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FT-817 questions, savy needed !

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by N8PKN, Jun 5, 2021.

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  1. N8PKN

    N8PKN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Folks, I have a Yaesu FT-817, and am in need of some help operating it. I know there are adjustments for the carrier insertion points, but am unclear how much and which direction to set them for most effect on SSB.
    I think the LSB goes negative, the USB goes positive, and have set mine at +/- 100 hz to start with.
    Monitoring my signal on a nearby receiver does not seem to make a huge difference.

    Another item, when I transmit, and am listening to myself on the other receiver, I notice I can hear the clunk in the audio when I press the PTT button. So the question is, is this a problem inate to the MH-31 hand mic, that is, is the PTT switch made in such a way that the transmitter is keyed before the mic is connected ? Some microphones have the switch contacts configured so the mic is muted until the transmitter is keyed, that way the CLUNK is not heard.

    Any body else experience this ?

    Thanks in advance for any help. Have a great weekend.

  2. K1CWB

    K1CWB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not all that savvy so I'm not sure I'll be of much help. I never moved the insertion points on my FT-818 from the factory default and I honestly don't think it's necessary for my use of the rig. I can hear stations fine and they can hear me fine with good audio reports so I've been happy with that. I'm am genuinely interested in why you want to move them though for nothing else but my own curiosity. I was once told moving them (on TX I think) might end up making me sound distorted more than anything so I left it all as is.

    The only time I ever loudly heard a clunk from the microphone when receiving myself on another receiver I found that my mic gain was just too high. Once I set it correctly (or at least better) the clunk was only barely noticeable. That was with the stock microphone and it is actually more sensitive than I originally thought.

    Hope something was useful above but if not maybe some others will start to chime in. Take care and enjoy your 817!
  3. N8PKN

    N8PKN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for your reply.
    I checked the schematic of the mic, it only has two contacts, activating the PTT line, the element is hot all the time apparently. As to changing the carrier insertion point, it somewhat narrows the RF within the passband, concentrating more audio in the signal, supposedly giving the signal more punch. It will take the extremes out of the audio, making it easier to hear, and wasting less power in the passband on sound that does not contribute to readability. It isnt necessarily "pleasant" to listen to, but cuts through QRM.

    Lowering the mic gain would quiet the klunk, but also lower my transmit audio in the process.

  4. K1CWB

    K1CWB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok got it. I searched around because I was curious about the insertion point settings myself and learned something new yesterday. It is something I'm going to experiment with myself, but again I've had good results with the insertion points left at zero.

    Yeah if you have the mic gain set properly without maxing out the ALC then you probably wouldn't want to lower it. I had mine set too high so obviously I sounded distorted which wasn't helping my qrp signal get heard any better. I made adjustments and as a side effect the clunk I too was hearing faded away.
  5. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    This also might help some. On the stock mic, when talking to folks outside my town I put it on position 2. It cuts out the lows, folks have reported to me that helps.
    K1CWB likes this.
  6. N8PKN

    N8PKN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Correct ! The position 2 cuts some of the lows out, making the audio crisper to a degree. The element in that stock mic is def not engineered for crisp articulation. I finally figured out how to use the record function on my Icom 7600, and listened to my audio from the modified MH-31 mic, with the Heil HC-4 element. It is really potent ! NOT ragchew type response, but does certainly make the sound bright.
    I will try it again next weekend from our campsite and se how I do.

  7. KE8OKM

    KE8OKM Ham Member QRZ Page

    This video has some great info about optimizing your FT817/818 performance.

  8. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    the sota beams mic compressor has been a real boon for me. with the mic set on 2 with compressor on it has made a noticeable difference. But when I talk to local guys they want the compressor off and the mic set on 1. So if you test with local guys they wont like the compressor at all. But talk to someone out of state and get them to test with you they will like mic on 2 and compressor on. @KE8OKM That video help me a bunch about a year ago.
    KE8OKM likes this.
  9. N8PKN

    N8PKN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, I looked at that too. Were you using the stock mic ?
  10. WS9K

    WS9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    Stock mic, switched to "2"

    SOTABEAM speech processor

    menu 46 - SSB MIc = 67

    never messed with the carrier insertion points

    KC7JNJ likes this.

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