Setting up FTDI cable for Chirp and Yaesu VX-6

May 2, 2014   #ham radio  #howto 

Chirp is free software to configure ham radios. I have an Ubuntu 12.04 install of linux that I wanted to run the software from. What I had to do to get linux to recognize the cable. I installed the daily snapshot (version 20140428~precise~1) of chirp. Directions for installing chirp software can be found here. However, the guide under manual method for getting the cable working did not work for me.

Look for usb serial devices

$ sudo ls -l /dev/*USB*
ls: cannot access /dev/*USB*: No such file or directory

No devices are present. Plug the cable in then run dmesg and lsusb.

$ dmesg
<snip>
[ 7460.256204] usb 3-1: USB disconnect, device number 2
[ 7463.420149] usb 3-1: new full-speed USB device number 3 using uhci_hcd
[ 7463.619199] usb 3-1: New USB device found, idVendor=0403, idProduct=9e52
[ 7463.619209] usb 3-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[ 7463.619216] usb 3-1: Product: CT57B Radio Cable
[ 7463.619223] usb 3-1: Manufacturer: RT Systems
[ 7463.619228] usb 3-1: SerialNumber: [-----]
$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 05ac:8501 Apple, Inc. Built-in iSight [Micron]
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 05ac:021a Apple, Inc. Internal Keyboard/Trackpad (ANSI)
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 0403:9e52 Future Technology Devices International, Ltd
Bus 005 Device 003: ID 05ac:8205 Apple, Inc. Bluetooth HCI
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

Yes I am running ubuntu on a macbook. Anyway from the dmesg output the key thing to look at is:

[ 7463.619199] usb 3-1: New USB device found, idVendor=0403, idProduct=9e52

and from lsusb output:

Bus 003 Device 003: ID 0403:9e52 Future Technology Devices International, Ltd

I am not sure if a cable from a different manufacturer will have different vendor and product ids. In my case the Vendor id is 0403 and the product id is 9e52. Next load the ftdi_sio module and add vendor and product id. Finally check for usb serial devices:

$ sudo modprobe ftdi_sio
$ sudo su -
# echo 0403 9e52 &gt; /sys/bus/usb-serial/drivers/ftdi_sio/new_id
# exit
$ ls /dev/*USB*
/dev/ttyUSB0

If you do not see any serial usb devices you may need to unplug and replug the cable to get the hotplug system to recognize it. Use the serial device that was found in chirp.

It is late. Maybe I will revisit to figure out how to make linux recognize the cable persist after reboots.