Juma TRX-2 & LDG Electronics Z-817 Autotuner

Software developed by Adrian

Juma TRX-2 & LDG Electronics Z-817 Autotuner

Postby 5B4AIY » 31 Aug 2012 10:12

There is now a slightly improved version of the firmware for the Juma TRX-2, version 1.07y Build 15.

The only aspect visible to the user is related to the use of the LDG Electronics Z-817 QRP Automatic Antenna Tuner. The Yaesu CAT emulation function has now been modified to permit automatic operation with this tuner. In addition, there are a number of internal optimisations and changes, but none of these would be visible at the user interface level. If you wish to utilise this autotuner, then download and install this version. It can be obtained by sending me an email, and I'll happily send you the HEX load file. If you have already loaded version 1.07y Build 10 (Available from this website.) then there will no need to re-calibrate your transceiver as the EEPROM mapping is identical. If you have not loaded 1.07y Build 10, then there will be a checksum error on initial start-up, this is normal, and only occurs the first time. If you have used my firmware previously, then please save your current calibration and configuration settings, if you are updating from the original firmware, then you will have to re-calibrate as the measurement system is quite different and the previous calibration values are invalid.

To use the autotuner, connect the RF output of the Juma to the input of the tuner, and the antenna to its output socket. You will need to make yourself a serial data cable to connect the tuner to the Juma RS-232 port, and if you do not have a cable, you will need to obtain an 8-pin mini-DIN connector and wire it to a standard 3.5mm stereo patch lead.

Set the Juma Serial Port protocol to YAESU-CAT, and set the port speed to 38,400 baud - the fixed speed of the autotuner. To match the antenna, press the TUNE button on the tuner, the following actions will occur:

1. When the TUNE button of the autotuner is pressed, the autotuner requests the current RX mode and frequency with the 00 00 00 00 03 command.
2. The Juma replies with the current mode and frequency which the autotuner stores.
3. The autotuner then requests the PKT mode with the command: 0C 00 00 00 07
4. The Juma responds by selecting the TUNE mode.
5. The autotuner initiates a transmit operation by sending the PTT ON command: 00 00 00 00 08
6. The Juma responds by switching to transmit.
7. At the completion of the tuning cycle the autotuner sends the PTT OFF command: 00 00 00 00 88
8. The Juma responds by switching back to receive.
9. The autotuner restores the previous mode with the set mode command: xx 00 00 00 07 where xx can have the value 00 = LSB, 01 = USB, 02 = CW, 03 = CWR.

Note that at the end of the tuning cycle the carrier is left enabled for 1.5 seconds to allow you to see the final SWR achieved, if that display has bee selected on the Juma prior to initiating a TUNE cycle. For full details, please read the Z-817 User's Manual.

If you do not intend to use this tuner, then there is no need to update the software unless you simply wish to have the very latest build.

73, Adrian, 5B4AIY
Email: adrian04@cytanet.com.cy

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5B4AIY
 
Posts: 188
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Re: Juma TRX-2 & LDG Electronics Z-817 Autotuner

Postby AA4PB » 15 Sep 2012 15:43

After receiving an LDG Z-817 and finding the manual pretty skimpy on technical details for the CAT port I did some further research on the Internet. It appears that while the CAT uses TXD and RXD, it is at TTL levels that are not compatible with a simple cable connection to the TRX2 RS-232 serial port. Some sort of level conversion will need to be done.

Most of the readily available CAT cables that I see require an external 12VDC supply to power them. Yaesu radios provide this power on one of the mini-DIN connector pins, but the LDG Z-817 does not. It will therefore be necessary to provide an external source of 12VDC power to these interfaces.

This is just a "heads up" that connecting the Z-817 and the TRX2 is not as simple as making a connecting cable as I had originally anticipated.
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Re: Juma TRX-2 & LDG Electronics Z-817 Autotuner

Postby 5B4AIY » 17 Sep 2012 16:06

That would explian a lot! Anyway, please see my post: LDG Z-817 & The Juma TRX-2 Addendum.
73 Adrian, 5B4AIY
5B4AIY
 
Posts: 188
Joined: 13 Nov 2011 09:22
Location: Cyprus

Re: Juma TRX-2 & LDG Electronics Z-817 Autotuner

Postby AA4PB » 18 Sep 2012 14:52

The original Yaesu CT-62 interface cable contained an MX-232 and a 5V regulator in the 9-pin "D" shell that did the level conversion for the computer. 13.8VDC power was applied to the regulator from the Yaesu radio via one of the mini-DIN conector pins.

Given that the Z-817 would require an external "dongle" connected to the Z-817, the TRX2, and 13.8V power I'm not convinced that the automatic features of the Z-817 are worth the level of effort required to build the "dongle" and the added connections. The Z-817 can be used as-is with the TRX2 in the manual mode by keying the TRX2 in tune mode after pressing the tune button on the Z-817. Perhaps some input from other users would be helpful in making the decision.

I ran into the same apparent "uncooperative" attitude from the mfgs while trying to develop interfaces for the SGC tuners for different radios. I finally came to the conclusion that I'm not sure that the mfgs even have the required documentation available, at least not at the e-mail contact level. In some cases the original engineer may have "moved on" and all they are doing is cutting/pasting his code at this point with no official documentation available.

If you decide to pursue the Z-817, I'd be willing to lend you the one I have to experiment with. I'm assuming that its TTL interface has survived being connected to the TRX2 RS-232 levels :-)

73,
Bob
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Re: Juma TRX-2 & LDG Electronics Z-817 Autotuner

Postby 5B4AIY » 19 Sep 2012 16:00

Hi, Bob,
Thanks for the offer, let me think about that. I'm sure the TTL interface has survided its exposure to the Juma RS-232 port! The Juma port cannot suuply any real current, and equally even a TTL output stage cannot really harm the RS-232 input, so my guess is its fine.

However, now that I'm aware that you have to build an interface to connect it to the Juma, like you, I'm not convinced that this is really worth the effort. I don't mind having a go at writing some special code, but I suspect that so few people would actually use it that it's hardly worth doing. In my own case I use the LDG Z-11 Pro Memory Autotuner, and it works quite well.

You are probably right about the 'unco-operative' attitude, more than likely the original designer as you say has 'moved on', and, in my professional capacity I regret to say that a great deal of commercial firmware lacks any sort of design documentation, much less description, and unless you are prepared to 'reverse engineer' it, it may forever be a mystery once the product has reached a 'mature' stage.

73, Adrian
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