Bluetooth CAT for Yaesu FT8x7 - Android application

Version 0.2 (Download link here)

Dan Toma - YO3GGX - yo3ggx@gmail.com


Contents







Introduction

This is an Android only application used to remotely control (CAT) any Yaesu FT8x7 transceiver through Bluetooth. If you do not already have a Bluetooth interface, you can easily build one (as in the following image), based on the document available on my site at the following address:

http://www.yo3ggx.ro/bt8x7/FT8x7_DIY_Bluetootth_CAT_interface_v1.pdf





Features

Current version of the application has the following features:

Limitations

Current version of the application has the following limitations:

Operation

WARNING!!!

Use this application on your own risk. Do not proceed if you are not comfortable to install unsigned applications on your device. More, even this application does not send any “dangerous” data to the transceiver, but as the protocol used by FT-8x7 for CAT does not use any error correction mechanism, it is possible (in some extreme situations) to give you unexpected results, like a software crash on the transceiver (requiring to power cycle it) or in a worst case scenario even a complete wipe of all EEPROM data, including configuration, software calibration/alignment and memories.

Please use any program you like (ex. FT817 commander) to save at least all “soft calibration” settings, plus any other information stored in your radio before using this application.

I cannot be held responsible for any damage caused to your transceiver and/or Android device.

Starting the application (Live)

Download current version of the application package from the following location:

or by direct download through the following QR code:

This link will always point to the latest available sub version, In this case to the latest 0.2.x



Copy/save the file to the SD card or internal memory;

Install the application. Please do not forget to configure your smartphone/tablet to accept installing unsigned applications. This is done on your own risk!!!

Run the application (named Bluetooth FT8x7) which has the following icon:

You will get the following startup page (for Landscape and Portrait modes):

If you have problems using the application, please send me the text displayed in the “INFO” box for the following parameters:

Device type

Width [px]

Height [px]

Scale [dpi/160]

Font size

Connecting to the transceiver

Power on the transceiver and press “START”. If you press “START” for a longer time, you will be prompted to reset the configuration file to the default values (if somehow gets corrupted). The application will try to connect to the transceiver using Bluetooth.



NOTE: If Bluetooth is disabled, the application will automatically start in Offline mode. You can still play with it and test all the available features, following this manual.

If the device was not previously paired with the Smartphone/Tablet, then you will be prompted to do it now. The list of all available devices available will be displayed. Select ft8x7CAT (or the name you have used for the transceiver Bluetooth interface) and then enter the pin code. If the device is successfully connected, the icon will change to first one.

NOTE: Even if Bluetooth is activated, you can still enter Offline mode by selecting “Offline Mode” device in the list.

The icon in the upper left corner of the display provides you the info about the connection status, as follows:


- Bluetooth connected


- Offline Mode


- Error connecting through Bluetooth


When in Offline Mode, it the Bluetooth interface was started in between, you can directly go in Online mode if you long press on the Connection Status Icon, without requiring to restart the application.

When you are Online, you can go Offline directly in the same way.


Receiver Mode


When you start the application you will go directly to the RX screen which looks like in the following picture (for both Landscape and Portrait modes):


The screen contains the following components (for Landscape mode):

Portrait Mode

Landscape mode






Touch the min and max frequency fields to select them and then enter the frequency in MHz. When ready, click on SET button. If you want to cancel the operation, then keep pressed SET button for a longer period of time;

Long click on the ‘.’ Key to cancel direct frequency enter without changing anything;

After you enter the desired frequency click on the big “SET” button in the lower right part of the screen.

Using the Memories

Saving to a Memory location

You have at your disposal 16 memories (from M1 to M8 and M8 to M16 when FN key is active) where you can store all the info related to a specific channel/frequency.

To save a specific memory configure the transceiver for all the parameters and then long click on one of the memories button (ex. M2). The screen will change, a big entry field will be available together with the standard keyboard.


Enter the ALIAS (max. 6 chars) you want to appear on the button for that specific frequency and a description (length not limited), separated by ‘,’ symbol…

… and then pres ENTER on the virtual keyboard. Data is saved to memory button 2;


Recalling a Memory location

To recall a memory location you just have to click on the corresponding button. All the settings saved for that location will be loaded from the configuration file (freq, band, step, mode, more will follow).

Clearing a Memory location

To clear a memory location you have to long click on the corresponding button and when asked to enter name and alias just delete everything and press ENTER on the virtual keyboard. The memory button wil be renamed to the original Mx.

Changing application font size

For some Android devices is possible that application fonts to be too big or too small (based on the system settings), or you just want to adapt it to your own preferences. You can change the size of the font by simply sliding the finger over the right area of the frequency display, where MHz and band info is displayed. Sliding up the font size will increase with one unit. Sliding down will decrease with one unit. When you are satisfied with the result, just exit the application in order for this information to be saved in the configuration file. When you further run the application, the new font size will be used.

Locking the application display

When the application is in ON mode (display lighted) you can lock all the buttons by long click on the ON/OFF button.

The frequency display will shortly show the message “LOCKED”.

To unlock it just long click again and the message “UNLOCKED” will be displayed.


Transmitter mode

When you press PTT button the main display and PTT button background will go red and you will get the following screen:




Specific parameters are displayed in the left side:

The height of the Info box is reduced;

Transmitter display mode is automatically set when you press the PTT on the transceiver MIC or the transceiver is keyed from the DIGI modes interface. The virtual led on top of the rotary knob goes Red signaling that you are in TX mode.


A lot more to follow…


The application was tested only on Yaesu FT-817ND, but I expect to work on FT-857 and 897 too.

Practical demonstration

A short video demo of the preview 0.2 version is available on YouTube at the following address :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaCzHSXYU9c

Bibliography



FT817 User manual

The KA7OEI FT-817 pages - http://www.ka7oei.com/ft817_meow.html



Application history

Version 0.1 (Oct 2nd , 2012). First release of the application

Version 0.2 (Oct 11th , 2012):

What’s new/changed:


Bugs solved:


The following features are not yet functional, even the buttons are already present:



Please send me your feedback. Further development of the application fully depends on YOU.



bt8x7_v0.2.pdf Bucharest, Oct 13th 2012 – © Dan Toma – YO3GGX – yo3ggx@gmail.com

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