The ATTiny USB Controller in the Softrock

An Alternative from M0WID an ATTiny 861 with more output pins for RXTX LPF/BPF switching.

Softrock ATTiny45/85
Complied from faults and cures on the Softrock Yahoo group over several years.
This is not only relevant to first-time users, things can go wrong at any time.

September 2015 DRIVER INSTALLATION FILE.  PE0FKO-USB-Driver-Installer.exe is still current.
This file is not a driver pack. It is an executable installation. If it fails run it again, the installation procedures detailed further down this page will not work.
Note this IS a signed driver and should work in all Windows versions including Windows 10.

September 2016 Windows 10, latest update. It has been reported that this installation does not work because the certificate requires updating. Try Zadig, you may select libusb as the driver.

From Fred PE0FKO:- Check Fred's page  at the "install the PC driver" section.  

The installer will install the certificate and then install the driver (32 
& 64 bits) then the hardware can be plugged in.

Hopefully the above driver installation will make things much simpler. Windows just needs to recognise the USB connection and it should automatically install the driver.

To help make sure this happens after running the Installer.exe remove ALL USB devices, ALL including any keyboard or mouse receiver t
hen plug in the Softrock USB. 
Refit after Softrock is recognised. If the device is not recognised when another USB device is already plugged in the you may well have a "HID conflict".
It seems this problem can appear after upgrading to Windows 10. Remove ALL other USB devices. Try other USB sockets, all USB sockets are not the same especially now USB3  is becoming common.

October 2015. This happened to me with Windows 10."When I start CFGSR, I get a message that it can't find libusb0."

Some others have reported this error on earlier Windows versions. It seems the installer did not work properly. It should put libusb0.dll in the system folder and register it. On the C: drive it makes the "usb_driver" folder. Don renames
libusb0_x86.dll to  libusb0.dll and places it in the CFGSR folder. It also will need placing in the HDSDR folder, maybe in other SDR programs that use the Si570. Read Don's post:-
Don wb8yqj posted this work-round

If you are familiar with Zadig that can be used to install libusb if you are not familiar be very careful. Always set a restore point first. Look here

Another problem? Some USB devices, like the Funcube Dongle do not work in USB3 sockets. Try using a USB2 socket, it seems that most computers with USB3 do also have USB2, try another socket.

Some have suspected a USB power problem. I do not think this has ever been positively confirmed. The firmware reports 20mA to the computer but since the Si570 has been integrated the actual current drawn is 100-110mA. My research indicates that any USB port will supply at least 100mA, I think any possible current limiter is unlikely to be that precise.

For PSDR, may be the same as the above:- In the zip here is a driver installation USBtoI2C_InstallDriver.exe that should work easily for all Windows versions. January 2013.

These new files should ensure that the driver is on your system.

If, with NO other USB device plugged in, Windows does not then recognise the DG9SAQ lib_USB device then it is more likely that something is wrong with the controller.
By far the most usual problem is a bad joint or wrong component. Many have 
looked and looked and looked and THEN seen the fault.
Check particularly the soldered connections to ground, they need a hot iron.
In a few instances the ATTiny85 has been found to be faulty.
NOTE. The Si570 DOES NOT AFFECT THIS. The ATTiny will be recognised and drivers installed even if the Si570 is not fitted.

The green dot at the bottom left just shows that the USB is connected and talking to the controller. Nothing else!
The Test Tab
If the AVR/Si570 is working properly this will show all the fields filled with data, values depending on your particular Si570.
"Get" refreshes. Tick "Repeat" for a constant refresh.
If configured for a RXRX then the PTT button should be active and set a Softrock to transmit.
The state of the CW pins is monitored, I'm not sure what the 3V3 "light" really confirms.

If error messages appear then maybe the Si570 is not soldered properly.

The "About" Tab. Click > it is to the right.
January 2017, Disable "Update" on this tab. There is an error, no update is available.

"HID conflict"

Confusion easily arises when attempting to install a new controller and the "HID" trouble. So always try it first with NO other USB devices connected.
Remove any keyboard or mouse receiver

My understanding of the "HID" problem is that the Softrock USB controller is classified by Windows as a "Human Interface Device" (HID). I believe the reason is that this is to avoid paying a large registration fee for a unique USB identifier. Many other things are also classified as HIDs, including mice, keyboards, weather stations. Sometimes there is a conflict between HIDs and one is not recognised.  

So the best thing is first to remove ALL USB devices insert the Softrock and hope to see it recognised. If it is then replace your other devices and bear in mind that this can happen again, and again...
Seriously, there is no alternative, you may have to find a startup procedure that suits your system. And, in time, it may alter.

If this happens after a successful driver install the first thing to try is restarting the computer.
I have several USB Softrocks, usually I can plug them into any USB socket and they work sometimes one is not recognised.
Some recommend using just one particular USB socket NOT a hub. I seem to have solved most of my problems by putting my other HIDs on an unpowered hub.

If you still get "Device Unrecognised" and you are not absolutely sure that the USB controller is operating correctly then try it on another computer. 
Make sure there are no no other USB devices plugged in.

  Dave's explanation of USB connection problems  This seems to me to be the best explanation I have seen. Some have said the ATTiny is not a true USB device but others say "Yes, but there is no reason that it should not work. "

Some have suggested their laptops will not power the Softrock. An Ensemble requires 110mA maximum from the USB so I consider this unlikely but it is possible a powered hub might help. Or it might hide the HID problem.

Below, fault finding.
When the all-in installer has been used the information below will probably not be needed.
If you do have a problem then maybe you would wish to try manual installation then the information below should help.

USB control of the Si570 in the Softrock can be an introduction to Windows problem solving.
(And one Linux user has said this is not unknown problem.)

Windows 7 32 bit
I plugged in the USB on Windows 7, it very rapidly went through the first steps and before I realised  it had installed the "Unknown Device"
I had to go to Device Manager as described below.
64 bit, note the need for a signed driver, see bottom of page.

Windows XP,  When the Softrock USB is first inserted you hope to get these two messages and then continue to install the driver.

Most times this will happen.
Plug in your other USB devices and continue. Install the software as described on the download page. Do NOT allow Windows to try to do this automatically.

This message can be the start of your frustration!

The message just means that something has been plugged into the computer. It does not tell you if the USB controller has correctly sent data to the computer. It does not tell you if the computer has failed to read this data.

If you have been confused, ticked a few boxes then you may have confused Windows. It is usually easy to "uninstall" "Unknown Devices" and "Hidden Unknown Devices" as described further down this page but sometimes Windows can make this very frustrating, seemingly impossible.

Try another computer with NO other USB device connected. If you just plug it in, see 
what message is displayed, pull it out, it will not affect that computer. Just do 
no more than click "Cancel" or "X".

If the Softrock ATTiny is still not recognised then there is a fault, most often a bad joint or wrong component. Check particularly the soldered connections to ground, they need a hot iron.
In a few instances the ATTiny85 has been found to be faulty.
NOTE. The Si570 DOES NOT AFFECT THIS. The ATTiny will be recognised and drivers installed even if the Si570 is not fitted.

Below, some things you may need.

Windows "Device Manager"
 The ATTiny has been recognised but something went wrong installing the driver. (As happened on my Windows 7)
Right Click - Properties.
Click "Reinstall Driver" and direct Windows to where you have put it.


This is when you have allowed Windows to install an "Unknown Device"
You are expected to ask a computer expert why your device is not working, but unless he is a Softrock user he will have no idea!
Right Click - Uninstall this, and any others that may be listed.

Any "Hidden Unknown Devices" should also be removed. Device Manager - View - Show Hidden Devices.;EN-US;Q315539  

A more comprehensive tool is "Show Hidden Devices . exe" here, near the bottom Opening Device Manager with Hidden Devices already showing.

Others, "Show Hidden Devices . exe"  here and a search will probably find it elsewhere. 
Fundamentally these utilities just open Windows Device Manager in a different way. See 

ONLY REMOVE UNKNOWN DEVICES if you remove something else you may be asked for drivers when you insert another device, like a camera.
Sometimes "Scan for hardware changes" may work if the Softrock is still connected.
This is available from the drop-down after uninstalling.
Highlight your computer. Action.

Another of Robby's pages, all models, USB driver installation and testing. September 2010 

 Installing the driver.  Load drivers:-Unpack the drivers into a folder on your computer. Insert USB plug and direct the "Wizard" to the SI570_firmware folder.  Then the drivers are installed. If you miss this and the driver does not get installed go to "Device Manager", find the "Unknown USB Device" and "Update the Driver", directing it to the folder. Occasionally it may be necessary to find and delete the drivers. In XP they are at C:\Windows\System32\libus0.sys and libus0.dll, one of these in the "Drivers" folder.

When you have USB connection  check GFGSR's 
"Test" tab It should have all the fields filled and no error when "Get" is clicked then your controller is ready for use.
If this is not seen then often bad joints on the Si570, especially pins 7 and 8 are the reason.

Windows-7 64bits  July 2010 "The open-source group LibUSB-Win32 released  the new and SIGNED version of the libusb0.sys library. Because it is signed it will also install on Windows-7 64bits. I did build a new driver install package and tested it on Windows-XP and Windows-7 64bits.  Also changed the web-page to describe the installation process on Windows-7. With thanks to the LibUSB-Win32 group and Pete Batard (who is the developer of libusb-1.0) for contributing the certificate!-- 73, Fred PE0FKO"

Windows 2000, older driver and CFGSR versions.

June 2011 The latest driver does not seem to work with Windows 2000:- I installed PE0FKO-USB-Driver- version from 

[Dead link, email me, I have that and most other versions of the driver/CFGSR] 

and it installed in a flash. Larry, W2HHV.

G4ZFQ August 2011
alan4alan at googlemail com
More of my pages related to SDR Initial USB driver installation on a Windows 7 Asus netbook. Notes about using it with SDR.
All aspects of the Softrock SDR Files