Connecting 450D to PC

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by VK2FATE, May 17, 2018.

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  1. VK2FATE

    VK2FATE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello I am Bill, VK2FATE.
    I am studying to upgrade my licence to be able to use digital modes. In the meantime, I want to connect my Yaesu 450D to my laptop. I would like to be able to experiment with rig control, and learn about receiving digital modes.
    If it helps to know my laptop, search 'ROG GL552j'.
    I'm a bit confused with getting the connection right, and would greatly appreciate any help.

    I believe I need a "9 pin (RS-232?) female to USB. (straight?)" cable for the rig control.
    As for the data cable, I'm not sure. Is it just a '6 pin data to USB' cable also?
    What about audio cables, I assume that comes in somewhere also.
    If you could include a link to purchase the cables (ship to Australia), it would be great to make sure I'm getting the right thing. ( purchased one cheap rs-232 to USB off amazon but it I cant seem to get it to work with PCC-450 or HamRadioDeulux. Assume its not the right type of cable)

    Would I need something such as signalink in order to do this? If a combination of cables alone works fine, great. If not, I'm happy to purchase an external device to get my connection right.

    Thank you!
  2. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Common Error for Novices to Amateur Radio with CAT and Digital Modes

    Computer Control of your Radio (Yaesu CAT, Icom CI-V, Kenwood remote serial) only works with modern amateur radio transceivers (1980s or later) that have internal micro-processors. The computer control is “remote control operation” (frequency control, mode, etc.) of that processor.

    Digital Modes, at a minimum, require interfacing the Radio’s Audio (Mic/Speaker) to the DSP chip (sound card) in your personal computer. There is no restriction on the age of the radio equipment, except for good (stable) frequency control.
    SignaLink, Timewave Navigator, and DIY SoundCard interfaces provide this interface.
    Asus GL552JX Laptop
    This laptop has USB ports ... no RS-232 (DE-9) serial ports.
    PAGE 21 - RIGHT SIDE : Here are your interfaces, #1 and #2 for Soundcard and #3 for CAT.

    FTDI UT232R-200 cable

    Asus GL522jx Laptop Manual (English)

    Yaesu USA
    Yaesu FT-450D HF Transceiver : Product Page

    FT-450D Operation Manual (PDF)
    PAGE 77 - AFSK based DATA Modes : Diagrams for Interfacing

    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  3. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yaesu FT-450D : CAT Operation Reference Book

    Yaesu does sell the SCU-17 interface for Digital Modes.
    HOWEVER, based on the countless questions and problems (posted on QRZ and elsewhere) by non-technical radio amateurs using this interface, I don’t recommend.

    Find a Digital Mode/Sound card interface that you understand (Computer and Digital Modes),
    and that has good support for the Win10 Application you are using.

    HA9MDN Digital-Modes Interface
    This interface does NOT show CAT control of radio by laptop (USB 2.0 port)
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  4. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. KB2WVO

    KB2WVO Ham Member QRZ Page
    they sell the interface for rx/tx of digi and wire to contect to radio. from this all is needed is a rj45 to usb plug. simple and works. doesnt tie up your laptop sound card.i dont remember if the interface to laptop wire comes with. iam sure if you email and confirm with them. you can find out

    i use a usb to seril adapter for my cat contral on my 450d. works good. most any will work iam sure.
  6. AI6KX

    AI6KX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now that you have absorbed (or not) the information overload above, you are probably ready to just order a Signalink USB. But here are some basics:

    1) You don't need CAT control to get on digital modes with any SSB-capable rig that has VOX. Take the audio from the xcvr (via the ACC plug, or ext. speaker) and feed it to the PC soundcard (or little USB "Skype" adaptor if you don't have the two sound jacks on the PC). Then you feed the audio out from the PC to the MIC input via the ACC plug or another front panel mic connector, and adjust VOX so it keys when you hit TUNE on WSJT-X. And you can do this with direct cables, adjusting levels from the software and your rig gain controls. Audio transformers or optocouplers can be used if you have a ground-loop problem, but most times you won't.

    2) You did not succeed in getting HRD to work because you might need a simple interface between the USB-to-RS-232 serial cable and the data port of the radio. I'm not familiar with the FT-450, but on most Icoms it is just a 2.5mm phone plug that needs a couple of switching transistors and other little parts. Google this and raid your parts bin. You then need to make sure your computer is reading the serial port adapter and set HRD to that COM port number. But, to reiterate, you don't need to dio this to get on digital modes.

    Good luck,

    Steve JS6TMW
  7. VK2FATE

    VK2FATE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for the replies W9GB, KB2WVO and AI6KX!

    There's a few things on the way. I wont say I understand completely until I have the parts and it all working, though I believe my first problem has been trying to connect from the CAT output on my radio using a cat-USB cable alone. It seems I need two audio cables as a priority.

    Looking around it seems some people can connect without an external interface, but may still like to use one anyway for various reasons. I think ill spend some time researching and pick one out during the week.

    Thanks again for the replies it is greatly appreciated! I will go over them and make sure I understand what you've said.
    KB2WVO likes this.
  8. KB2WVO

    KB2WVO Ham Member QRZ Page

    mmmm yep your a bit lost yet it seems...
    its easy slow the roll ...

    as someone stated before
    CAT is not the digi mode cable... CAT is computer control of radio... channels. bands memorys function of the radio..
    yaesu has there own software for this.. its free.. it puts the radio on your desktop with a 450D look.. its cool.

    yes some digi software has rig "CAT" controls in them. they work great once you set it up.. but it is NOT a NEEDED thing..

    the 6pin din. is the digi modes. ie ft8 jt65/9 rtty psk so on ... this does NOT control the radio for changing channels this wire is your coms from computer to radio to key it up and put the beeps and bleps on the radio to TX...

    you do not need a CAT cable to use digi modes.
    you can use wsjt i think it is. been a bit.. or any digi software. with no cat cable needed.. you just have to manual tune your freqs is all.. if radio is with in arms reach no big deal. if you want radio 10ft away form you. then yes you want the CAT cable.

    for me ... i use the signalink setup... reason is.. i use my laptop for everything... so if iam doing digi FT8. i can still listen to or watch tv or music or whatever... it doesnt effect my sound card on the laptop..
    if you plug in to laptop with the 3.5m plugs you lose that

    both setups work fine... there is no rite answer to that part.. its what u like... heck i used the speaker to mic setup for a bit to do digi.

    youtubers has tons of video.. i dont knwo what you may have seen on utubers. so i wont post any videos. as to not repete .. i seen that one already thing..

    dont over think.. it isnt needed.

    signalink = still able to use your laptop sound while doing digi.
    rigblaster= old days was mic and headphone plugs on computer. no other way to listen to laptop once you go into digi mode. now they may have diff setups now.

    CAT= rig control is all this does. feqs change on the fly. memorys vfo so on.. cat does NOT do digi.

    i have a 450D and i use a signalink for digi. i also have the CAT wire $10 on the big A. as to control the radio n the fly.
    Last edited: May 20, 2018

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