Turning FT-991A into a real SDR.

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by PY2RAF, Sep 13, 2019.

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  1. PY2RAF

    PY2RAF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What about you plugging your radio's USB port to the computer and obtaining the Audio, the CAT and... The digitalized spectrum I/Q SDR output to be used with a Panadapter or with your favourite GNURadio application? With no external wires, jumper wires or a external SDR?

    Of course some may say that we are talking about some Apache Labs or Flex Radio.

    Well, no - This time we are talking about a FT-991A.

    After a few months of research, discussion and a lot of constructive feedback, I was able to actually embed a RTL-SDR dongle inside the FT-991A and exporting its interface through the radio's USB port - No external extra wires, ports or whatsoever - Everything coming down neatly from the existing USB port, along the CAT and Audio interfaces.

    The enterprise is 100% open source with schematics, BOM, board gerbers available at https://github.com/rfrht/FT991A-PAT/ and thorough documentation is available at https://github.com/rfrht/FT991A-PAT/wiki.

    The project was featured in Hackaday and RTL-SDR Blog.

    A demonstration of the working setup can be watched in the below video:

    This mod is also feasible for a IC-7300 without the need of replacing the USB hub - the idea is just the same: Tap the voltages, the signaling, the IF output, hook it to the panadapter board, lodge the SDR in the radio, solder the SDR USB port to the USB hub - And result is going to be pretty much the same!


    - Rodrigo, PY2RAF.

    Attached Files:

    K0DHO, N1NA and KK4CUL like this.
  2. KE1THE

    KE1THE Ham Member QRZ Page

    If I didn't want to do all the soldering how can I make this happen today (I don't care if there are wires).
  3. PY2RAF

    PY2RAF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Brian!!!

    You have two possible paths:

    1.1) Do the soldering stuff and build your own (technically superior) panadapter, the instructions are all in https://github.com/rfrht/FT991A-PAT/wiki
    1.2) Buy a G4HUP panadapter (the PAT70M from https://www.sdr-kits.net/index.php?route=product/category&path=66_73_84) , and jump to Step #7 in the above instructions
    2) Run the wire externally as per https://github.com/rfrht/FT991A-PAT/wiki/appendix-assembly-variations


    - RF.

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