The Yaesu PCC-950 software delivers everything it promises with nice graphics for the Microphone Equalizer and easy entry of the CW Message Memories. Operation is seamless and has no quirks. I was running an Acer Computer manufactured in 2012 with fully patched Windows 7 Professional (64 bit) for these tests.
Better yet, this is freeware from Yaesu for external computer control (CAT) of the transceiver from a computer screen.
It is real time control that works with a graphic of the radio front panel that you can click on the knob or button in the graphic to change the settings. For real time interaction, I find it easier to just turn the knobs. There are keyboard macros that you can set for your function keys. If you are running another program on your computer at the same time, this could get exciting. I did not try this.
Before you start the program, have the USB to SERIAL cable plugged in and the radio turned ON. The program wants to find the radio when it boots up. If necessary, set the COM to COM 3 and 4800 using the drop down menu “SETUP”. These settings worked for me. The radio has to be set manually in MENU #026 to match whatever you want to use. No need to run very fast.
PARAMETRIC EQ SETTINGS ON A GRAPHIC DISPLAY
This function is accessed through the drop down menu PRMTRC.
Therefore, be sure to use the radio to display all the current settings and write them down. Load that using the PRMTRC function to the hard drive and save it. If you ever want to experiment with it, you can always get back to where you were without a lot of tedious knob twisting.
- It can shut the function OFF.
- It can create a set of settings for PRMTRC, the settings for EQ off.
- It can create a set of settings for P-PRMTRC, the settings for EQ on.
- It can save the settings to the hard drive.
- It can load the currently displayed settings to the radio using the APPLI button.
- It CANNOT download the current settings from the radio to the computer or save them in a file.
NOTE: The place where this really shines is the awesome GRAPHIC display of exact frequency response from the settings you have chosen. This alone is a reason to enter the settings into the program and play a bit with the tuning. Each of the three parametric bands is shown in a different color, as well as the cumulative effect of the settings overlaid in a different color. Makes tweaking it all really easy, once you get it all saved on the hard drive in a file.
These settings use a Q of 1. This results in less group phase delay (distortion of complex voice wave form) than those recommended on the Heil web page. I am not saying that the Heil recommended settings do not work. I am just saying these are better for my voice and microphone (which is not a Heil), and my experience with filters leads me to believe they are more correct technically.
USING PCC-950 MAKES CW MEMORY KEYER OPERATION EASY
Use OPTION drop down and select CW.
A window opens up displaying all 5 memories.
The record and play functions are straightforward.
You can change the message by over writing it.
Certainly a lot more fool proof than sending it in with a keyer paddle. Certainly a lot quicker than twisting knobs and entering it in TYPE mode from the radio front panel.
However, be aware that to hear the message played back, you have to have a dummy load connected, power cranked down, and have BKIN ON. You also have to have the MONI ON and the MONI knob turned up to a comfortable listening level. This is also true when you are playing back the message using the Yaesu FH2 keypad.
Once you have the messages loaded by typing it on the keyboard and saving it to the radio, you will find it easier to use the FH2 Yaesu accessory key pad to play the messages for contest use. You probably want to use your computer screen for logging or QRZ.com look ups or something else more useful.
NOTE: There is a bug in the FT-950 keyer messages; this is not in the PCC-950 software. When the manual states on page 81, $ entered in the field for the message, it plays back SX run together. That is exactly what happens. It should have been SK run together. I just enter the letters SK with no space between and most operators figure it out. Oh well. Otherwise pretty good.
THE PCC-950 ALSO CAN CONTROL THE VOICE MEMORY KEYER
PCC-950 DOES THE REPEATER OFFSET FROM THIS SCREEN
PCC-950 DOES ROTATORS TOO
GENERAL NOTE: This program does not seem to remember where it stashed all your configuration files. Click SAVE AS to see where the first one goes, and send it to the right place, and keep track of the file where it went to retrieve it.
BOTTOM LINE: WORKS AS ADVERTISED. WORTH EVERY PENNY YOU SPENT ON THIS. BEST THINGS IN LIFE REALLY ARE FREE IT SEEMS!