FT-891 and TRX-manager CAT control software

I have successfully got FT891 running under TRX-manager: http://www.trx-manager.com/index.html

1) Install the dual serial port driver from Yaesu website. 
See manual here: http://www.yaesu.com/airband/downloadFile.cfm?FileID=9515&FileCatID=42&FileName=USB%5FDriver%5FInstallation%5FManual%5FENG%5F1610%2DB0.pdf&FileContentType=application%2Fpdf

(Note: the 891 has dual serial ports, it does not have an USB soundcard).

2) Reboot the PC and check that you see two serial devices in your Device manager (type device manager when clicking the start button)

3) Hold F on the FT-891 in a couple of seconds (long click)

4) Goto menu 05-06
Set CAT RATE to 38400

6) Goto menu 05-08.
 Set CAT RTS to DISABLE (unless you do that you may have a problem getting data thru)

7) Set the rate to 38400 in TRX-manager (setup menu) and select FT-891. Also select correct COM port (on my PC it was COM5. It may be different on yours).
Remember: unless you set CAT RTS to DISABLE (see above) you will not get data thru and you will mess around in the TRX-manager menus while the problem was a setting in the FT-891 menu.

8) Stop and restart TRX-manager

9) You may hear a clicking sound for every CAT transmission in your FT-891 loudspeaker (A bit annoying… I have to admit that even if I like Yaesu radios)

10) Click F on the FT-891 (short click)

11) Goto MON on the FT-891 menu

12) Click on MON

13) Turn down the MON level to 0
Note: This applies regardless if you have MON ON or MON OFF (this is a bug in Yaesu’s firmware. Rare. LOL)

14) Now you have CAT control without any clicking sounds on your FT-891

15) Enjoy your Yaesu FT-891

Comments about the FT-891: 

Plusses: the FT-891 has in my view a better and more modern RX than the ageing FT-857, even better than IC7300 (some ppl. claim) http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/13042?page=2 , it is a low cost modern mobile 100W HF rig with a small detachable front, it has DSP RX, a nice variable RX filter, works well down to low voltages even if someone claims it doesn’t, has a much better menu system and a better VFO, it has a reasonable current draw on RX (even if the datasheet overstates this a bit it is below 1A on my rig).

Minuses: No VHF or UHF ( however that may be a benefit. Not the compromises that probably are in the 857 rf chain). No USB soundcard (do you really need that in a mobile station?), 60M USB has to be programmed in a memory and you go memory tune from there and it will keep USB even if you are below 10 MHZ.

CAT / RS232 / CW interface (FTDI, MAX232, 5V controllable FETs)

I made a CAT and CW interface from readily available components. Of course it is possible to buy a microham interface or simular. However, I wanted no USB soundcard functionality and Xp, Win 10, Linux compatibility without having to install drivers. A native FTDI chip from SF will do the job nicely. The FTDI chip has 5V TTL out and the true RS232 has +-1 12V signal levels. Therefore I pressed a MAX232 board that I designed approx 10 years ago and was laying in the junkobox into service. 5V TTL into and out from the MAX232 chip into the FTDI chip.
I used some “5V TTL FETs” for switching the CW signal. The RTS / CTS signals from the FTDI interface can drive these fets directly. I needed to invert the signal so that the CW keying is off by default. So since I had two of the 5V TTL FETs laying in the junkbox, I used one to invert and one to drive the CW key output. On the picture to the left the fets can be seen.
Here the quick and dirty prototype can be seen. The old RS232 converter board to the left, the switching FETs to the right and the FTDI board below.

Arduino Based CW keyer / FTDI based CAT interface

I recently needed a new CW keyer with Winkey compatibility for use with my N1MM logging setup. K3NG has written some nice keyer code that I compiled and uploaded to one of my Arduino UNO boards that I had laying in the shack (if you want to try it, you need the latest  – above 1 – version of the Arduino “IDE”). Below you can see some pictures from making the prototype thru to ready made keyer with USB interface and adjustable speed button. I did not install the memory buttons, as I control the CW keyer via USB from N1MM or Hamradio Deluxe. It works very well with my Yaesu FT-450D but instead of the UNO I will eventually use a Mini Pro board with the Atmel Atmega 328. You can see more info on K3NGs site http://radioartisan.wordpress.com/arduino-cw-keyer/#comment-3255

Below is the schematic (remark: full credit is given to to K3NG!). I have modded the design for my own needs. Instead of the 2N2222 I use a TTL tolerant FET of type IRLIZ44N to drive the keyer output. Then I don’t need the 100 ohm resistors in series. I also did connect a piezo tweeter directly to the CPU  without using the 2N222 transistor. It works OK. However, the sound of the piezo tweeter is not the best in the world. Finally, as mentioned above, I did not install all the buttons. I installed only the command button to save space.  There is a need to do a small mod on the UNO hardware due to some reset issues. For that I will have to add another button that needs to be pressed when I want to upload code.



I also needed a CAT interface. It is possible to use a FTDI chip for this task, however the signal levels need to be transformed to +/- 12V. This I solved with a MAX232 board that I had laying around in the shack. So now I have a CAT interface that is compatible with Win XP, NT, 2000, 98, Windows 7, Windows 8 etc since the FTDI chips are widely supported. It looks like … but works like …