Install computer radiocontrol is not that difficult!

Most modern tranceivers can be controlled by computer, I don’t have to tell that. But the majority of them are using serial ports for control, and most modern computers don’t have those ports anymore. That’s were most radioamateurs have a problem, they buy a unknown brand of USB to serial converter from which drivers are already obsolete and don’t work on Windows Vista or Windows 7. The consequence is lock-ups and irritation, then the endless search for non existing drivers begins.  At the end of all this many radioamateurs give up hope to ever get their radio connected to the computer. Though it doesn’t have to be that difficult if you choose the right converter or modem. Following my own experience and many others the best are those who have the FTDI chipset on board. They will install flawlessy and are very stable. Now since I needed to install my ZLP electronics modem again because of a computer crash I had the opportunity to make a small video. Unfortenately for the english readers I have a Dutch Windows Vista version so I guess it is worthless for international readers. Anyway, the ZLP has a FTDI chipset inside and it is like advertised plug&play. I hope to encourage people to try again to control you transceiver by computer. This gives you many opportunities to do all kind of things which you normal do by pushing knobs on the radio. Think about the DX cluster, you see a call that you like to hear or work and one click on the call gets you on the right frequency. You have unlimited space for storing all  kind of frequencies and click once you’re there. You can scan all those stored frequencies or just scan part of a band or several frequencies on all kind of bands. Radio control by computer is a thing you really need when contesting. Even the newest WSPR version with frequency hopping makes use of it. And there are so many other things you can do with it. I like to control my Yaesu FT817 with it as it is famous for it’s extended menus, on screen everything is clarified and much easier to control. Best program to use is Ham Radio deLuxe, but there are others less populair as well. Most contest software is working with it. Good luck with controlling your transceiver!

USB to serial converter install video (Dutch)

Bas, PE4BAS, is a regular contributor to and writes from Groningen, Netherlands. Contact him at [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: