Monday, 28 May 2018

FT-8900 Programming Errors

50MHz FT8 was full of stations today around 50.313, all over Europe. Also I had a go on 24MHz with my random bit of wire and 10 watts, made some contacts into Germany and the Netherlands, also received by 2 stations in the UK in the Bournemouth (M1HHL) and Medway (M0OLA) area.

Today I went to the car and connected up my laptop to the FT-8900 to download a new set of memories to it. Using the FTB8900 software as usual, I started off with an upload of the existing settings, and everything was OK. Then when doing the download, it got to the end and then the radio displayed 'clone error' and the software displayed an error message saying it did not receive the final confirmation from the FT-8900.
I was using one of the very cheap USB to serial adaptors which I bought last year, instead of my usual Prolific chip based adaptor (fake chip so need to use an old driver). These new adaptors use a CH340 chip (never heard of it until I plugged one in, expecting a Prolific chip) instead, drivers aren't included with Windows 10.
Well the failed download completely reset the radio, clearing all the memories and other settings. I tried again later, after the temperature had dropped a bit - when I was trying to get the radio to program earlier the car was showing the temperature as 27C and not very comfortable sitting there with a laptop. With the old Prolific adaptor the download worked OK.
I've had trouble with the CH340 cables before, with the WSJT-X software, I had to increase the CAT polling interval from 1 to 2 seconds on a Yaesu FT-847 otherwise it would sometimes get CAT errors.

Downloading to radio - this time it worked

Bargain basement USB-serial adaptor with CH340 chip

Good old Prolific USB-serial, bought at Llandudno Maplin a few years ago

USB device details for the USB-serial adaptors