USB interface not triggering. No PTT function question
I am totally new to data comms and have loaded the current JT65 HF
software and am using a USB driven interface cable from my Windows XP
desktop PC to my old boat anchor Yaesu FT-902DM transceiver. the cable
is from a UK company called radio Arena and is shown here (site can be
It has a LED on the case to show (I assume) when it triggers the PTT.
Using the JT65 "Test PTT" button the LED on the interface lights and
the PTT RCA plug that goes to the PTT connector on the back panel of
the transceiver goes closed circuit, tested with a continuity meter.
The rig however does not go into TX mode. Shorting the PTT connector
terminals on the transceiver sends it into TX mode. Am I missing
something like it also needs an audio signal input, or
misunderstanding the "Test PTT" function in JT65? Or is it likely a
hardware issue with the interface cable? Thanks!
Check to see that the RTS function is activated.If not sure just send audio into the input ,some cables don't work when using the ptt test function.
Hope it works.
Not sure how or where to check if the RTS function is enabled. here's a schematic of the device, maybe this will help? Thanks.
YOU MAY CONTACT Radio Arena BY EMAIL, OR TELEPHONE. SEND A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF YOUR PROBLEM, AN EXPLANATION OF EXACTLY HOW YOU ARE USING THE CABLE.
Using the JT65 "Test PTT" button the LED on the interface lights and the PTT RCA plug that goes to the PTT connector on the back panel of the transceiver goes closed circuit, tested with a continuity meter.
The rig however does not go into TX mode. Shorting the PTT connector terminals on the transceiver sends it into TX mode.
Am I missing something like it also needs an audio signal input, or misunderstanding the "Test PTT" function in JT65?
Get those instructions from Radio Arena or your Yaesu FT-902 Owner's manual -- Looking at page 9, it tells you that PTT is grounded for remote PTT operation (e.g. foot switch).
That is not how that interface works -- according to schematic you provided.
Using your DVM, do you have 12 VDC on that Yaesu PTT center pin???
The transistor in this Radio Arena USB interface is switched with 3.3 VDC going to ground ....
Your FT-902 PTT, as described, operates when that center pin (Yaesu PTT) is Grounded ....
That is NOT how this USB interface appears to work.
Looks like you need an additional Relay or Switching transistor, for proper operation.
You will have to ask Radio Arena about this Prolific USB chipset (counterfeit or real).
Originally Posted by RadioArena
Prolific has announced End of Life for this maligned USB chipset.
End-of-Life (EOL) Notice:
PL-2303HX(Chip Rev A) will be phased out at the end of October 2012. It would be replaced by PL2303TA which is pin-to-pin compatible with PL-2303HXA and PL-2303XA. Please refer to the PL2303TA PCN, Datasheet, and Migration Guide or contact Sales for more information.
Last edited by W9GB; 04-19-2012 at 12:46 PM.
Nullius in verba
Wow, great reply, thanks for all the trouble you have so obviously taken! OK, just probed the PTT RCA socket on the back of the 902 and the centre pin shows + 12 volts relative to ground, yes. I'll see if I can work out how to use a small relay. I should have paid more for an interface. Was told by someone local it worked fine on his 902DM though, which seems odd. I hope I haven't knackered the switching transistor in the adaptor, although it's hardly my fault if i have, i just followed the instructions... Am I right in thinking then, I need a small NO relay that switches closed with about 3v applied to its coil? PITA, why don't things just "work"?
Sincere thanks for your time and trouble, much appreciated. In a way i am glad it wasn't just me being stupid, but also find it od they sell these for a range of Yaesu boat anchors that all appear to trigger PTT similarly, yet according to the diagram can't possibly witch them.
Here's the reply i have just received from Radio Arena:
Sorry, we don't have spare staff to explain how to use software and datamode
cables. Our front page clearly says - it will be assumed that the purchaser
is knowledgeable in using the products for the applications they are
The only thing I can say is that your radio is quite old model and SOME of
these radios require more voltage to trigger full PTT. In this case you may
send the cable back for refund, since we can't do more than 5V. And if 5V is
not enough for your radio's PTT there is nothing you/we can do.
In all other cases please learn manuals, software help, driver installation
instructions etc etc
What you could do is make a trigger circuit for your FT-902. What you need is a 2N4401 or 2N2222 small signal transistor. Any small signal NPN transistor will work. Use a small plastic case and on one side put an RCA phono plug and on the other side an RCA phono jack. Use a 1K ohm resistor from the center pin of the RCA phono jack to the base of the transistor. Connect the collector of the transistor to the center of the RCA phono plug. Connect the emitter of the transistor to the shield connection of the RCA phono jack. Use a small piece of wire and connect the shield of the RCA phono jack to the shield of the RCA phono connector. Connect the PTT line to the RCA phono jack and plug the RCA phono plug into your rear panel PTT on the FT-902. Done, now you should be able to key the FT-902.
The transistor if bought new cost a few pence, a resistor a little bit less.
Try this and let us know how you've done.
Last edited by KO6WB; 04-19-2012 at 09:31 PM.
Not having a suitable transistor, and with sincere thanks for the idea, I found a PCB mount miniature relay with a 3 volt coil at 45 mA. I powered this from two AA cells, and it triggered fine form the output switching of my "faulty" gizmo. So I am putting it into a box and having it in line with the gizmo. Not ideal, but a cheap way to get it working to see if I actually enjoy data modes. I can only assume, looking at the specs for the optocouler, the current draw of the relay in the 902DM transceiver is too high to be switched. If I enjoy it I will probably upgrade to something like a SignalLink device. Thanks for all the help! I am about to post a separate thread re simple data software that is easy to set up for boat anchor rigs.
Why do you need batteries ?
Originally Posted by M6DFV
The drawing you showed , has the voltage supplied by the USB port.
You should be able to just connect directly to the relay coil, and not have to worry about replacing batteries.
"Theory only works perfect in a vacuum." KA9JLM Don
Originally Posted by KA9JLM
The device just seems to change from open to closed circuit state, it gives no voltage output at all, that I can measure, that['s probably why i found the transistor idea rather odd, I thought I may have misunderstood, then found a relay.