FT8 on a 991-a

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KN6KKW, Mar 28, 2021.

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  1. KN6KKW

    KN6KKW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm using wsjt-x on linux and am trying to get ft8 working.

    Everything appears correct (when I push the test PTT and CAT buttons it works) Also when I use wspr I think it is working since I see myself on the map.

    When I try to use FT8 it looks like it is monitoring ok. I can see peoples calls but when my radio goes to transmit I can see on my tuner that it is hearing audio from the microphone. Is that supposed to be the case? If not how do I change that?

  2. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  3. K6BRN

    K6BRN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Ian (KN6KKW):

    I'm not familiar with running WSJT-X/FT8 under Linux when connected to a Yaesu FT991A, - but here are some thoughts regarding a common problem (I have multiple Yaesu tranceivers, incuding two FT991 s)...

    Yaesu provides a proprietary Windows 10 USB driver that creates not one but TWO virtual com ports - one for CAT control and the other for audio I/O using the radio built-in sound card. NOT installing or selecting this driver and its ports causes most common FT8 issues with Yaesu radios driven by Windows 10, when using the USB port ONLY connection method.

    It is also possible to use a regular USB driver that provides only CAT control through one virtual com port and then connect the radio analog audio ports to the computer sound card. But this is more (physically/electrically) complex.

    You did not mention what kind of USB driver you're using, who provided it, whether is creates one or two ports or whether your radio connection uses the analog audio ports on the radio and uses USB only for control.

    Anyone who tries to help will need to know that.

    In the Windows world, it's possible (usually with a laptop) to RX FT8 signals just fine but be unable to transmit them due to improper port selection. If the default audio ports are selected, usually the laptop speaker and microphone, the FT8 signals can often be received (less than ideally) via the radios speaker playing into to the laptop microphone. FT8 receive will work (more or less, but with high background noise) but TX will not work - the radio may key up but no transmission amplitude will exist.

    To see if this is happening, just clap your hands during receive and see if the FT8 waterfall spikes. If it does, you've selected the laptops mic as the audio input to the computer.

    The good news is that someone, somewhere has seen and found an answer to running FT8 on Linux when connected to an FT991A. And I suspect solving that problem is mostly about which driver to use, or creating a combination of USB control and analog audio interfaces, in lieu of a dual driver.

    Hopefully someone else on this forum can provide a more complete answer.

    Good luck!

    Brian - K6BRN
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
  4. KN6KKW

    KN6KKW Ham Member QRZ Page

    So I will set it to data-usb but when it goes to transmit the radio changes to regular USB. FT8 also puts the radio into split mode so i have to manually switch on both vfo's but it still goes back to usb when it transmits.
  5. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Use FAKE IT for the FT8 Split.
  6. KN6KKW

    KN6KKW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here are a couple screen shots of the wsjt settings

    Attached Files:

  7. KN6KKW

    KN6KKW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok i changed it to fake it but still not working. Its definitely the radios microphone because if i tap on the hand mic i see my tuner light up.
  8. KN6KKW

    KN6KKW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I made another change. In the settings > radio > mode, it was set to USB per the instructions online. I changed it to data/pkt and now it isn't switching to upper side band when it transmits. I even think someone responded to my CQ but it was only one response in about 10 minutes of CQing. I'm on 20m btw
    K8XG likes this.
  9. KN6KKW

    KN6KKW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The tuner isn't engaging anymore and wspr is working but I can't get any QSO's on 20m even though I see a ton of action on the band. Is that normal?
  10. K6BRN

    K6BRN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    No, that's NOT normal.

    Is your computer clock synchronized to an internet reference? FT8 really, really likes to have all clocks sync'ed to within a fraction of a second. If it's more than 1 second off, contacts will be much harder to make.

    Also, is your ALC meter deflecting when you transmit on FT8? On my Yaesu transceivers (FT-991, FTDX-3000, FTDX-1200) I've found that TX works best on FT8 when the ALC deflects halfway into the safe zone. The persistent advice that no ALC deflection is good is just bad advice for modern Yaesu radios.

    If the ALC is not deflecting at all, you may not be transmitting or may be transmitting only a very low power signal.

    When transmitting on FT8, what does your output power read on the FT-991A (or external meter)?

    Brian - K6BRN
    KC3PBI likes this.
  11. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    ^He is receiving everyone, means his clock is fine. First problem of clock sync off is you cant decode anyone, he has no TX Audio. Have you read this whole thread? It is a Linux audio mixer problem to drive the radio...After thinking it was windows days later we found he was using Linux...
    KP4SX likes this.
  12. KC3PBI

    KC3PBI Ham Member QRZ Page

    'linux' was the 6th word of the first post in the thread. EDIT: was there another thread?

    He's getting WSPR audio out, why would audio stop going out for a mode change within the app?

    @KN6KKW The timekeeping suggestion @K6BRN offered wasn't needed here, but his levels vs. ALC info is worth working on.
  13. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    His port audio mixer is not working, look up the other thread he started on FT8 QSO in this part ...
    KC3PBI likes this.
  14. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    His WSPR and other reports were only what HE Heard not TX
    KC3PBI likes this.
  15. K6BRN

    K6BRN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Art (K8XG):

    Pot. Kettle.

    The O.P. s very first post said he was using Linux and I replied to that in kind. It was never a surprise to anyone who read his initial question.

    Also, having played with my own system timing during FT8 operations, I've found that I can still receive PLENTY of signals when I'm 1 second or so off timing. But responses to my CQs fall off dramatically. Last I looked, I'm over 10K QSOs on FT8 worked at four different stations, three of which I set up. So I'm not an FT8 newbie.

    It might be worthwhile going back to my first reply - where I asked about the driver and interfaces being used to talk to the radio. This sounds a lot like a driver problem - RX working but TX channel is not, assuming he's using USB for both TX and RX.

    I don't know if Ian is using a dual-port USB driver - for LINUX. Do you?

    To help more, we need to know more about Ian's electrical interface, driver pedigree and capability. And if would be nice if he answered my questions.

    The best thing would be if somebody who has already been running FT8 on an FT991A, under Linux popped up. Then the answers might be pretty obvious.

    Have you done this?

    Brian - K6BRN

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