Noob when it comes to Packet radio....how to and will this work???

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by N0MIO, Jul 31, 2010.

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  1. N0MIO

    N0MIO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok so I have only been licensed for 8 Months give or take a day and I love ham radio. I currently am operating a Yaesu FT-857D. I am looking into possibly trying out packet radio and or digipeat (sorry if these are the same). I have read that I am able to use my sound card on my computer to get this working. My question is can I use my radio and my computer sound card to get this working??? Would i be able to use a 3mm double ended headset jack from the radio to the computer to get this working?? Thanks again and 73's

    P.S. I am also looking into working the ISS and HO-68 while trying packet.. thanks again.
     
  2. KD0KKV

    KD0KKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm about 4 months in, but I can tell you that you need more than that. Yes, you need audio cables, but you also need a com port or usb connection for the ptt control. Your rig might also be able to do whats called cat control where you can use something like ham radio deluxe to actually control the radio from the pc.

    Edit: here's a set with both http://www.radioarena.co.uk/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=2570
    and here's a similar thread that explains a little more http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?t=236677
    :)
     
  3. N0MIO

    N0MIO Ham Member QRZ Page

    ok so I have talked to a lot of friends here and I downloaded MultiPSK. I have it setup and everything so now I should be able to send and recieve packet for lets say the ISS correct??? I have the output of the radio going to to microphone is on my PC. I have the yaesu 857D mic on VOX and right over the PC microphone. Will this work???
     
  4. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did it? Build this up and measure it to see. I/O are pretty well defined.
     
  5. KI6HLD

    KI6HLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 857D has both a voice VOX, over the microphone, and a digital VOX, for input to the DATA connector on the back panel.

    Using the microphone and holding it next to the computer speaker will work. But the signal level will vary quite a bit depending on how you hold the mike, etc. And using the mic VOX has the problem of transmitting if various other noises cause your rig to transmit unexpectedly.

    You can build a pretty good interface using a computer mouse extension cord. An old mouse can sometimes be used, but not all mice used all the pins you need - a mouse extension cord almost always has the right pins connected to wires. You can also buy the CT-39A cable from Yeasu.
    Cut female end of the cable off. Check continuity to the various pins. Look in your manual at page for the pinout.
    Connect the data out line and ground to a 3.5mm stereo jack - the DATA OUT 1200 bps to the tip and ground to the collar - the center section is left unconnected. That will work for recieving, going to your mic input on the computer. Don't mess with the 9600 bps line for now.
    Connect another stereo jack to the DATA IN line and ground - same idea - tip to the DATA IN line, ground - the same line as used for the recieve - to the collar. That is your transmit line.

    Set your sound level output at the computer very low - maybe only one click up from nothing. On the radio, set your output meter for ALC (multi-function row 'i' - press MTR until ALC shows in them middle). Set menu #37 - Digital Gain - very low to start with - maybe 10.

    Now you should be ready. If you are using the MultiPSK and have it set up to use your computer sound card, you should be able to see the signals and decode them. Output is pretty simple, but you need to set the actual Digital Gain menu #37 up. Set the tranmsitter for low power - 5Watts. Try to use MultiPSK to transmit your call sign. The transmitter should key up using just the digital VOX. If not, you may have to turn up the Digital Gain. If it transmits, you should see the ALC level in the meter on the left of the display. While transmitting, set the Digital Gain for about half way up.

    If you experience 'hum' in the audio in or out, you may have to make a ground loop isolator. For a quick & dirty without having to order the parts from an electronics catalog, find a car stereo shop and you want a ground loop isolator. If found one at Fry's for $15. It has two isolation transformers mounted on a small board. I had to cut open the box and take off the original wires on mine, but that was pretty simple, and now I have a ready built interface. I think the only thing really needed is the addition of a variable resistor to allow me to set the speaker output level of the computer and the Digital Gain numbers to a more reasonable level.
     
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