I’ve posted a YouTube video on this update. Click on the photo below to view it.

If you have one, you know that the Yaesu FTdx101 is a phenomenal radio. Actually, its almost two radios. Both receivers are the best in class. They can be fed by the same antenna or you can have a separate antenna on each receiver. Audio from both receivers can be sent to separate headphone speakers, or sent to both speakers when one receiver is muted. The transmitter can easily be switched to work with either receiver and you can select from three antenna ports for each receiver. It has almost everything you want in a radio, as long as it’s sitting right in front of you.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that my displays and keyboard take up the sweet spot in my shack. My radios live where they can find space 🙂 And yes, I know, I have too many monitors. That’s what happens when you find used 19″ monitors at the thrift store!

My older radios inhabit the shelf above the left monitor. My FTdx101D is off to the left, a good arm’s reach away. My Xiegu radios sit on the right and my Flex 6400 found space on the floor under the FTdx101D. Controlling any of them for an extended period of time is a challenge; and one of the reasons CTR2-Mini exists.

You might note that there is a slight gap in the sweet spot between my keyboards and monitors. Hmm, a perfect place for a few of Minis 🙂

Any of my radios can be connected to one of the Minis using a manual RJ45 switch. Using the Mini’s linking modes allows me to control two radios with one Mini or remote control one radio from the Internet. I especially like the ability to use two receivers synchronized to the same frequency for true diversity operation.

The great receivers in the FTdx101 begged to be controlled by two Minis. Sure, you can set the outer ring on the radio’s tuning dial to control the inactive VFO on the radio, but that takes away the other useful features of this ring. It’s also easy to tune the wrong VFO since the VFO assigned to the ring changes depending on which VFO is active. Having the Main and Sub VFOs permanently assigned to a dedicated tuning dial would cure all of these problems.

So I added dual VFO control for the FTdx101 to the Mini’s firmware. This feature is available in the Link menu when you have the Sync: Basic mode enabled. The Basic+Freq and Basic+Tracking sync modes are not available in the dual VFO mode because the FTdx101 already has the ability to sync the Main and Sub VFOs. You can Push and Pull VFO settings between the two VFOs using the Push and Pull options in the VFO menu.

In dual VFO mode Mini-A on the left connects to the radio’s serial CAT port and controls the Main VFO. Mini-B on the right is linked to Mini-A by either WiFi or Bluetooth LE and uses Mini-A’s CAT connection to control the Sub receiver. The VFO each Mini controls is shown with red background in radio tag name text box in the top-right of the display.

I also added a new FTdx101 radio menu similar to what I did with the Flex and PCR1000 radios. This menu contains the basic settings you need to tweak on the radio. The menu is available and functional on both Minis.

As far as the Minis are concerned, they’re controlling individual radios. Enabling transmit on either Mini (pressing the top-left button on the Mini’s Wio Terminal) automatically makes it’s VFO active and switches the transmitter to that VFO. If you’re using the CTR2-Mini Antenna Switch Controller it will automatically disconnect the offline receiver when you enable transmit on the other VFO. This helps minimize the RF the offline receiver is exposed to.

Since only Mini-A is physically connected to the radio its keyer must be used for CW. Since Mini-A and Mini-B are linked you can adjust Mini-A’s keyer speed, Farnsworth spacing, and contest # from Mini-B.

Using two Minis in dual VFO mode with the FTdx101 eliminates the requirement for a separate SO2R controller like the CTR2-Mini SO2R Controller and the need for an antenna switch controller such as the CTR2-Mini Antenna Switch controller to manage up to three antennas. Two Minis controlling your FTdx101 gives you most of the benefits of the FlexRadio 6600/6700 without needing a PC to run it.

In case you’re wondering if the Mini can control both receivers on the Icom IC-7610, the answer is ‘probably not’. I looked at the Icom CAT protocol and can’t see where it allows you to control the second VFO. There may be other dual receiver radios where both VFOs can be controlled one CAT port. Let me know if you know of any. It is fairly easy to adapt additional radios to the dual VFO control scheme.

You can contact me if you have any questions or suggestions for this new mode. My email is also valid on QRZ.com.

73, Lynn, KU7Q