Dear FT-817(ND) owner, are you tired of hunting needed functions through F+Sel+A/B/C combinations? Do you want to improve your on-the-air proficiency? You can't help but always press more keys at a time? Or always retouch the frequency when pushing the F button? An external keypad will let you re-discover the joy of QRPing with the FT-817(ND).
The IK1ZYW Keypad for FT-817(ND) is a wired partial remote control for the little Yaesu transceiver. It was conceived during a 6-hour field session at 2700 m.a.s.l. for a VHF contest in August 2008 (full history in the User's Manual). Since existing products did not meet my requirements, the development of an external keypad started right away. I have come up with a public hardware design using the powerful Atmel ATtiny2313 microcontroller and a freely available firmware.
As the interest in the keypad has increased, several custom firmware versions have been developed carrying various combinations of functions. Amongst them there is a version that works on FT-817, FT-857 and FT-897.
This keypad is operated through the 4x4 matrix keyboard and connects to the CAT port of the radio. Several functions are programmed in the microcontroller and are accessible via one or more key press, as detailed in the User's Manual.
The keypad waits for a key press (green LED is lit, if installed), that initiates a command input sequence. Each key press is confirmed by a short blink of the red LED (if installed). Once the sequence is complete the keypad microprocessor sends the appropriate command(s) to the radio, which should react accordingly. The first prototype was filmed and a video published on YouTube: functions have evolved a lot since then!
Each key press is subject to 50 milliseconds of debounce and 200 milliseconds of repeat delay. Keeping a key pressed longer than 250 milliseconds is equivalent to a second press. These values have been found to be a reasonable compromise between dial speed and dial accuracy.
In order to minimize RFI and data corruption, it is suggested to operate the keypad when the radio is in receive mode and idle (not operating it through its front panel buttons/switches).
Please note that because of memory constraints of the chip used, not all functions can be programmed in, therefore not all operations described in the User's Manual will apply to your version.
The free firmware, that you can download and program on a ATtiny2313, does:
Custom firmwares were developed to fit special operating needs, such as:
Custom firmware can be arranged with a bit of interaction with me. The process is detailed in the User's Manual.