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Ready made cables

Radioarena in the UK A large range of USB and serial cables
Valley Enterprises in the US A large range of USB and serial cables
Drivers for USB cables based on the Prolific PL2303 where you get the message 'cannot start code 10' shown in Device Manager Prolific do not support their early PL2303 USB chips on operating systems after Windows 7. You get a message 'cannot start code 10' in Device Manager when using these chips on Windows 8 and above. If you have an older chip in your programming cable and get this message see this link for how to get an older driver installed.

Adapter cables and DIY circuits

The VX-8 and VX-8D connection is a proprietary 7-pin design. The Yaesu CT-134 clone cable and the CT-M11 external headset connection cable for the FTM-10R both have the correct plug attached. In conjunction with a FTDI TTL-232R-3V3 cable it is easy to make up a suitable lead. See the 'Connection to the radio' section of the FTBVX8 Help file for more details and pictures. The picture on the right is a cable made by JA1OGS
The VX-8G data cable is a simple wire connection at RS232 levels - no level converter. Then use a USB/serial adapter if you do not have a serial port on your PC. The VX-8G operating manual has details of the cable in the Appendix, CT-143 Cable Connections. In summary they are: stereo tip to DB9 pin 2 (radio => PC), stereo ring to DB9 pin 3 (PC => radio), stereo sleeve to DB9 pin 5 (GND).
A DIY adapter cable to enable my 6-pin mini-din FT-7800 cable to be used on my FT-60, VX-3, VX-110 and VX-150. Uses half a CT-27 clone cable and the mouse port off a dead motherboard. ft60adapter.JPG (10334 bytes)
The pin-out of the packet socket found on the FT-7800, FT-8800 and FT-8900.

For 2-wire programming purposes use pin 3 PTT for data and pin 2 GND for ground.

The pin-out of the RJ connector found on the FT-1802/1900 and FT-2800/2900 and a front view diagram of the mic socket.
A DIY 6 transistor level converter article by G4TIC.  This will work with radios that use a 2-wire interface e.g. VX-150, VX-170, VX-177, VX-6, FT-1802, FT-1807, FT-2800, FT-7800, FT-8800, FT-8900.

I have built this circuit myself and it works fine. A picture of my board is on the right. Because they were already available I used 1N4002 diodes instead of 1N914 and PN2222A transistors instead of 2N2222.

Roger Maeder has sent me some files to help with creating a PCB for the G4TIC interface. See opposite for a) a zip file of the files; b) a picture of the completed board

Click the picture to see a larger image.

Click the link below to see G4TIC's article.


a) PCB track
b) photo of completed board

A DIY RS232 to TTL level converter by DL8WA which has an adjustable programming voltage DL8WA 2-wire level converter.doc
A DIY level converter by IW2DPO using the FTDI FT232R chip. It has an option to invert the output. iw2dpo usb programmer.pdf
A DIY level converter for the VX-8 using a MAX3232 by Tim W5FN VX8 PROGRAMMING CABLE.pdf
A DIY level converter by Aleks S56AL which uses the FTDI chip FT-232BM. It has been successfully used with VX-7R, FT-8900, FT-817 and IC-706MkIIG.

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