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buildersRadios & Wiring for Radios ➜ NinoTNC to Vertex FTL RJ45

NinoTNC and Vertex FTL-1011, 2011, 7011

Construction requires:

Obtain 5foot CAT5 wire.

DE-9 end
Strip back 3/4" of the outer jacket from one end of the CAT5 wire.

RJ45 end
Strip back 18" of the outer jacket from the one end of the CAT5 wire to prepare the earphone plug twisted pair. Note: Using a box cutter, cut around the outer jacket of the CAT5 at 18" from the RJ45 end.
Next, using diagonal cutter, cut the outer jack toward the RJ45 end about 2".
Pull out the brown and white&brown pair from the 18" end so the outer jacket will easily slide off

click to enlarge
Trim back 18inches removing brown pair

Both Ends
On both ends, cut and dispose of brown, white&brown, white&blue wires.

RJ45 end
On the RJ45 end (18" end), Trim the orange, white&orange and blue wires back to 5/8" from end for RJ45 connector.

Fold back the 18" long green and white&green pair. Place a 1" long heat shrink over the CAT5 and green pair. -- don't heat the shrink yet. Note: See photos below of heat shrinked end.

Insert 3 conductors + folded back end of green and green+white wire into RJ45 and crimp such that the blue, orange, white&orange wires are as shown to the right and down below. vertex_rj45_microphone_pinout_small300
Cook the heat shrink.See photo
click to enlarge
heat-strinked end with RJ45

DE-9 end
The length of the wire from the RJ45 to the DE-9 end depends on where the TNC's DE9 is to be located. I suggest making sure the Vertex radio is turned off or unplugged from power. Now temporarily plug the RJ45 into the radio, and then route the CAT5 wire through your cabinetry to the back of the NinoTNC. Leave an extra several inches to take corners and whatnot.
Unplug the RJ45 from the radio. Strip back about 3/4 of an inch of the remaining CAT5 jacket. Untwist the brown wire pair. Cut the brown-white wire back to the CAT5 jacket. Cut the brown wire back to about 1/8" from the CAT5 jacket.
Strip the orange, white&orange, blue, green, white&green to 1/4".

Twist white&blue, white&green and white&orange wires together. These are the ground wires. Tin, trim (to remove spurious untwisted bits) and attach the twisted pair to DE-9 as per drawing.

Tin, trim and attach green, blue, orange wires to DE-9 as per the drawing.


Note: MIC is the same as TxData for our purposes. Speaker jack center conductor becomes RxData. The ground from the speaker jack must be connected to the Microphone Ground and both are soldered to pin 6 on the DE-9 connector.

This drawing is of the solder cups on the back of the radio-cable DE9 from the perspective of the inside of the D-sub Shell. DE9_for_TNC_PI

heat-strinked end with RJ45




Earphone plug

Solder 18" long green wire to center conductor of earphone plug. Solder white&green wire to ground of earphone plug. Note that reversing these two wires on the earphone jack is the number one cause for failure of this cable!

Where applicable, make sure you put the plastic insulator, spring, and screw-on cover over the wire, in the proper order and orientation, before soldering!


Alignment Procedure

For FTL-1011 99 channel LCD display 6m radio.



Dead memory-retention battery

Supposedly the batter is a standard button cell but I've never seen this, and I am told that it is a pain to replace. If the cell is dead, the radio will always come up on the lowest channel in the lowest bank, by default. However, there is a menu called Common>Miscillaneous where you can set the Switch on channel to the bank and channel # of your choice.

minimum volume

One of the menus allows you to set a minimum volume. I recommend against that. Set it to 0.

Writing to the radio

On my 233Mhz MSDOS computer, writes to the radio are very difficult. The radio frequenty dumps out of the write and asserts a failure. This is because the computer and program are too fast for the radio. The radio was programmed with an old MSDOS computer and the programmers apparently assumed that the radio would always be able to keep up.
The only way to work through this is to do the write over and over until it works. On my computer that can take 10 minutes or so worth of try and fail and try again.

Audio Mod Circuit Removal

W4RFQ made some notes with photos on how to remove this circuit. I've never done it successfully but several other local hams have. One ham said that he couldn't fabricate the 3 pin header thing and just soldered the wires to the existing header.
© Tadd Torborg, 2014↝2022 -- all rights reserved