Homebrew Kenwood TS-850 CAT Cable

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by VE3TMT, Nov 20, 2018.

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  1. VE3TMT

    VE3TMT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Still not working :(
  2. VE3TMT

    VE3TMT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here are some screenshots...computer still doesn't recognize radio.

    device manager.jpg

    usb serial port.jpg



    mixw settings.jpg
  3. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Max -

    Topic covered in QRZ (2014) : Tech Note #2 (Kenwood ACC1 to USB, Computer Control)
    You can choose SparkFun (Colorado) or Mouser (Texas) for the USB-serial TTL cable.

    SparkFun Electronics
    Part # DEV-09718 : FTDI Cable, 5V VCC : $14.36 (On Sale till November 27)

    Mouser Electronics
    Mouser Part #: 895-TTL-232R-5V-WE : $20.00
    Manufacturer (FTDI) Part #: TTL-232R-5V-WE

    Jameco Electronics
    Part # 155887 : 6-pin DIN plug : $1.39

    The wiring is fairly Straight-Forward,
    BUT you have to remember to CROSS (null modem style) RxD/TxD and RTS/CTS.

    WIRE COLOR from FTDI USB cable, after cutting off 0.1" connector.

    1 - Earth (Ground) <-----> BLACK Wire (GND)
    2 - TxD <-----> YELLOW Wire (RxD)
    3 - RxD <-----> ORANGE Wire (TxD)
    4 - CTS <-----> GREEN Wire (RTS)
    5 - RTS <-----> BROWN Wire (CTS)
    6 - N/C (not connected) <-----> NOT Connected. RED Wire is +5 VDC from computer's USB port, it should NOT be stripped.
    The RED wire could have a future usage -- MORE about that Later.

    The ACC1 DIN connector, 6-pin (rear panel of Kenwood HF transceivers)
    Is an INVERTED Serial (TTL/UART voltage levels) connector.

    SO — You need to INVERT the serial TTL data/control lines from Kenwood Radio.
    The FTDI cables are PROGRAMMABLE — and you can do this with FT_Prog utility.
    IF your USB to serial TTL cable is the FTDI version from SparkFun or FTDI,
    THEN you use the FTDI FT_Prog utility (you can “brick” your cable with improper utility usage).

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  4. VE3TMT

    VE3TMT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is good stuff!!! Cable is wired as above. I'll investigate the UTIL program tonight. Work keeps getting in the way! Thank you for this information.

  5. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Pin Assignments for ACC1 (DIN-6)
    When the DIN Connector Key is UP, at the 12 o'clock position (attached pictorial)
    Pin 1 is at two o'clock position; numbering proceeds clockwise with Pin 5 at ten o'clock;
    Pin 6 is at the center.

    IF you have a Genuine FTDI USB-to-UART cable, THEN FT_Prog
    NO WARRANTY with Chinese imperfect clones.
    INSTALL the FT_PROG Application on your computer.
    NOTE: IF you are Computer Illiterate -- Seek Help.
    You can easily BRICK this USB cable by getting lost/Going Rogue.

    1.) INSERT your FTDI Cable in the Computer's USB port. Computer should recognize Cable.
    2.) RUN the FT-PROG Application, that is on this same computer.

    3.) At the TASK BAR, Select Devices, and SCAN and PARSE (F5).

    4.) You should SEE that Windows filled the Configuration contents from FT232R USB chip.

    5.) Move to Hardware Specific and Invert RS232 Signals.
    You ONLY Check 4 BOXES (TxD, RxD, RTS#, and CTS#)
    2879DDC8-18F9-4D3B-82D1-987ED3EB18B3.png 3E7BDF76-B32F-43FB-959F-2FEBC627404A.png

    6.) NOW, you need to SAVE these Changes (Program the FT232R Chip).
    GO to the TASK BAR, Select Devices, and PROGRAM (Ctrl+P)
    A Pop-Up Windows will appear, Click the Program Button.
    The FT232R is now Programmed with these changes.
    F172774D-61D8-42AF-AA3B-A2D63545A913.png 8FEFF0BC-B780-45B1-AFD3-4104F1495ED1.png

    7.) Close the Pop-Up Window.
    You can Re-scan the Device ... and SEE that the changes have been made.

    8.) THAT's IT. Now CLOSE the FT-PROG utility application.

    This Cable can now be tested with a Kenwood HF transceiver with an ACTIVE ACC1 port.
    Earlier Kenwood transceivers (1980s) required installation of optional IF-10 ICs (UART to radio’s micro-processor).
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
    KB0MNM likes this.
  6. VE3TMT

    VE3TMT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My cable is actually the FT234

    Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 9.48.51 AM.png
    I don't see it supported in the program. Will it work under the FT232 settings?

  7. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    From your screenshots, I note that RTS and CTS are optioned " Always on ". Unless the radio is programmed to ignore those handshake signals, you may have disabled the funtionality. Request to send and Clear to send are used to ensure that the buffers do not overflow as the radio processor and PC communicate. It is good that you found a USB converter that supports the signalling, yet you may need to choose a more 'active' option for CTS and RTS than 'always on'. Be sure to look at the W9GB comments first- the business of 'inverted TTL levels' is also a reason why your cable would not work ( yet this should not have damaged anything ).
  8. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    FTDI TTL-234X-5V DATASHEET (February 2017)
    https://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/DataSheets/Cables/DS_TTL234X SERIES RANGE OF CABLES.pdf
    PAGE 9 indicates that Inversion of UART lines possible, MT_Memory Configuration,
    using FT_Prog utility.

    User Guide for FTDI FT_PROG Utility Program

    Use latest version of FT_PROG (FTDI updates for new ICs).
    SEE ... IF you can use SCAN and PARSE in FT_ PROG (Step #3 above).
    The FT-234X chipset (used in your cable) is relatively new (last 18 months) ....
    SO you need to UNDERSTAND what you are doing with FT-PROG (READ).
    FT_PROG can easily BRICK the IC within molded USB (unusable, not able to address).
    IF you are “Color by Numbers” ... this may beyond your comfort zone/abilities.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  9. VE3TMT

    VE3TMT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Looks straight forward enough. Will report back on my successes :)
  10. VE3TMT

    VE3TMT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Got it working after programming cable. Thanks for all the help guys, very much appreciated.

    W7UUU likes this.

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