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Author Topic: FT-817 commander software  (Read 10632 times)
N1DVJ
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Posts: 530




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« on: September 21, 2013, 07:41:45 AM »

I just downloaded and tried to run the FT-817 Commander software.  (Yeah, I'm a bit behind the curve)

I have an older FT-817 and the RT Systems CAT cable.  I can use the cable with setup and get data in and out of the radio.  In addition, I wrote my own control program that works and I can control the FT-817 with no problem.

So I tried to use the Commander program.

First off, it wouldn't connect.  At least correctly.   It insisted that it wanted to use COM3 and that my FT-817 was at 4800baud.  Then the program went 'nuts'.  I believe it was banging away at my IR modem in the laptop and the responses were really sending it on to the outer limits.

So I manually told Commander to go to COM15 (where the cat cable appears) but the Commander software refuses to use it, saying the com port is already in use and it can't open it.

Not to bad-mouth what otherwise looks like a fantastic program, but is this another example of a programmer not understanding how to use windows com ports?  Or do I have other issues I need to address?

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W3CE
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 01:15:20 AM »

Mine works fine with Commander. I believe the RT systems cable is wired differently than the Yaesu cable. (made only to work with RT software)

With the Yaesu cable it works great!

73
AL  w3ce
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N1DVJ
Member

Posts: 530




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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 04:03:38 AM »

The differences shouldn't matter.  Send data and receive data are still that, and aren't really changeable.  The control and status lines shouldn't matter either, as Commander asks.  I think they are there strictly for trueblue comports where those lines are used to power a converter chip.

I should point out that the RTSystems cable works with other (simple) software that I have tried, and software I wrote myself.  Of course, the other software and the stuff I wrote works just fine at COM15.  My software will work up at COM700 if I configure it to.  It will even work if I do a virtual link to the cable plugged into another machine at another location.  (I know, because I've written weather software that works exactly that way.)

Also, the Commander doesn't even TRY to use the port, it bails when it first sees COM15.

Can I ask, what com port is your Commander software configured to use?

I wonder...  There is a trick that you have to do with the COM init line when the COMx number is 10 and above.  It's strictly a matter of changing the length of the string, since a string for COMxx is one byte longer than the string for COMx.  Same thing happens again when you jump from COM99 to COM100...  But I don't know that it's patchable.  I may have to go into my laptop and restructure things so it's down at COM9 or lower.  Sucks...

Anyone know if the source is available anywhere?


« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 04:07:37 AM by N1DVJ » Logged
WB6THE
Member

Posts: 129




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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 09:18:35 AM »

Are you talking about that very old FT-817 Commander version 2.2 beta program?
Works wonderfully on my FT-817ND using my laptop or desktop computer.
My cable is the Yaesu CT-62 cable and I'm using a USB interface into the computer.

The O/S is WindowsXP Pro

I can offer the settings that I'm using:

Firstly, on the FT-817, depress and hold the orange button marked  F  on the front panel of the radio.
This gets you into a setup menu. Rotate the SEL knob (on the left front panel) until you reach the
#14 CAT RATE menu item. Rotate the main tuning knob until 38400 is displayed.
When 38400 is set depress and hold the F button again to take the radio out of the menu.

Start the Commander program and you'll see the program's initial screen.
On my computer Autodetect is unchecked.
COM 3 is selected
Baud Rate 38400 is selected
There is nothing checked in the DTR/RTS button

It might make things easier to place a check mark in Autodetect
and let the program try. May take a little while to work/not work.

In the WinXP Control Panel you might have to fiddle with the COM port and
baud rate. Should agree with 38400 baud and COM port number.

For what its worth this is what I'm doing so maybe will be of help to you.

Would be happy to correspond further... email is

r*a*d*i*o*6*t*h*e*atsign*c*o*x*d*o*t*n*e*t

You know what charcaters don't belong there!

FT-817 hates it if you don't shut down Commander before turning off
the radio.

Alan
WB6THE





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WB6THE
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Posts: 129




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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 10:00:57 AM »

Re-reading your post.... what is an IR modem... infra-red maybe... not sure.
Maybe you could go into Control Panel and temporarily disable it.
And it has been a very long time since I set up the Commander software
that I'm not sure if IRQ settings are needed.

Alan
WB6THE
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N1DVJ
Member

Posts: 530




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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 03:33:23 PM »

Yep, it's commander 2.2beta

And...  With USB there's no such thing as an interrupt.  If the software requires it, then it's brain dead and probably a legacy from early PC days where the internals for the com hardware was so bad developers had no choice but to do their own.  

And you indicated you are on COM3.  And by IR a lot of laptops had IR modems, although most people don't use them.  

I am going to see if I can juggle things a bit and get my RTSystems cable to go in at a com port down at 9 or less and see if that works.

Oh, the autodetect really makes the software spaz out.  SERIOUSLY spaz out. 

Is there a later version of the commander I can pick up somewhere?  

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WB6THE
Member

Posts: 129




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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 03:50:44 PM »

Commander ver 2.2 is the latest version that I'm aware of.
I think the author, Simon Brown HB9DRV, abandoned it
in beta stage to develop Ham Radio Deluxe.

Alan
WB6THE
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N1DVJ
Member

Posts: 530




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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2013, 06:01:43 AM »

Ok, temporarily changed things around so I got a COM port down low, and guess what?  Commander works.  Works fine too.

But I'm really disappointed.  There's no excuse for software not being able to use ANY comport. 

Here's what I did in one of my Delphi programs, and this works for com ports up to COM99

  ComParams := Concat('COM', IntToStr(portnum), ':',IntToStr(baudrate),',n,8,1')  ;
  pComParams := StrPCopy(buff, ComParams);         { creat null term strings }
  if portnum < 10 then pPortName :=  StrPLCopy ( buf4, ComParams, 4 )
      else pPortName :=  StrPLCopy ( buf4, '\\.\'+ComParams, 9 );

The first part, for a single digit com number up to 9, builds a string that starts with COMx where x is the number.  When the com port hits 10, the string now starts with COMxx, or 1 digit longer.  In addition, the ComParams string is preceeded by the doubleback slash a period and a single back slash.  So that's 1 + 4 characters long, or the length changes from 4 to 9, a difference of 5.  I didn't do it here, but to go past COM99 and into the hundreds, just change the length from 9 to 10, the slash thing is the same.

In Delphi you then just call the CreateFile routine using the above pPortName as the first parameter

I've used COM ports that are virtual on other machines up in the 200's, but you have to be careful with the delays when the com port isn't really on the host machine.  I've been told from various sources that this technique work up to COM768 from one person, and to com1023 from another, but I don't personally know for sure.

This technique has worked for YEARS on multiple operating systems.  Like I said, no excuse for poor software.
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N1DVJ
Member

Posts: 530




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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2013, 12:43:16 PM »

Mine works fine with Commander. I believe the RT systems cable is wired differently than the Yaesu cable. (made only to work with RT software)

By the way, not correct.  The RTSystems cable is generic, as far as that goes.  The ONLY thing about the RTSystems cable I see as non-generic is the coding in the attribute space of the USB Serial interface that is looked for by their software.

It is NOT that the cable is made to work only with their software.  Their software is made to work only with their cable.  Totally different thing.
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