TS-440 CAT Control Issue

Discussion in 'Radio Circuits, Repair & Performance' started by AG5VE, Nov 14, 2019.

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  1. AG5VE

    AG5VE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an old Kenwood TS-440SAT that came with the IC-10 chipset installed. I believe I am the third owner of this radio, and I have no idea when the IC-10 was installed.

    However, I cannot get the CAT control to work correctly with my logging software (ALCog) or at all with WSJT-X.

    With ACLog, the software can change the freq, mode, etc, but does not read the freq from the radio. I have tried every combination of check boxes and radio buttons, but no joy. I have reloaded the COM port driver, verified the COM port settings, etc.

    With WSJT-X, I get a failure when I test the CAT control.

    I have checked the interface cable (with FTDI chipset) using Putty per the manufacturer's instructions and it is working properly.

    It seems to me that only "half" of the chipset is working; receive, but not send.

    I am wondering if it is worth changing out the IC-10 chipset for a new one. Jahnke Electronics offers an original Kenwood IC-10 for less than $35.

    Any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


  2. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I’m going way back in the memory banks... Are you using the IF-232 level converter as well as the IC-10? If I recall correctly, you need both.
  3. AG5VE

    AG5VE Ham Member QRZ Page

    The cable I have replaces the IF-232.
  4. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    $10.40 plus shipping, from Jameco Electronics.

    Part # 52644 : Intel 8251 UART (DIP-28) : $9.95
    Price on this part increased $6 since 2014.

    Part # 12950 : CD4040 - 12 Stage Binary Ripple Counter (DIP-16) : $0.45

    You could have a Faulty Cable (OR Improperly Programmed by Seller).
    WHO did you BUY it From?
    KENWOOD 6-pin DIN is INVERTED SERIAL (5 Volt TTL/UART), and the RxD and TxD MUST be changed to INVERT using the FTDI Tool, FT-PROG.

    FT_PROG is a powerful utility (you can BRICK the FTDI chip with improper usage)

    In 2014, I covered the DIY Construction of the Kenwood TS-440S CAT cable, here on QRZ.
    Using the SparkFun USB to UART (TTL) and FT_PROG Toolset.

    Sparkfun still sells the Cable, #DEV-09718 : FTDI Cable, 5V : $ 17.95

    Jameco still sells the 6-pin DIN Plug, #15887 :
    Plug Standard DIN Male 6 Pin with Strain Relief for $1.39
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  5. AG5VE

    AG5VE Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is the cable I have.


    Like I said in my original post, my logging program can change freqs, mode, etc with no problems. It is not able to read the freq or mode from the radio. That would indicate to me that at least part of he connection is functioning properly.

    I am not a bits and bytes guy, so some of this is over my head at this point.

    Thanks for the replies so far.

  6. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amateur Radio is a Technical Hobby, BUT I realize that Plug-N-Play is the only technology 33% of US population understands in 2019 (born after 1980).
    As you may be discovering, Amateur Radio can be an expensive hobby (and frustrating), like modern personal computers, without some technical knowledge/skills.

    Your reported symptoms lead to 2 potential culprits:
    the UART (8251) in the Kenwood TS-440S
    OR your FTDI cable. There are Counterfeit FTDI chipsets “on the market”.
    Best advice is to avoid Chinese mfg. or suppliers (FTDI is a UK company).
    N8YX likes this.
  7. AG5VE

    AG5VE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Got a new chipset installed today. No joy.

    Guess it's just not meant to be with this old rig...

    Thanks to all for the suggestions.
    WW2PT likes this.
  8. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

  9. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    CONTACT the Cable Reseller About your BAD Cable (it happens, some resellers are sloppy).

    FTDI’s MProg utility has been replaced by FT_Prog (~2014)

    FT_PROG is a free EEPROM programming utility for use with FTDI devices.
    It is used for modifying EEPROM contents that store the FTDI device descriptors to customize designs. FT_PROG also includes the capability of programming the Vinculum firmware.

    PLEASE NOTE - The use of some of these FTDI utilities, by an end user, may result in a device being rendered useless.
  10. N8YX

    N8YX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Find yourself a PC with a true serial port (or get a serial card for yours) and use a true serial cable.

    Eliminate the USB version from the equation altogether. You can use PuTTY, Hyperterm or similar to send and receive CAT commands to the '440 but you'll need to look up the Kenwood CAT protocol for the rig online.

    I'd do this before abandoning the project. Or take the rig to a buddy's shack which has the right interface hardware and troubleshoot it there.

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