Friday, September 09, 2016

EZ-Radio Databox interface for Yaesu FT-817 etc review

There's a new radio interface box on eBay out of China that looks interesting. It's about half the volume of a SignaLink USB and at AU$84, significantly cheaper (compared to about AU$160).

The extruded aluminium case is sturdy but has PCB front and back panels. The holes for the RJ45 and USB socket were not well aligned for me and I had to take off a panel and nibble them out a bit to be able to insert the USB plug.





Internal construction is very good.


It comes with a full set of cables but no documentation. The web address http://ez-radio.com simply diverts to sales page which can be translated by Google as follows:

"This product is YAESU radio station connected to the computer, make use of digital communications, and other functions.

Use this connector, you can use the radio to do PSK, RTTY, SSTV, CW and other digital communications.

Products using the US company's Silicon Labs CP2102 USB2.0 interface chip, strong and stable performance, the replacement of the USB interface, the port number does not change, reducing the chance of error in the connection process.

Computer terminals and radio terminals Ground Ground product is completely isolated, and the housing and the end product is connected to a computer, and the computer to prevent Ground stations have pressure, there was a slight sense of shock by touching.

This adapter box can use to automatically reconcile CAT-day connected to the computer! Some HAM need to use automatic day reconcile CAT interface so that you can adjust the day connected to the fuselage behind the CAT interface connected to the computer interface from the microphone in hand drawn, original machine hand microphone connected to the adapter box, so you can hand microphone, computer, day tune while using independently of each other!
Because YAESU FT-857/897 and other models DATA interface only supports audio input DIG mode, the FM or other audio input mode can not be, this may not be supported in some applications, for example, do SSTV communication in UHF FM mode this product based on this defect, made ​​some changes, the audio signal can be through the microphone interface or interfaces into DATA, so that regardless of the kind of pattern that you can use this frequency for radio input audio cassette adapter! True all mode, full-featured!

Support Radio models are:
YAESU: FT-817 \ 857 \ 897 \ 7800 \ 8800 \ 8900 \ 100D \ 450, etc.
Packing List:
1. a transfer box
2. Akihabara 3.5MM audio line two
3. a high-quality USB cable
4.CAT line
5.DATA line
Driver and related software download link :( need to copy into your browser address bar to open)
Driver (must be installed):    http://pan.baidu.com/s/1dD8JWbR
HamRadioDelux:   http://pan.baidu.com/s/1hqkrvBA
MMSSTV:    http://pan.baidu.com/s/1o6l1feU
Tutorials will be posted on the shop website www.Ez-Radio.com, if necessary, you can click to see

Product net weight: 163g, incidental wire weight: 275g, 438g total"

Observations

This device does not include a USB sound card. I had assumed it did and was a little disappointed. It is not as functional as the SignaLink USB, which I guess is to be expected at half the price.

I plugged it in with the supplied cables to the data and cat ports on an FT-817 and into an Ubuntu Linux laptop and FL-Digi was able to talk to it without any problems. The serial port came up as /dev/USB0.

The front panel has little lights that show serial communication and PTT which is handy.

As I mentioned after poking around I realised that there's no USB sound device in there so the supplied 3.5mm cables were used to connect to the laptop's mic and headphone jack. I was quickly on air with CAT PTT and all seems well.

It's not clear what the RJ45 sockets are. Looking inside (see the picture above) it looks like one is a breakout, SignaLink style, for making up rig cables. Perhaps the other one is a microphone cable - they mention the microphone in the translated text above.

Conclusion

For the money it's a decent little interface box and is fine with a laptop that has mic and headphone sockets. The mis-alignment and size of the panel holes for the sockets was a pity but easily fixed.

I could not find any useful documentation so I hope this helps anyone else who purchased one. Please let me know if you figure out the RJ45 pinouts.

2 comments:

Tomasz Neron said...

Can you share drivers. Website EZ-Radio does not work.

Peter Marks said...

Hi Tomasz,

For an Ubuntu Linux PC I didn't need any driver for the serial interface and as I mentioned above there is no audio USB interface. They say it's an SiLabs serial interface.

Peter