Yaesu SCU-17 Support Thread

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by N4EGA, Nov 8, 2014.

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  1. N4EGA

    N4EGA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey folks. After fighting with the Yaesu SCU-17 interface for digital modes and CAT commands, I decided that we need a support group for this little thing.

    It's a nice piece of equipment that compliments all the newest Yaesu HF gear, but is a total pain in the butt to get going.

    What I have found out though a lot of trial and error is this: Some software (DigiPan and WinLink) don't see the SCU as a way to operate digital modes from the normal COM ports way of keying up the radio, if that makes sense. Other software like, specifically FLDigi and its associated programs do, but it takes a little work to get it right.

    FLDigi lets you work both com 3 and com 4 (if that is the com ports it set up) Same for a few other pieces of software. Just make sure your com ports, the radio and the software are all running the same baud rate. Also need to run USB Data

    DigiPan and Winlink need to be set up to key up the radio though normal USB voice, BUT you must tell the radio to be in VOX. The FT-1200 has a selection for that and I assume that the others do as well.

    With both ways, you will need to tinker with the audio in and out settings on the SCU-17 and the computer. I only know Windows 7 with this but I would guess that other flavors of operating systems are fairly similar.

    Please, if you have any questions about the SCU-17 and set up or can offer other advice, post it here. Lots of people are buying it, but Yaesu seems to not want to offer support outside of initial setup.
    4X5EB and VE2DNB like this.
  2. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Jim -

    A Configuration Document should be wriiten for the Yaesu SCU-17
    I think the amateur radio community is beyond the "early adopter" phase of this product.
    Earlier QRZ Thread on March 2014

    Part of the problem is that this is a multi-functional box, that most buyers do not appreciate its complexity -- especially when 3 dufferent chip mfg. products are used.

    99% of software uses serial communication sub-routines that assumes an RS-232 style port.
    I find that a majority of problems stem from a lack of understand how Windows Drivers must be properly installed OR incorrect configurations of the Amateur Radio Application.

    The SCU-17 contains:
    a Dual Port USB 2.0 hub (Microchip USB2512B);
    a USB 1.1 Audio CODEC (Texas Instruments PCM2903B); and
    a USB/UART bridge (Silicon Labs CP2105).

    Under Microsoft Windows (Device Manager),
    the Yaesu SCU-17 MUST be properly installed (software drivers) as:
    1. USB Audio Sound Card
    2. COM Port (Virtual COM Port driver) : USB Port
    3. COM Port (Virtual COM Port driver) : USB Port

    One of those COM VCP, drives the Yaesu CAT interface (DE-9M) and the other
    the PTT and FSK functionality (3.5 mm jack).

    image.jpg image.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
    KB0MNM and KC2NEO like this.
  3. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yaesu SCU-17 Instruction Manual

    PAGE 5 - System Setup

    Correct Cabling is shown between the Yaesu SCU-17 and Yaesu FTDX-1200 transceiver.

    PAGE 15 - PTT/FSK control and Attenuator Setting
    Read and Understand THIS Manual Page and setting for S1001 (RTS or DTR) for PTT/FSK Jack (#8).

    This usage of RTS or DTR ... AND the COMx Number Assignment by Windows (Device Manager)
    MUST AGREE with your software configurations for PTT and FSK functionality.

    This functionality of having the USB port "mimic" the Control Lines of a Real RS-232 Serial Port,
    is totally dependent on proper installation of the Virtual COM Port (VCP) software drivers.

    The USB 2.0 Standard is a 4-wire interface.
    2-wires are for DATA (+, -), the other 2-wires are +5 VDC and GND.

    The RS-232 Standard use 3-wires for DATA (RxD, TxD, GND), the remaining 6 wires are for SIGNAL/CONTROL (DTR, RTS, CTS, DCD, CSR, RI).

    USB does NOT have those hardware functions. USB works best for simple 3-wire RS-232 designs.
    SO Software Mimicking is the ONLY method to translate the functionality of those RS-232 CONTROL/SIGNAL Lines ACROSS a USB connection between your Radio and controlling PC running your desired application (DigiPan, etc.).
    This is IMPORTANT for PTT or FSK operations, which used those RS-232 Control / Signal Lines, in a majority of Amateur Radio Applications.

    A virtual serial port is an emulation of the standard serial port. This port is created by software which enable extra serial ports in an operating system without additional hardware installation (such as expansion cards, etc.).
    It is possible to create a large number of virtual serial ports in a PC. The only limitation is the amount of resources, such as operating memory and computing power, needed to emulate many serial ports at the same time.

    Virtual serial ports emulate all hardware serial port functionality, including Baud rate, Data bits, Parity bits, Stop bits, etc. Additionally they allow controlling the data flow, emulating all signal (control) lines (DTR/DSR/CTS/RTS/DCD/RI) and customizing pinout.
    Virtual serial ports are common with Bluetooth and are the standard way of receiving data from Bluetooth-equipped GPS modules.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
    KB0MNM likes this.
  4. N4EGA

    N4EGA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the info, but I disagee with the initial adopters part. I have a 1200 and a 817. Aside from what the manual said about cables and com port for the driver, yaesu supplied zero info for setting this thingy up. None of the programs had much info either speciffic to it.
  5. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    By early adopters, I meant that if Yaesu had not written better documentation --
    either someone would write a "Bible" for the device OR
    the software application writers would have setup specifics for the Yaesu SCU-17.

    1. As I reported about 12 months ago, SOME of the ICs used in the Yaesu SCU-17 have been recently been assigned NND (no new designs) or production EOL (end of life).
    While replacements or follow-on ICs exist, that is an area that Yaesu will have to address.

    2. I have found that the vast majority of software writers since 1990 have little understanding of the underlying hardware like the SCU-17 (how things work).
    In my professional consulting work, I have seen far too many multi-million dollar projects and software suites where that hardware ignorance by the softeare writers has caused havoc and pain.
    Amateur Radio applications are not immune to those same shortcomings.

    3. While a Yaesu SCU-17 Support Thread is admirable,
    What the typical radio amateur wants is SHOW ME THE ANSWER,
    preferably as a HOW TO with extensive PICTURES and non-technical language.
    A Support Thread would just churn the same basic hookup / technical information over and over.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  6. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or just scrap the Yaesu and buy an Icom with a built-in USB port. It does full CI-V (rig control) and audio in/out for the digital modes. All you do is download the driver and plug in the USB cable and you are good to go - one and done!


    If you want to do FSK RTTY and CW, you will need to run these separately.
  7. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You covered it good Greg.

    The thing I do not like about using a USB port like that, Is a computer Crash.

    Seen it to many times, to call it reliable.

    It could cost you a new radio or amp when it locks up on transmit.

    It is getting better, but I am not sold on USB radio control. When you are switching DTR, RTS, CTS, DCD, CSR, RI Lines that do not exist.

  8. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    If your computer is crashing when using a USB connection to your radio, then you have serious problems with RF getting into your computer that you need to correct.

    Here is my "shack":


    As you can see, my computer is inches away from my radio and I have no issues at all whatsoever with my computer "locking up". And as you can also see, my router and cable modem are sitting on top of the computer and I have no network issues at all whatsoever even when I am operating at full power.

    And using USB for rig control, it is flawless as well. Don't blame the technology when the problem is clearly on your end!
  9. W4BYT

    W4BYT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi All,

    Switched from an IC-7000 and Signalink-USB which worked great to a FTDX1200 and a (much profanity deleted) SCU-17. I have it working for PSK but that (more profanity deleted) PTT LED on the SCU-17 does not light when transmitting. I've probably overlooked some checkbox somewhere. I'm using flrig and fldigi. Again, transmit and receive work fine but that fine PTT led on the SCU-17 doesn't light when transmitting.
    Any suggestions greatly appreciated!
    de Richard, W4BYT
  10. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    An LED will not illuminate for ANY of the following:

    1. LED burned out due to over-voltage or reverse voltage condition.
    LEDs can and do fail.

    2. LED not receiving enough DC voltage (or none) to illuminate.
    This can be due to component failures (dropping resistor, broken trace, burned out IC gate, etc.) that supply DC voltage to the LED.
    There may be an issue with configurations (hardware/jumpers OR software/application setting,
    OS drivers).

    Basic test instraments (DVM, DC power supply) ... will determine your issue.

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