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Reviews For: Tini CAT computer level converters for Yaesu

Category: Ham Shack Accessories

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Review Summary For : Tini CAT computer level converters for Yaesu
Reviews: 4MSRP: 40 kit 50 built tested
New IC chips allow the construction of small DC powered level converters to replace the110VAC $100 FIF-232E
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W8CYA Rating: 2010-02-08
Will not work for a ft-897 or ft-857 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I hate to leave a bad review for anyone, but unfortunately I have to.

I ordered this cat control pre-made because I wanted a nice small portable package to keep in the car. I never looked at the schematic before ordering. Had I looked at the schematic, I would have seen the glaring problems it represented. This cat control will not work for a ft-897 or ft-857. It will make the radio see a infinitely high swr on transmit. Worse, it will eventually do damage to the transceiver.

Now, not making a product that works alone would not get a bad rating in a review from me. He seemed like such a good guy when I ordered it, and that is keeping this review a one and not a zero. Unfortunately when I got it and told him about the problem, he said it was rf in the the shack. Well, there is a one inch ground strap bonding all the radios in the shack to a aluminum bus and that is strapped with one inch strap out to the array of grounding rods. I tell him this, and I get no response. I (embarrassingly to me) finally look at the schematic and see the problem. I try contacting him to tell him what he is doing wrong, no response. I think maybe he left, and try over some time. I finally try again as a new person from a new email address and say I have a problem with the tiny cat for a 857. I get the same reply then that all the other reviews have said "he said I have a grounding problem." Just like all those people, it is not a grounding problem, it is a design problem, that could be easily fixed!

The workmanship is great. He did a beautiful job on it. If it worked without modification, it would be a 5. If it worked after modification that he would acknowledge, it would still be a 3.

If you have one of these still and didn't just make another or buy another solution, feel free to look me up on eham and mail me for mod information. I would put it all here, but I am still holding out hope that a post/review that can't be taken down (unlike yahoo groups) will result in action, so that no one else is sold a non-working cat interface.

In the meantime, until he comes to terms with the problem and corrects it (with or without outside help) do yourself a favor and look elsewhere.
former_K4PDQ Rating: 2009-06-03
Works, but with issues Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I needed a CAT interface for my Yaesu FT-897 radio, but needed a cable about 8 feet long. So trying to save a few bucks, I ordered a TiniCat assembled board with DB-9 connector and the 8 pin mini DIN plug for the radio. I assembled with my own shielded cable as per the TiniCat instructions. Well the cable worked as far as programming the radio, but I later found that it was causing the radio to think it had high SWR and it also was causing the voltage readout on the radio to jump from 13.6 volts to 14.0 volts, even with the connector to the computer disconnected. After contacting TiniCat, they said it was from RF in the shack. I checked for, and eliminated any possible RF in the shack period, and still had the problem. I had some Max 233 chips on hand, so I built my own interface using the existing shielded cable with the mini DIN and it works perfectly. I don't think the use of 2N2222 transistors is the ideal way to do this interface like the Tinicat has. If you are looking for this type interface, I suggest you look elsewhere.
VK2ILO Rating: 2004-08-23
Perfect, flawless operation. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I thought that I'd throw in my $0.02 worth. I just received the Tini CAT interface for my FT-900. Up and running in less than 5 minutes. How easy is that? Well constructed and un-obtrusive as compared to the clumsy Yaesu FIC-232C. It also saves on the need for a power socket as the unit draws it's power from the 12v connector on the back of the radio. I'm using C-VI Commander by DXLabs (freeware) and its operation is flawless!
WD4LAM Rating: 2004-05-22
Great little box!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was looking for a level converter for my FT-990 when I ran across the "TINI CAT". It is nice and neat. Two pigtails and a serial data port. Small and hides on the back side of the desk when connected. And it comes with a CD with various shareware and demo radio control programs as well as manuals and data sheets for various Yaesu radios. And it comes with accessory DIN plugs! And the price is very reasonable.
Ok, I had to try it. I followed the directions supplied 12 volts to it and it did not work right. The log program could not read the freq of the radio, yet I could use the program and change freq on the radio. This is a problem for a majority of the FT-990s. So I added the resistor to the circuit in the TINI CAT as instructed. That did the trick! It works great. Logger, Logger32, Log Windows and DX Lab work fine!!
So for a reasonable price you get the TINI CAT and everything you need. Just plug it up, hook up power, make a few settings in your software and go!