as long as the Sangean ATS-909 and it's clones (the Radio Shack DX398,
Roberts R861 & Siemens RK777) has been available, users of these
radios have been asking what purpose does those DATA IN holes on the
bottom of the radio serve and does anyone make anything that uses
them? Finally someone has stepped forward with a programming kit that
answers those questions.
from the Iberian Peninsula, computer programmer Tomas Ramirez has
developed the ATS909 Programer. The ATS909 Programer uploads and downloads
the Sangean ATS909 and it's clones 306 memories (presets) via a computer's
parallel port aka printer port. The ATS909 Programer is not a computer
controller program for these radios as these holes were not put there
for that use. The ATS909 Programer kit includes the software (Windows
only) and the cable needed to get started. All you have to do is come
up with the frequencies you wish to program into the radio. The ATS909
Programer also allows the user to name the alpha-numeric shortwave
pages and MW/FM memories. The user is also able to save the memories
for future use in the computer or share them.
attaching one end of the cable to computer's parallel port, the two
pin A-B DATA plug (connector) must be set up. At first it is a bit
cumbersome to hook-up the DATA cable to the radio but with some practice
this part isn't so bad. This cable comes with a heavy clear plastic
strap with Velcro on both ends that come together to hold the two
pin DATA plug in place on the bottom of the radio. There is also a
cable with a 3.5mm phono plug that comes off the DATA plug that goes
into the LINE OUT jack on the left side of the radio. As mentioned
before the cable setup seems a bit cumbersome but frankly I can't
see a better way of holding the DATA cable plug in place that is as
cost efficient or doesn't require some sort of expensive plastic mold.
Once the DATA plug and strap is in place, make sure the flip-stand
on the back of the radio is holding the radio up in its normal elevated
position. This will help to lock in the strap and keep the DATA plug
in place on the radio. We are now ready to try out the ATS Programer
by launching the computer program that comes with the kit.
TO FIRST BACKUP (DOWNLOAD) YOUR RADIO'S MEMORIES BEFORE UPLOADING.
This is very important as you may have many of your favorite memories
already in the radio.
Your Memories (Presets) From The Radio To The Computer
When you start the ATS Programer Tool software, the main introduction
screen will give you two options which are either to download
your memories from the radio to the computer or upload your
memories from the computer to the radio. First make sure to
set the software to the type of FM band that matches your radio.
This box is located at the top where it says MODEL. Once you
do that, it's time to LOAD FROM RADIO
"Load From Radio 1" screen basically reminds you how
to attach the strap and make sure everything is hooked up properly.
On the DATA plug, the pins need to be in their proper holes;
pin A matches with hole A, etc. A good way to remember this
is to make sure the 3.5mm phono plug cable is on the left of
the DATA plug as the LINE OUT plug is on the left side of the
radio. After everything is set up click OK on the computer program.
we are at "Load From Radio 2" screen. This is where
close attention must be paid and some quick hands ready to start
moving. Put the radio in FM. Once you have done that, hold down
the light button (top right with the little light bulb icon)
and tap FM once. Quickly let up on the light button and then
quickly press the ENTER button. You have only two seconds to
hit ENTER once the process has started. If you have done everything
right then you should see on the radio's display, where the
alpha-numeric box is located under the frequency, DATA OUT then
VERIFY and finally OK. At that point it's alright to click OK
on the computer screen and then click EXIT. If the process doesn't
go as discribed do not panic and try it again. Because of the
quickness of hand involved it may take a few tries to get the
Your Memories (Presets) From Your Computer To Your Radio
With the help of some good resources such as PrimeTimeShortwave,
and dose of common sense, setting up the memories are easy by
going to the main screen of ATS Programer Tool software and clicking
on the bottom boxes for FM, MW, LW, and SW Memories and entering
in the frequencies desired as well as the alpha numeric tags.
It is worth noting that the ATS Programer Tool software defaults
to AM mode for shortwave but USB or LSB may be selected to be
programmed into the radio. After frequencies and tags are entered
into the computer program everything is ready to be transferred
to the radio.
"Save To Radio 1" screen basically reminds you to
make sure the radio and cables are hooked up properly. After
reviewing the instructions on the page click OK in the computer
we are in the "Save To Radio 2" screen. Carefully
attention must be paid from this point on to the process. After
putting the radio in LW, press the Light button and tap the
LW button. Quickly let up on the light button and then press
the ENTER button on the radio. If you have done everything alright
then you should see on the radio's display where the alpha-numeric
box is located under the frequency, DATA IN then VERIFY and
finally OK. The radio will then shut itself off. At this point
it's alright to press the OK button on the computer screen.
The ATS Programer Tool software will then return back to the
main page. Congratulations, you have just uploaded your frequencies.
downloading and uploading scheme may seem a bit overwhelming
at first but really it's not after reading the instructions
carefully and a few times practicing the process. The first
time I tried the program I was over anxious to see results and
accidentally clicked OK on the computer program before the radio
had finished the verifying process which resulted in a ROM DUMP
error. This was not the program's fault but rather operator's
the Sangean ATS909 deafness off the whip is notorious, this
radio has been one of my favorite travel radios for many years
where I could throw out a small piece of wire or use a loop.
A few years ago when Radio Shack blew out their remaining inventory
of the DX398 for $100 I could not resist and picked up a second
one. Last year I had RadioLabs modify my old Sangean ATS909
to a Super 909, which by the way I have been very happy with.
I decided to try the Super 909 on the ATS909 Programer to see
if anything had been done during the RadioLabs modification
process that would prevent the program from working properly.
Just as with the DX398, the Super 909 downloaded the frequencies
and uploaded the frequencies without any problems.
While this is probably not the program's fault but the radio's software
that causes this but each time you upload your frequencies the WORLD
clock is reset to 00:00. The good news is that your HOME time zone
still stays the same. In fact the HOME time zone name doesn't even
change. I had changed my HOME time zone name a long time ago from
the default NEW YORK to WASH DC. Same time zone just a different and
closer city to me.
feature would be if the ATS909 Programer was available for use via
the USB port instead of the parallel port. Tomas tells me though there
are no plans right now to do this due to the complexities of utilizing
the USB port.
ATS909 Programer is a useful utility for someone who doesn't like
to delete and re-enter the frequencies manually. AM and FM favorite
memories probably don't change very much unless you are traveling
or moving a lot. Shortwave though is another story. As most people
know, many shortwave stations change their broadcast schedules twice
a year (fall and spring). Keeping a radio that has a lot of memories
up to date with useful frequencies is practically an impossible task.
The ATS909 Programer makes this process a little easier and less time
consuming. Since your favorite memories/presets can be saved as a
file it is possible for users of the ATS909 Programer to swap memory
files with each other. Another nice feature of the ATS909 Programer
is the ability to create a text file of your memories. This file can
be easily printed out, edited or shared. I personally always find
it interesting to learn what people enjoy tuning in to on their radio
and sometimes learn something in the process.
information on the ATS909 Programer is available at ATS909Programer.com
or by writing Tomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
package like this has been a long time coming for this radio so hats
off to Tomas for finally making a dream come true for many Sangean