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FT-991 JT65 with computer

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by KV3D, Apr 4, 2015.

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  1. KV3D

    KV3D Ham Member QRZ Page


    Do any of you know how I could get my FT-991 to work with JT65 through my computer? I am able to receive and send audio through the USB port well, but the JT65-HF program is unable to activate the transmitter. Is it even possible to use only a USB cable for this?
  2. KW4EK

    KW4EK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't have a 991, so this is somewhat generic information.

    You do not state which JT-65 application you are using (there are several common candidates) nor precisely how you have interfaced everything to the PC (other than mention if a USB cable), but if you wish to use automatic activation of the PTT line then you will first have to tell the application, from its configuration panel, how to activate your radio's PTT line as there are a number if different ways this can be done for various radios (such as via CAT, via switching either RTS or DTR on a virtual serial port, etc.).

    If your application does not support a compatible means of activating the PTT line directly, for your radio, then you will have to setup your radio to use VOX mode instead so that the radio itself responds automatically to audio input without the need to trigger the PTT line. If using VOX mode, be aware that some Yaesu radios have separate VOX configuration settings for the DATA and the MIC ports, and that you may need to tell the radio which of those two ports (Data or Mic) it should be monitoring so that VOX is looking at the correct input source -- if turning VOX on causes the radio to transmit on your voice, rather Than your data signal, then you'll know that the radio is monitoring the wrong VOX input. You will activate and deactivate VOX from your radio's front panel VOX control.

    Good luck!
  3. KV3D

    KV3D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, I am using the "JT65-HF-HB9HQX-Edition" version I tried the VOX mode but I don't see any way to switch to data VOX, so I'm going to try WSJT right now and see if it goes any better.

    EDIT: WSJT sucks. Never mind.
  4. N9DSJ

    N9DSJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are you using the latest WSJT-X version? It has been updated to solve various rig control issues. In previous WSJT-X versions I had to use another program to force-feed the PTT commands over CAT; not so with the newest version.

    Not familiar with the FT-991 but unless there is a menu item to select otherwise, VOX only works via the microphone input.


    Bill N9DSJ

    HT65-HF is dormant (not supported or developing).
    KL2ZZ likes this.
  5. KW4EK

    KW4EK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If VOX on your FAt-991 is anything at all like my FT-950 (I have not downloaded and read your manual) then the VOX settings, including the choice of input source, can be found buried in the setup menu settings. On my radio there are separate level and parameter settings for both Mic/voice and Data port inputs plus an additional setting that controls whether VOX is monitoring the Data line or the Mic input -- and they are not all grouped together in the same place as one might expect. Look over your available menu options carefully to see if you can find the equivalent setup options as I suspect they probably exist on your radio.

    Also check the Audio levels being output to the virtual USB soundcard (I'm assuming the audio is via the USB cable?) using your operating system's Audio Mixer app (in Windows, this would be the speaker icon in the system tray, right-click on it and select "Playback", or similarly titled, levels). Set the output level on your radio's soundcard interface to 75-100% for starters, as you can dial this back, if needed, later on should you notice excessive ALC activation on transmit (there should be little to no ALC activation when using digital modes). For now you just want to try and get something to output to your radio, even if it is a bit garbled at first (so consider transmitting into a dummy load where you will disturb no one). While troubleshooting, it helps greatly to enable your radio's MONITOR function so that you may hear whatever audio may reach your radio. Also be aware that many radios require you to dial back transmitter power to 50%, or less, of the maximum power level when transmitting digital modes, in general, to avoid overheating the finals since many digital modes have a 100% duty cycle.
  6. KV3D

    KV3D Ham Member QRZ Page

    I turned on the data VOX in the long menu but my JT65 (HB9HQX) program still isn't activating the PTT, even with 100% audio output via USB.

    Here are my menu options:

    VOX GAIN: 50
    VOX DELAY: 500msec
    DATA VOX DELAY: 100msec

    Also, I just got WSJT-X up and running and although it is clearly better than the previous version, I'm still unable to activate my transmitter.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
  7. KW4EK

    KW4EK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    In that case you can be reasonably confident that there is either no audio output, or only very faint audio output, reaching your radio's internal USB soundcard interface. Do go ahead and double-check that your JT-65 application is actually directing its audio output to the proper sound interface -- I'm sure you have already done this a dozen or more times, but do it once more on a whim. If need be, use another audio application, such as an MP3 player to intentionally direct audio to this interface and see if your radio reacts to such (with and without manually triggering MOX and VOX modes) -- just be sure to use your dummy load so you do not transmit the recorded audio or sound effects on air.

    I'm not familiar with JT65-HF's user interface, but what is the power output slider set to? Also, if the application includes a "Tune" capability, then do not be afraid to use it during testing as Tune should output a single steady tone (like CW) for the purposes of providing a tuner with a stable carrier to tune on -- this means there is a guaranteed tone output in this mode. You can then adjust power and volume sliders to see if there is any output to your radio (for now keep the radio in Monitor mode and turn the volume knob up a bit so you can hear any transmitted audio). If any of the power level or volume sliders are set too low then there will be no opportunity for your radio to key up, even in VOX mode.

    I do want to mention that because you are using the radio's internal USB soundcard I do not know for certain whether or not this interface is capable of driving the data port directly, or not, and, in turn, the VOX's kind of a weird setup to figure out when there are essentially two "data" audio interfaces (the physical jacks on the back of the radio and the one provided by the USB interface -- and no real way to know how, or if, those two get merged internally).

    Continue experimenting with possible configurations to see if you can get PTT to work at all (you may find that some possibilities trigger the Mic rather than the Data audio). Even without working audio you will at least be able to see if the PTT line is responding by whether the TX indicator illuminates. Also go ahead and try some other common applications such as WSJT-X, FLDigi, even a trial of HRD (if inclined) as they all work a little differently -- if you make some progress on one you may learn something you can apply to another. Do be aware that the CAT interface is a virtual (USB) serial port, so only ONE application may "own" this virtual serial port at a time, so close all other applications and work with only one at a time or they will very fighting one another for CAT control with unpredictable results.

    You should be able to get things working using the builtin internal USB soundcard and CAT interfaces, but if it proves too messy there is always the traditional option of using either a SignaLink USB (sound and PTT only) or the Yaesu SCU-17 interface (sound, PTT and FSK lines, plus a serial CAT port), both of which also provide full electrical isolation between your radio and computer to protect against ground loops and/or RF getting into your PC. These solutions would interface to the rear port connections on your radio, largely, if not entirely, bypassing the existing USB interface (whether they totally bypass it depends upon where the CAT control gets routed, USB or external serial port).

    Hopefully there will be an FT-991 operator who sees this thread and can talk you through the peculiarities of this radio and its builtin USB soundcard and CAT interfacing. If I had access to one I would figure this out for you, but I do not, so there are limits as to what I can extrapolate from the more traditional setups, like with my FT-950, where all these connections are physically broken out using an intermediate interface making it much easier to "see" whether there is a proper signal on a given output line (such as audio). With all of this done inside the radio it must all work simultaneously or nothing seems to work, which makes troubleshooting more challenging.

    I hope there is something in all of this that may point you down a productive path. If not then know that somewhere out there is an FT-991 who has already figured this out and if the two of you can cross paths (either here on QRZ or on another website) then they may have all your answers already worked out for the asking.
  8. AF5IA

    AF5IA Ham Member QRZ Page

    AF5IA de W7KMS I am using a W7 laptop and a Kenwood TS-590. I use Ham Radio Deluxe ( Free version. I use JT65-HF from W6CQZ. The push to talk is taken care of with the HRD. I also use a driver for the USB connection from Kenwood called ARUA-10. The mic on my laptop had to be turned way down or off. The levels set with USB Audio CODEC (mic and speaker). Good luck.
  9. KV3D

    KV3D Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found some more options in the "deep" menu:


    I set "DATA IN" to REAR and DATA PORT to USB but it still isn't responding when I use the data VOX. And what on earth is DAKY in DATA PTT SELECT? The manual doesn't say, of course.
    KT9X and (deleted member) like this.
  10. AI6AK

    AI6AK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm running a Yaesu FTDX3000 with WSJT-X and my Macbook and it works perfectly using just a USB connection. First, probably because of the Mac, I did have to download a third party USB controller. Also, what audio settings are you using in WSJT-X? And, when you test the CAT Test what does it do? Is it lit up green or red? I had a bit of trouble getting mine to work at first but finally figured it out.

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