Quick-Tune Dongle - HUK Electronics

HUK Electronics
Amateur Radio Accessories by G4HUK
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Quick-Tune Dongle

This dongle is designed to aid ATU and Auto-ATU adjustment when using SSB by eliminating the multiple button presses your radio requires to generate a tuning carrier.

It is the same size as a mini-DIN plug, but has no cable attached.

When plugged into the ACC/CAT socket of your FT-817, FT-818, FT-857 or FT-897, it monitors the radios transmission status and adjusts the operating mode to produce a tuning carrier when a microphone PTT 'double-press' is detected (press, release, press and hold). As soon as the microphone PTT is released, the radio is returned to its previous operating mode (USB or LSB).

The dongle is ideal for mobile and portable operators and can be set to produce a full or 1/4 power tuning carrier. It is very low power (uA) and radiates no interference.

Now available as the 'Click2Tune' dongle from our sole agents

Dongle Operation in Detail

The dongle contains a sophisticated low power microcontroller that communicates with the radio using a data rate of 9600 baud. It monitors the radios transmission status via the press to talk (PTT) line. When an unusually short press of less than 200ms is detected, it changes the radio’s operating mode so that the following PTT press will generate a carrier suitable for ATU or Auto-ATU tuning. The radio’s original operating mode is restored if no PTT press is detected within the next 200ms, or when the tuning carrier is no longer required i.e. when the PTT is released.

This sounds rather complex but the practical effect is that a tuning carrier can be generated by a simple double-press of the PTT i.e. a quick press and release followed by a longer press that is held for the required tuning duration. Normal PTT operation is not affected as normal transmissions last more than 200ms.

The mode used by the dongle to generate a tuning carrier can be changed by the user by plugging the dongle into the radio whilst the radios PTT is pressed, and the radio is transmitting the mode the user wishes the dongle to use. The most useful modes are PKT which generates a full power carrier, and AM which generates a ¼ power carrier. PKT is the default setting. USB or LSB should be avoided as they will not generate a tuning carrier. If AM is used any unintentional modulation can be eliminated by setting the AM MIC gain to zero in the radios setup menu. This will not affect the MIC gain of other modes.

The above procedure also sets the dongle to ignore PTT double-presses if a mode other than USB or LSB is in use, if the last two digits of the radios frequency are not '00' when the dongle is plugged in. This is the default setting. If the last two digits of the radios frequency are set to '00' during this procedure, the dongle will generate a tuning carrier whenever a double-press is detected regardless of the mode currently being used.  

The dongle only uses the official rather restricted CAT command set documented by YAESU. Unofficial CAT commands, such as those used to adjust the radio’s output power have been avoided as YAESU strongly discourage their use.

Because battery drain is important to portable operators, the dongle employs a very low power microcontroller that is only powered up when needed, so power consumption is negligible. What’s more, unlike other devices that are powered from the radio’s CAT socket, the dongle draws absolutely no power from the radio’s internal battery when the radio is turned off.

When using voice activated transmit (VOX), it should be noted that very short VOX delays may cause occasional spurious dongle operation. This potential problem can be eliminated by using a VOX delay that exceeds 200ms (which is normal).

If a very short CW break-in delay is required, the dongle can be unplugged or set to ignore a PTT double-press if a mode other than USB or LSB is in use. This is the default setting.

The dongle's potential to cause interference to, or suffer interference from, your radio and other electronic equipment has been determined by testing and technical evaluation and is deemed to comply with all relevant electromagnetic compatibility standards and directives.

HUK Electronics
10 Adams Meadow, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 9DD, England

To contact Huk Electronics please send an email to g4huk.sales@gmail.com
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