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Re: can't readback FT-847 frequency

> Looking at the FT847's cat commands, it looks like they just
> used the same brain-dead cat control circuitry as they did
> on the '736.   (The commands are all virtually the same.)  
>   I suspect that the other Yaesu CAT controllers which are used
> on the HF rigs aren't capable of operation with a full duplex
> rig,  and yaesu was too cheap to develop a new controller 
> for just the low sales volume satellite rigs...

I have a Yaesu FT890 HF rig, and it has a completely different CAT controller. It 
is very nice, and yes, it has a command to ask the radio what freq it is on at 
the current time. With respect to working with a full duplex rig, I don't think the 
cat on the 736 does much of anything that the 890 doesn't do. I'm not sure 
which came first, the 736 or the 890, but they went to the trouble to develop a 
completely different CAT system, but really missed the boat on the 736.  I was 
really hoping that when the 847 came out that it would combine the capability 
that they already had on the 890 with the 736 capability, but apparently they 
didn't feel it was worth the investment.  I have a friend who has one of the newer 
Yaesu HTs, and it has an extremely sophistocated computer interface, at least 
for programming, so it seems that Yaesu is capable, they just don't see the 
satellite area as an important market, but I guess that is what you said. 

>   In any event, reading the current frequency is only a small part
> of the problem.   The '736 (and probably the '847) also lock out
> the front panel during CAT operation,  thus making it necessary
> to do frequency and mode control via computer, while still
> forcing you to use the front panel for such mundane things
> as volume control...

The 890 doesn't do this. You can turn the dial, and do other things on the radio, 
and see the freq and signal strength displayed on the computer, etc, etc. Ie no 
difference in operation between being connected to the computer or not.  So 
Yaesu has the technology already in other radios.

> IMHO, a bigger weakness in the 736/847 cat system is the fact 
> that neither radio acknowledges that it successfully performs
> (or didn't perform) a command.  
>   It's possible (but tedious) in software to keep a good idea of
> the state of the rig, if you know all commmands are performed.  
> Unfortnately, with the 736,  you have no way of knowing 
> (Other than hoping) that a particular command was ever recieved
> by the rig, so it's very easy for a software bug (or comm line
> noise etc.) to disrupt the relationship between what the 
> radio is doing, and what the computer thinks it is doing...

I don't think the 890 would ack commands, but there is a status byte you can 
request that tells the current state of the radio.

> (This may seem silly, but the '736 ignores many commands 
> such as frequency changes in terrestrial mode if the rig is
> keyed.  It's very easy to lose track of what a 736 is doing
> under computer control, but keyed by an external TNC etc...)
>   IMHO, once p3d is launched, and operation in higher bands
> (where doppler shift is greater) becomes common,   
> automatc doppler correction
> is going to become the norm,  and the rigs which sell 
> best will be those where human and computer control can best
> be performed at the same time...    If I'm right, yaesu 
> isn't going to be a major player...
Probably right. They obviously just don't think there is enough market to make 
it worth their effort. Maybe they know something we don't about the future of 
amateur satellites, or peerhaps they already have another rig ready to come out 
if and when P3D appears.

| Bill Jones, N3JLQ,Sweden, Maine  Zone 4 1/2  |
| wejones@megalink.net                         |
| http://www.megalink.net/~wejones             |