Do it yourself Yaesu FT-450D Digital interface

Added a Yaesu FT-450D to the station and wanted to get it up on digital modes. So leveraging what I had learned in my earlier posting on USB Sound cards. I gathered up parts to build a cable to connect a USB sound card to the 6 pin mini din socket on the rear of the radio.

The wiring is very simple with only three wires, audio in, audio out and a ground needed. I used a couple of 3.5mm stereo plugs I had bought on eBay and wallah a dedicated digital interface for less than $30 and $20 of that was the USB Sound card dongle.

And as a I have a serial cable for normal CAT control I did not need to mess with the PTT line as I will use CAT commands to key the transmitter.

If you need a USB to serial cable I would recommend the Gearmo FTDI2-LED USB RS-232 Serial Adapter with LED Indicators Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000 Support the LED’s are a great aid.

As the gender of the USB to Serial cable is male, a straight DB9 to DB9 serial cable will also be needed.  I have been using the StarTech 6-Feet Straight Through Serial Cable – DB9 F/F (MXT100FF).

FT-450 Data plug to 3.5 schematic

FT-450 Data plug to 3.5 schematic

Picture of the finished cable next to the sound card dongle.

The Finished cable

73 Until next time, Jay

 

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34 Responses

  1. Jim Peisker says:

    Hi Jay, have you tried this setup with Win10? Wondering if there are driver or behavior issues. Jim

    • admin says:

      Jim,

      The devices which I have an have reviewed here on the site work fine under windows 10. When selecting an external sound card from your source of choice (ebay, Amazon, etc) just check if Windows 10 is not supported.

      73, Jay

  2. Jim Peisker says:

    Jay, I’d like to build one of these DIY FT-450 digital interface cables. Not sure which pins of the DIN connector go where, especially when you consider 3P stereo plugs at the sound card end. A wiring diagram, even a crude sketch, would be appreciated. You can post or email to me.

  3. Tom says:

    Hello i am planning to build one i have 2 questions
    1. do you have to use a usb sound card or can you use a internal one
    2. how would i go about doing the pot could you give me an example and how are you doing it over the cat control.

    • admin says:

      Tom,

      The internal sound card can be used, be careful to disable all operating system sounds. In Windows this is rather straightforward setting the sound profile to none. In Ham radio deluxe, WSJT-X, Fldigi and others PTT via CAT is an option best to refer to the documentation specific to package you are using.

      73, Jay

  4. Tom says:

    Hello once again what do i do with the ring on data on if i want to use stero.

  5. Tom says:

    On the data in line do you connect the ring or not and if you do connect the ring what wire do you connect it to?

  6. Arnold Diaz says:

    Does this simple cable take the place of a Signalink USB? I’m trying to install Fldigi on a Raspberry Pi but don’t know how to interface if with my 450D.

    • admin says:

      The cable in conjunction with a USB sound card provides the audio interface portion of what a signalink does. I use a 450D for portable operation running Fldigi and other apps using this setup. You will also need a USB to serial cable for the radio’s CAT port. Easy to do on a windows box, should not be too hard on a Pi, if you have the cables and a USB hub for fan out. I have a Pi and can give it a go are you using Raspbian?

      • Arnold Diaz says:

        Yes, it has Raspbian. I’m very new to Pi and Linux. I bought the Pi for my daughter’s science class but she never used it. I downloaded an install script from Indyham to get Fldigi on the Pi but a bad URL stopped the script. I e-mailed the author and he has resolved the script issue to I’ll give it another go tomorrow.

  7. KD8YYD says:

    Is there some kind of special setting required on the FT-450D to make this work? I tried to follow your diagram above, and think I wired it up properly, but I get no audio from the radio.

    • admin says:

      If I recall correctly the radio has to be in a “Data” mode such as Data USB. If I have time this evening I will test.

      Regards, Jay N0IAI

      • admin says:

        Jason,

        I hooked up the laptop this morning and confirmed that the having the radio in “data mode” is not needed to receive audio from the radio.The level out of the radio is not line level it is much lower. Will need to use the microphone input of you sound card.

        Regards, Jay

  8. Rick Wines says:

    Jay, due to some medical issues, I was unable to begin the wiring of this home brew interface for my FT-450D until today. Found some cat5 cable in the big storage shed and now looking at the diagram above, I have one question. Is the drawing shown from the radio side or the solder side. I am thinking solder side but not sure.

  9. Rick Wines says:

    Jay, I finally got around to wiring my FT-450D for the digital interface. First time out of the box, it worked flawlessly. Thanks for what you do.

  10. John W9QP says:

    I am having a lot of hair pulling trying to set up my FT-450D with my SignaLink Interface to work JT65 and FT8 modes. I keep getting Rig failure and can’t for the life of me figure it out. If someone can send me the WSJT-X config settings and also the required menu changes in the FT-450D I would really appreciate the help. Thanking everyone in advance for your expertise. Using Windows 10.

    • admin says:

      John,

      Does it fail during operation or are you having trouble with the initial setup? Document your current config for us. Cable setup, does the PC have a serial port or are you using a USB to serial adapter?
      Radio serial speed setting
      PC Serial speed setting.
      Windows version

      I just took some screen shots of my setup and will post them after I get more coffee 😉
      Jay

      • admin says:

        John,

        Take a look at the following post.

        http://morsetutor.com/2017/09/ft-450d-wstj-x-config/

        Jay

        • John W9QP says:

          Hi Jay,

          When I get back from church will give you my present setup for your review and suggestions.

          Thank you.

        • John W9QP says:

          Hi Jay,

          I am using a HP Laptop with Windows 10 software. From the Data Port on the back of the radio I go to the Signalink, then from the Signalink using USB cable to my computer.

          Radio menu settings are as follows:
          Catrate – 38400
          D Display – +2000
          D Type – User USB
          Dig Vox – Off
          My Mode – Data On
          RF Power – 35 Watts

          Mode on radio is set to USB Data.

          I am using WSJT-X version 1.8-rc2.

          Radio Settings in program:

          Rig – Yaesu FT-450
          Serial Port – USB ( there is no com ports shown on drop down)
          Baud Rate – 38400
          Data Bits – Eight, Two
          Handshake – None
          Force Control Lines – Nothing Shown
          PTT Method – Vox
          Mode – None
          Split Operation – None

          When I hit the Test Cat button it turns red and pop up screen reads:
          Rig Failure – Hamlib error: IO error while opening connection to rig.

          I can receive a little but the program doesn’t maintain my settings when I turn the program off.

          Audio Tab:
          Input: Microhone (2-USB Codec)
          Output: Speakers (2-USB Codec)

          Any suggestions on what to change will be greatly appreciated.

          Thanks again for your time and help.

          73
          John W9QP

          • admin says:

            John,

            Do you have a serial cable connection between the CAT port on the back of the 450D to your PC? If not you will need one as the Signal link does not provide this connection it is just and external USB sound card.

            A shopping list is available here. http://morsetutor.com/2017/09/ft-450d-wstj-x-config/

            Jay

          • John W9QP says:

            I have no connection from the Cat Jack on the radio to my laptop. All I have is the Signalink going to the computer. So are you saying I need both a connection from the Cat Jack to my computer and also the Signalink connection? Or is the Signalink even needed? Sorry this is all new to me, I have been mainly a cw brass pounder for years.

          • admin says:

            John,

            The missing cable is the root cause of the error you are experiencing. It is indicating a failure while attempting to connect to the radio over the CAT port. From the Signalink manual (page 5) you should be able to operate without a CAT connection. You will need to manually change frequency on the radio, and on WSJT-X to keep everything in sync for logging and spot reporting as you change bands.

            I would recommend having a serial connection.

            Regards, Jay

          • John W9QP says:

            Regarding the serial cable, I have no RS-232C com Port on my laptop, only USB Ports. Do I need some sort of an adapter for the laptop?

            Can I delete the Signalink Interface and just use the serial cable from the Cat Jack to my laptop and have Rig control and receive and transmit capability?

          • admin says:

            John,

            Per my earlier response a shopping list is available in this post everything you need plus I get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you if you purchase via the links I provide. http://morsetutor.com/2017/09/ft-450d-wstj-x-config/

            Modes like FT8 are sound-card modes and require a sound-card to get sound to and from the radio so don’t get rid of the SignalLink.

            73, Jay

          • John W9QP says:

            Ok Jay I just ordered both the Startech cable and the Gearmo adapter. Once I receive them from Amazon will contact if I have additional questions.

            Thanks for your help.
            73
            John

          • John W9QP says:

            Hi Jay,

            I received the cables today. Regarding the Gearmo FTDI2 is it necessary to load the disk that came with the cable onto my laptop?

            Thank you.
            John

          • admin says:

            John should be plug and play on Windows 10.

            Jay

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