Mini60 Antenna Analyzer USB Port not Recognized

I was going to run some sweeps with the Mini60 antenna analyzer this morning and found Windows 7 (64-bit) trying to load up the FTDI drivers then failing to do so. This was very weird behavior given that I had used the Mini60 on this same machine just a couple of weeks ago. Messed with it a while then tried to hookup the Mini60 to a laptop I had used in the field and found the same thing was occurring. The mini60 had worked on these machines and now were not recognized.

Searching the internet I came to find that FTDI modified their drivers late last year to prevent them being used in devices using fake/counterfeit chipsets based on the FTDI design. Looking at the USB device ID’s on the MIni60 showed that indeed these were not genuine FTDI chipsets. This issue is pretty widespread and are used in many devices having USB to serial interfaces including Ardunio boards, CHIRP programming cables and generic USB to serial conversion cables.The new drivers are now included in the latest windows updates so when they are installed (either manually or in my case automatically) it prevent the device from using or installing the drivers.

There is a way around this as outlined here on Reddit. Basically you will need to uninstall the device, disable windows auto updates and then load an older driver. I did this and am now back in business.  I will now have to monitor windows updates manually and fully expect to have to repeat this procedure as new updates are made.

While I understand that FTDI is trying to protect their IP by doing this, it also puts hapless users in a very bad position. I don’t usually look under the hood of electronics hardware I buy to see if the components are genuine. I just want to buy something that works. Many hobbyist devices use the FTDI chipsets and many of those folks are now completely out of luck.

caveat emptor

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