If you only need this for your RADIO SHACK scanner, I would suggest using the 20-047 all-in-one cable. (lots cheaper than getting TWO cables) Make SURE you use the mono adaptor supplied in the package, AND be certain to install the driver prior to plugging it in for the first time,
FIRST PUT THE DRIVER CD INTO YOUR COMPUTER
THEN PLUG IN THE USB RADIO SHACK DEVICE
Windows will show "new Hardware found", and when the wizard asks you for the driver, you use the "browse" for driver button and point to the folder on the CD titled "Drivers".
Then hit "next" and it should have the driver ".inf? file showing.
THAT will install the device for USB access - and - install a serial port driver so the device "looks like" a serial/comm port
If you have a SIDE MOUNTED "PC/IF" jack on your radio it ALSO requires the 3 inch STEREO to MONO adaptor. The Radio's jack is MONO, so unless you convert the stereo tip on the USB's cable, it will not make proper connections, and that is the main problem when it "Doesn't work".
I recently purchased a laptop and I wish to use it to program my scanners on trips. As is now the norm this computer has several USB ports but no serial port.
Do I need the new USB 20-047 from Radio Shack, or can I just use a serial to USB adapter along with my old cables?