USB Drivers for SCS Pactor Modems

Modems connected to the computer via a USB connection will require software drivers. For the SCS PTC-IIusb, PTC-IIIusb, DR-7400 and DR-7800 Pactor modems, a USB (type-B) connection is provided and the Airmail software installer also installs the required SCS version 2.08 drivers. In most cases this is all that is needed.

For modems with 9-pin serial port connections, a USB-serial adapter is required. These also require drivers. But in this case the drivers are provided by the adapter manufacturer. There are two common types: Adapters that use the FTDI chip are supported by Windows and setup should be automatic if internet is available.

The second type would be adapters that use the Prolific PL2303 chip, this includes many low-cost no-name generic adapters. Our recommendation in this case is to purchase a FTDI adapter such as the Sabrent CB-FTDI, available from Amazon and elsewhere for less than $15 USD. The problem is that many older PL2303 chips are no longer compatible with later Windows releases. Visit the Prolific website for more info.

Looking forward, new Windows-11 security requirements will require updated SCS version 2.12 drivers. The issue is a new “Memory Integrity” check, described below. If your modem works fine with the current drivers, then skip the rest of this and be happy. There is no functional advantage to updating version 2.08 drivers, the only purpose is to avoid issues on newer Windows-11 versions. But if you run into problems with Win-11 security checks, then updating to ver 2.12 should resolve that.

If you are still reading, then before updating drivers disconnect the modem and remove any SCS version 2.08 (or earlier) drivers. To do this, open Windows settings, Apps, Installed Apps, and scroll down and find “Windows Driver Package – SCS Driver Package … 2.08.24”. Click the three-dot menu and select “Uninstall” for each of the entries. (Alternately enter “Control Panel” into Windows search, select “Small Icons” in the View-by box in the upper-right, and click “Programs and features”).

Next, download the version 2.12 driver-installer by clicking this link. Download that installer file, disconnect the modem, and run the installer. Reconnect the modem and it should be ready to go. You can verify driver-details (including version code) and COM-port assignments from Windows Device Manager (click the Windows button and search for that name).

That’s the simple approach. If you must, you can also update the drivers manually using the Windows Device Manager. Click here to download the driver package and extract the files to a “SCS drivers” folder somewhere. Then connect the modem and look for it under “Ports”, or possibly “Other devices”. Richt-click and select “Update drivers”, select the folder where you saved the driver package, and install.

So what’s the deal with “Memory Integrity”? This is a security feature, part of “Core Isolation”, that isolates driver memory space from the operating system to protect against potentially malicious code. This has been an optional security feature for Win-11 for some time. What has changed is that the default is changing from “off” to “on”, and Windows Enterprise editions don’t allow it to be disabled. Hence the need for new drivers that support this.

You can check this by opening Settings from the Windows button and then selecting “Privacy & Security”, “Windows Security”, “Device Security”, and “Core Isolation”. Click on “Core isolation details” and check the “Memory Integrity” setting. If it is off, then click “Review incompatible drivers”, this will list older drivers which are not compatible with Core Isolation. If any SCS drivers are listed then delete and update them as above. For other incompatible drivers, consult the manufacturer’s website.