I recently purchased a programming cable for use with the FT817. Plenty are advertised on eBay.
What I received:
- a cable with plugs for the mini DIN plug for the CAT socket on the radio and a USB plug at the other end
- A cd containing software
The USB plug is larger than a plain USB plug as usual for one of these USB-serial adaptors, as it contains the electronics to convert from USB to plain serial required by the radio.
The software on the cd included a driver for the USB adaptor and several other programs including a 2012 version of HRDeluxe, a digital modes utility and a few other programs. A specific program for the radio programming was not included.
The cd also included some “readme.txt” files and advice on how to work out which COM port was allocated to the adaptor, as most older software including HRD apparently is designed for COM ports rather than USB.
I installed the driver and it worked ok, revealing that COM9 had been allocated to the USB adaptor.
In HRD the only option appeared to be COM1. Same for a Yaesu programming utility written by a French radio amateur. (817-mem from F5BUD.free.fr)
I opened the Windows control panel and found the details of the USB adaptor. In the tab revealing the com port allocated I double clicked (or right clicked?) the COM9 and was offered the option of changing it to another unallocated port. I chose COM1.
This still did not allow a connection to the FT817 to work. To see whether the USB hub needed to be restarted to get the new COM port to work, I unplugged and reinserted the USB adaptor cable.
Checking in control panel > device manager showed that the USB adaptor was now indicating COM1.
Launching the 817-mem Yaesu programming tool again, it now found the 817 on COM1 and I could then read the memory contents of the radio, save as csv, modify the csv with notepad++, then reload the csv and send it to the radio.
I set memory freqs for cw and Ssb frequencies on the hf bands and some net frequencies for VHF bands.
Programming the 817 direct using the front panel controls is quite feasible but having the memory channels saved externally is convenient. Also being able to clone and edit in an ordinary text editor is handy. Seeing the frequency and mode settings on a screen is better than having to scroll around them on the 817.