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Re: FT-847 and USB-to-Serial Converter



>Would like to talk with anyone who is using their FT-847 and a USB-to-serial
>interface converter.  I am out of serial ports on my WindowsXP machine and

I don't have a FT847, but I do have an Icom CT-17 that I've used
successfully with two types of USB-to-serial converters: the IOGEAR
GUC232A and a no-name unit called the UC-310.  Both work fine with the
2.4.17 Linux kernel and the PL2303 driver (I don't do Windows -- it's
just too, uh, painful).

The IOGEAR unit is a 1' cable with a type A USB plug on one end and a
male DB9 on the other. The UC310 is an adaptor plug with a male DB25
on one side and a female type B USB socket on the other; it comes with
the usual detachable USB cable with an A plug on one end and a B plug
on the other. Both take their power from the USB bus.

My only complaint about the IOGEAR adapter is that the DB9 connector
has female screw standoffs. This is in keeping with the standard
serial port connector on the back of a PC, but you can't attach it
directly to the bulkhead female DB9s found on most peripheral devices.
You have to use a short male/female DB9 extension cable to make the
connection.

I also use these adaptors with several other devices with serial
ports, including a TAPR TAC-2 GPS and a Trace Engineering inverter.
They are definitely convenient when you run out of built-in serial
ports.

The GUC232A is about $40 at Fry's. The UC310 was $41-42, I think.
I've heard the GUC232A can be gotten by mail order for about $35.

Sure would be nice if somebody made a radio with a single built-in USB
or Ethernet interface that carried everything between the radio and
the computer over a single cable -- digital audio I/O, tuning, mode
control, etc. Just look at what's currently involved in connecting
even a late-model radio to a computer. One accessory box like the
MF1272 to connect the analog audio to the computer's sound card,
another accessory box like the CT-17 to drive the radio's control
port, and an abundance of wall warts, DC power cables and audio cables
to pick up RF and create ground loops.

Phil

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