[amsat-bb] CAT Cable and Rotor Controller for FT-736R

Greg D ko6th.greg at gmail.com
Mon Dec 19 04:02:27 UTC 2016

Welcome back to the hobby!

The main thing I would check is what USB->Serial chip the cable uses. 
There are a lot of cheap cables with counterfeit FTDI chips in them, and
they're a nightmare to keep working.  The one you referenced seems to
have the Prolific chip, so I don't see any issues, but I have no
experience with it personally. 

No recommendations on rotors, as I built my own interface with a Basic
Stamp and some relays, but with an antenna as light as the Arrow, nearly
anything would be able to handle it.

Greg  KO6TH

Jeff Bollettino K4AMK wrote:
> Hi all, I'm getting back into the hobby after a lengthy absence.  I
> had to re-test for extra as my old license had lapsed and I've taken
> care of that and shortened my call by one letter by getting an
> available vanity call sign.  So now I want to get my old Yaesu FT-736R
> operating the satellites and could use some help.  First up is
> interfacing SATPC32 on a new windows 10 machine to the CAT interface. 
> I've read through all the AMSAT-BB threads I could find on the topic,
> with one approach being to add an RS-232 interface to the PC and
> building a TTL to RS-232 cable with some electronics.  If I can buy
> rather than build I'd prefer to do that for time reasons.  I found a
> cable on the UK site radioarena.co.uk that is a "Yaesu USB Programming
> / CAT Cable for Radios with 6-pin DIN Connector" which sounds perfect
> but one learns to be suspicious when it seems too easy.  Has anyone
> tried this USB to Yaesu CAT cable with an FT-736R, or otherwise knows
> why it would or would not work?  Here's the link:
> https://radioarena.co.uk/programming-cables/yaesu/yaesu-usb-programming-/-cat-cable-for-radios-with-6-pin-din-connector.html
> Second, I'm planning to get an Arrow LEO antenna with a low noise
> figure preamp and try a fixed elevation with just an azimuth rotator,
> mounted in an attic.  Could I get some suggestions on the rotor
> controllers that interface most easily/best with SATPC32?  I know
> there's a list of all of them in the read me file but this program's
> been around for awhile and I'm looking for what is easily available
> and integrates without running into unnecessary snags.  I haven't
> owned a rotator before, and so I'm not familiar with them.  I think
> what I need with a small, attic antenna is probably at the small end
> of the rotor scale.  I'll probably go through Norm's Rotor service,
> but it would be great to have some experienced recommendations on what
> to get.
> thanks for any guidance you can offer
> 73
> Jeff
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