Dan Toma - YO3GGX - firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
Current version of the application has the following features:
Can control through Bluetooth Yaesu FT-817/857/897 transceivers (tested only on FT817);
Large digits to display frequency;
The device is supported both in landscape or portrait mode;
Directly switch to any HAM band or select a custom frequency range (anywhere where permitted by the transceiver);
Select through a wheel one of the following frequency steps: 0.01, 0.1, 0.5, 1, 2.5, 5, 6.25, 12.5 or 25KHz. Current step is displayed;
Display currently selected power level;
Display the mode that can be used for the current frequency, according with IARU regulation, or “noHAM” for frequencies outside the HAM bands;
CB band available through long click on the 10m band button;
Select through a wheel one of the following operation modes: LSB, USB, CW, CWR, AM, FM, DIG, PKT;
ON/OFF transmitter (only if it was previously powered on through the hardware button – this is a transceiver limitation);
Display during RX the S control (from S0 to S9+60dB), including in graphical mode (16 steps);
Display during TX , in the same time: SWR, PWR, ALC, MOD, both in graphic and numerical value;
Tune (with preselected steps) through a rotary knob or +/- buttons;
Directly enter the frequency from a large numeric keypad;
Lock the screen to prevent accidental changes ;
You can PTT the transceiver both from the smartphone/tablet screen.
For demo purpose (or further for memories configuration), application can be used in both online (Bluetooth) or Offline (not connected) modes;
16 available Presets (Memories) to store up to 16 frequencies, including all the other parameters;
Possibility to change font size (in small steps) according with your preferences. The size is stored in the configuration file;
Multifunction buttons through a FN key;
Continuously read Frequency and Mode from the transceiver;
A virtual LED indicating current status (RX, TX, Squelch);
Activate/deactivate repeater mode, for the moment only with a fixed offset (-0.6MHz – VHF, -7.6MHz – UHF);
Activate/deactivate SPLIT mode;
Toggle VFO (A<->B), without feedback (for the moment).
Current version of the application has the following limitations:
CODE functions (CTCSS/DCS) not yet implemented (just the button);
Except S control, all other measured parameters are not yet calibrated;
PTT feedback from transceiver is for the moment disabled, because for some strange reason is causing the radio to automatically switch to the Front antenna.
A limited number of tests were performed by the author. Application for sure still has bugs, or can crash for apparent no reason. With your help issues will be solved one by one and new features will be added.
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.
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:
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.
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):
An icon representing the connection status (see previous chapter);
Current step value (12.5KHz, in orange, under the icon);
Current maximum power setting (5W, in orange, under the step);
S level. Numerical value for S is displayed on top of the S bar;
A cyan box used display RDS, channel info or any other data saved for each memory;
8 memory buttons used to store all the settings (Freq, mode, info, antenna used, etc.) - extended to 16 memories through a FN button;
A wheel used to select operation mode. Any change will be automatically transferred to the transceiver;
A wheel used to change tuning step (from 0.01KHz to 25KHz);
+ and – buttons to increase/decrease frequency with the currently selected step. By keeping one of these button pressed, you will enter a “Repeat” mode for faster change;
A rotary knob which can be used for tuning, like the one available on the transceiver. The same step is used for the rotary knob;
An ON/OFF button used to turn ON or OFF the transceiver. When OFF, the display will be completely dimmed and buttons locked. If you press this button for a longer time when ON, you will activate lock function (for both the device and transceiver). “LOCKED” will be displayed for a short time to indicate that this mode was activated. Long press again to deactivate locking;
A repeater function button (RPEAT) used to activate/deactivate repeater mode. In the current version the offset cannot be set and is automatically configured for -0.6MHz (VHF) and -7.6MHz (UHF)
A Function (FN) button to switch between the two groups of memories (M1-M8 and M8-M16) and to select the second function for some of the buttons: RPEAT and EN/DI. Double functions can be seen in the following pictures
A button to toggle between VFO-A and VFO-B. You can see the change on the display but without feedback from the transceiver for the moment;
A blue BAND button used to change the band. You can select any of the available HAM bands as in the following image:
If you want to select a custom frequency interval, press “CUST” button. You will have the option to manually enter the frequency range using the onscreen numeric keypad.
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;
A big blue PTT button. Pressing this one you will key the transceiver and change the graphical interface in Transmitter mode (see Transmitter chapter).
You can directly enter the frequency you want. For this purpose click on the frequency display to activate the numeric keypad. The PTT button will change to “SET”, as in the following image:
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.
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;
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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
Current SWR (to be calibrated), including numeric value;
Current Power (in W, to be calibrated), including numeric value;
Current ALC (in %, useful for DIGI modes) ), including numeric value;
Current MOD (modulation, in %), including numeric value;
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.
A short video demo of the preview 0.2 version is available on YouTube at the following address :
FT817 User manual
The KA7OEI FT-817 pages - http://www.ka7oei.com/ft817_meow.html
Version 0.1 (Oct 2nd , 2012). First release of the application
Version 0.2 (Oct 11th , 2012):
Application can now be used in both portrait or landscape modes;
Serial communication routines redesigned from scratch using multi-threading for maximum allowed speed at the effective baudrate;
The transceiver settings (freq and mode) are continuously read from the transceiver in order to keep the synchronization between the app and transceiver,
So if you change the freq or mode in the transceiver this is visible in application too;
Possibility to change font size by sliding the finger up or down through the right part of the frequency display (MHz, Mode, Band zone).
Font size Is stored in the config file and displayed on the startup screen at Next run;
16 Memories (independent from transceiver) used to store all the parameters for a specific frequency (freq, alias, description, band, mode, shift, code, etc.);
Add a FN key to extend the number of memories to 16 and add double functionality to some buttons;
Better standby/resume handling;
No more step and mode labels on the display (were redundant because of the wheels), to gain some more space for future use;
Max power label moved to the right, no more labels in the left except connection status;
Increase the width of the memory buttons to accommodate longer labels (Max. 6 chars);
Current transceiver settings are read at application startup, if not in offline mode. For this reason the settings per bands are no more saved in the app;
When keyed, only a led on top of the knob changes to red (no more the full freq display);
A virtual LED on top of knob goes green when signal available, gray when no signal or red when in TX mode;
Long click on Bluetooth icon to go in Offline mode;
Long click on Offline mode icon to connect through Bluetooth, (if Bluetooth interface is activated);
Add grayed semi-transparent background to the numeric keypad;
Long press "." on the numeric keypad to the cancel direct frequency enter;
Repeater function (currently limited to fixed values);
VFO-A <-> VFO-B toggle button
If you directly enter 8 digits + "." then you are not able to delete digits using CLR;
If in offline mode any frequency is accepted to be entered;
More checks for the freq value directly entered through the numeric keypad;
The following features are not yet functional, even the buttons are already present:
Encoder/decoder settings (CTCSS, DCS, etc).
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 – email@example.com