t be able to read it here :).
So far the story. Here is the solution (that’s what you’re here for, probably).
In Linux, the
lsusb command showed the device ID:
1a86:7523 Unknown HL-340 USB-Serial adapter
Googling for it (it was something like:
1a86:7523 HL-340 USB-Serial), I found this driver archive:
http://www.winchiphead.com/download/index.htm, you’ll find some technical schematics that explain how such a converter works. They are in chinese, but the schematics are with western characters and mostly self-explanatory. Winchiphead manufactures one of the chips inside the green dingy, not the adapter itself.
In this archive, there is folder
DRIVER. There you’ll find the file
CH341SER.INF and some
*.SYS files. When Windows asks you for the driver, you need to point it to this
INF file. On said notbook, I could install 3 of these converters in parallel. Windows enumerated them as
COM5. According to the schematics in the docs, there seems not much difference between the
340 and the
341 flavor. There is another directory in the package labelled
INSTALL. There is an executable that seems to be a tool to access serial ports. But it is in chinese; you’ll need a chinese windows in order display the menues and characters correctly. And, of course, you need to be able to read chinese!
During my research, I came over some other sources, too, but they did not work with this converter. I had a look into the file and found the note
for Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Server2003/Vista/64bit XP/64bit Vista. So, it might work there, too. Good luck and have fun!
What might be the reason for this? I suppose, there are various chips in these adapters, requiring different drivers.
With Linux, there seem to be less problems: My Linux host (OpenSuse 11.1, Kernel 220.127.116.11-0.2-default) recognizes the adapter immediately and mounts it as /dev/ttyUSB0. A second one appears as /dev/ttyUSB1. More on this topic may be found there.