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Author Topic: CAT Control of Yeasu FT 990  (Read 5021 times)

Posts: 6

« on: February 19, 2013, 07:05:42 PM »

I have had this rig for over a year now and have tried "everything" to get rig control, to no avail. I have had special cable made, no joy. I have bought MicroHam cable and control, no joy. The latest I have tried is the West Mountain RigTalk USB Interface and cable. I am using HRD (Which works fine with my Kenwood TS 440.)  I have done the check to ensure that I have Ver 1.3 firmware.
The HRD connect dialog always says the radio is not hooked up or not turned on.
On the computer the com port is assigned to the interface and I set the port settings to 4800, no parity, 2 stop bits and flow control to "none". Nothing works!
Before I take a hammer to this otherwise wonderful radio, I thought I would ask for help. Does anyone have a 990 that the CAT works on and, if so, what did you use and what did you do to make it work?  I would appreciate any and all help that I can get. Thank you and 73 

Posts: 113

« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 12:38:49 AM »

20 years ago I bought a MAX-232 chip and wired up some cables to connect the CAT port on the 990 to a serial port on my computer. I had no problems sending CAT commands to the 990. I could not receive any data from the 990. I ended up adding a 1.3K resistor from Pin 2/Serial Out on the CAT port to ground(pin 1 on the CAT port). 20 years ago a computer came with Basic so it took about 5 minutes to write a BASIC program to debug/prove the CAT port was fully operational.

Several years later I read the early builds of the 990 had a problem with the Serial Out and people added 1.2K, or a 1.3K or a 1.5K resistor to ground. Years later I read newer 990's had been changed and the resistor was no longer needed.

In 2013 I use HamRadioDeluxe and the DXLAB Suite and both programs work great with my 20 year old MAX-232 chip.
I'm running a computer with Vista but have run with Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows XP in the past. My computer has a standard serial port and I also have a couple of USB to Serial Adapters and all three serial ports work just fine with HRD, DXLAB, and my 990.

There is a Yahoo FT-990 group and on that group there are a large number of people who are using HRD or DXLAB with their FT-990 using different hardware interfaces and setups - so yes the 990 CAT port does work just fine.

ROM version 1.3 works fine with HRD because it has a special UPDATE command that allows HRD to poll the 990. ROM version 1.2 doesn't work with HRD but DXLAB has two 990 configurations so DXLAB does work with 1.2 and 1.3.

Posts: 6

« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 11:02:58 AM »

Thank you for your information. I will try the DXLAB software because I can't even get the HRD to connect. Do you know how I can even tell if data is available at the 990 CAT connector? Thanks,  Floyd

Posts: 35

« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 12:12:15 PM »

I've owned (and sadly sold) two FT990's.  One had version 1.3 software, the other version 1.2.
With the 1.3 software no problems running any logging or rig control programs.

With the radio that had version 1.2 NO software would work.  I had a cable from, I think Hosenose and used it on both radios.  I even borrowed a proper Yaesu interface from a friend of mine and it still wouldn't work.
I found out that with the 1.2 software, forget controlling the rig from the computer.
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