12 December 2012

CAT Bluetooth for FT-890 and FT-840

I have been asked if the CAT Bluetooth dongle for FT-8x7 could work with an FT-890 too in this configuration:
  • one dongle owned
  • either FT817/FT857/FT897 or FT890 active at once
  • one computer active at once
In other words: you move the bluetooth dongle from one radio to the other, depending on which one you want to use.

BT dongle and Y-adapter for FT-890
FT-890 has serial data on the CAT port and voltage supply on BAND DATA and TUNER rear ports. So, it turns out that it is possible, with a relatively simple adapter, to swap the bluetooth dongle between these transceivers. One requirement is that both CAT port and BAND DATA or TUNER sockets are available. Alternatively the voltage supply can be derived right at the FT-890 PSU.

Another requirement is that CAT rate on both 8x7 and 890 is set to 4800 baud since FT-890 does not offer other choices.

Incidentally the FT-840 has the same connectors of FT-890, so swapping and/or using a CAT bluetooth dongle is possible too.

Last but not least, it is possible to build a CAT-to-Bluetooth adapter natively for FT-890/FT-840 which takes DC power supply either from one of those ports or the 13.8V PSU. It can even be "dongle shaped".