TS-590sg controlled by Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Ham Radio on macOS & iOS' started by W8WJC, Mar 24, 2018.

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  1. W8WJC

    W8WJC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello guys,

    Wondering if anyone could help me out or point me in the right direction. I currently have my 590sg hooked up to my Mac to run my SDRplay/cubicSDR. I have no problems here. My question is, is it possible to connect the 590sg to my Mac using the com port so data can be sent to MacLogger? I’m hoping to allow data to both programs so the log can read my frequency, mode, etc automatically. If so, what software do I need? I know I need a com to usb cable. Are there radio settings that I need to change as well? I know this is harder on Mac than PC but I really despise PCs nowadays.

  2. K3DCW

    K3DCW QRZ Lifetime Member #212 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Yes, the TS590SG can have both the USB port and the COM port connected at the same time to two different programs. That's what I did when I ran a 590SG. No special software is required.

    If you're going to purchase a USB-Serial cable, let me (strongly!) recommend the TrippLite USA-19HS. It is fool-proof and will just work, but costs a bit more than others. If you decide to go with a cheaper cable, make sure it has the FTDI chipset. Avoid the cheap Prolific USB-Serial adapters at all costs.
  3. W8WJC

    W8WJC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the reply. Good to know that I can do both. Do i need to change anything in the 590sg settings? I tried hooking up an old DB9 com to usb adapter and I installed the correct driver but I still cant get anything. Will not all chip types work for this? I think this old one I had laying around is a PL2303 chipset which looks like prolific. I did order that one you linked.
  4. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    In theory all chip types would work, but not all chips follow the standard correctly. I had a USA-19HS for a very long time and it worked very well, until it didn't. I suspect I damaged it during its many years of use and abuse. I sadly had to send it off for recycling. I won't say it's a bad device because it failed, on the contrary, it lasted far longer than most of my electronics and I recommend it highly.

    To replace the USA-19HS I found something more suited to my needs. I got some cables from Get Console.

    I chose them because it comes with a RJ-45 on the end for direct attachment to Cisco routers and devices with similar ports. Getting it to connect to anything with a DB-9, DB-25, or other serial port is done with an inexpensive and easily found adapter. One downside to the Get Console cable is that is has a rather "fat" USB end to the cable so it can fit the chip inside. This can interfere with adjacent USB ports, or not fit in some computers where the USB port is in a tight spot. A short "pigtail" USB cord fixes this and is also easily found. One selling point of the Get Console cables is the use of the FTDI chip, this chip works very well and drivers are available for most any operating system.

    I vaguely recall this cable working on my Mac but I haven't tried in a long time because I've just found using Windows easier for what I do on programming routers and such. Good luck and I hope I was helpful.
  5. W8WJC

    W8WJC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    So some cables/adapters are better than others it sounds like. The adapter I have is a prolific PL2303 chipset. MacLogger can see the serial port but it won't communicate. Maclogger keeps trying to connect to the 590sg but it times out. I was hoping to use my USB for the CubicSDR and my port for MacLogger. The drivers all appear to be installed correctly. I'm not sure what to do next except try other cables/adapters
  6. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not sure what else to try either. I haven't had to play around with USB to serial adapters in a while and I can only comment on what I have experience with. I have seen that the Prolific chips were problematic and FTDI chips work and so I sought out a cable with the FTDI chip in it. I did do a quick search on this and found a number of websites offering fixes. Here's one of them that looks like it might have good advice for you:

    I know it sucks to hear that it would cost money to fix the problem you are having. A quick search tells me that an adapter that is known to work should be about $40, including shipping and taxes. I'm guessing you could find a better price by digging a bit more, and shipping costs will be less of a hit if you buy more stuff at the same time. I recall buying three of those Get-Serial cables at the same time to spread out the shipping costs. I figured if it worked then I'd want spares anyway, if it didn't then I'd spend the same shipping to send it back whether there was one or three.

    One thing you could try if you have another computer and/or serial adapter is to connect the two together and see if a terminal session can be created between the two. That might narrow down the problem to software/settings or hardware. If you don't have some other known good serial device to test with then maybe you could buy one? If a new serial adapter allows you to fix it then you have two serial ports now. If a new one doesn't allow you to fix the old one then you'd have a working serial port and the old one could be sent off to the scrap heap.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. Just remember that your time is worth something, don't spend too much time on trying to save a buck.
  7. K3DCW

    K3DCW QRZ Lifetime Member #212 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    The PL2303 is a Prolific chip set. There are many counterfeit Prolific chips out there and the drivers will often not work for them. That's why I recommended the TrippLite or a FTDI chipset. Once you get your adapter, make sure you install the latest drivers. If you go to MacHamRadio.com, you'll find a Software and Hardware page with links to the latest drviers. MacOS has built-in drivers for FTDI, but I've always installed the latest from FTDI itself without issue.

    Make sure the communications parameters for the COM port are set to the same values (baud rate) in MLDX and TS-590SG. If they don't match, it won't work. I found great connections at all speeds. In most cases anything faster than 4800 baud is unnecessary for CAT control, but there's no reason not to use faster speeds if it is stable. Finally, make sure that your cable between the USB-Serial adapter and the COM port on the back of the rig is the right type. There are normal cables and null-modem cables. If I recall correctly, you need a normal RS-232 cable between the USB-Serial adapter and the rig. As I recall (it has been a while though), I simply used a gender changer to connect my USA-19HS directly to the COM port and didn't use a cable at all, so that's always an option unless you have the front panel elevated at an angle.
  8. K7GQ

    K7GQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    Another way of accomplishing the multiple connections is to install a virtual driver (CP210x VCP Driver v4) from Silicon Laboratories. With my TS-590SG and using only the single USB cable between the rig and the Mac, I was able to run any combination of digital and logging programs as long as only one program controlled the radio (logging program in my case). This is a FTDI-based solution.
  9. K3DCW

    K3DCW QRZ Lifetime Member #212 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    But he wants to have two programs controlling the rig, as specified in his original posting. Fortunately, the TS590SG supports the dual connection: one via USB and one via the RS232 connection.
  10. W8WJC

    W8WJC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    So after using the new tripp-lite adapter with the FTDI chipset, I'm still having issues. My computer and MacLogger are seeing the adapter but its not getting a signal despite everything being hooked up. Are there any settings in the 590sg that need to be changed? I thought this would be easier than what its turning out to be.

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