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Ft891 and digital modes. To buy a interface or diy cable?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by N8MLP, Oct 9, 2019.

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  1. N8MLP

    N8MLP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am very interested in trying out some digital modes. The research I have found seems like I can buy a device or build a cable...

    I am ok with the DIY route and honestly want to do that.

    I just don’t know about the audio. My Mac and Windows machine both have a single 3.5mm jack.

    How do I make it work with one audio port?
  2. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nothing wrong with going the DIY route. The FT-891 is one of my dedicated digital mode rigs and have great success using the SignaLink USB interface. The computer is a Dell E6420 laptop with Windows 7 pro.
    WD0BCT likes this.
  3. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'll second the use of the Signalink with this rig. Best decision I made.
    The other best decision was using a Windows PC in my shack. Lots more Windows support readily available if you need it.
    K3XR likes this.
  4. N5SMO

    N5SMO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The signalink is nice with the FT891 since the output power on the rig is set via a menu item and is not as quick and easy as on other rigs with a power knob or button. The signal link provides a quick and easy way to control the audio drive level to the radio and thus output power without having to dig into Windows device properties or the radio's menus. True, WSJTx has a Power slider, but there are other digi mode software choices that do not and you may wish to run some of them some day. It is also nice to have some level of RF isolation between the radio and the computer. This is a well recognized best practice in the HAM world.
  5. W7ESR

    W7ESR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cable can be bought on eBay for $16-$20. I’m in the same boat and going to give the cable a shot first. Google OH8STN and you will see the direction he is going and why... he is leaving the box behind
  6. K6SPA

    K6SPA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I decided to use the cable option for my 891. I'm a full time RV'er and have limited space and didn't want another "thing" to carry around. So far, using the cables, and a very small USB sound card have worked well for me. It really isn't that big a problem to go into the Windows setting to make an adjustment to sound levels. Nothing wrong with having a signal link and I may get one, some day. But since I prefer keeping things simple, the cable option is a good one!
  7. K8TDN

    K8TDN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I saw that he is using usb sound card I need to check pinouts for radio connector; that will cut down on what I carry porable. I am watching the oh8stn channelk for the Raspberry Pi hookup.
  8. W7ESR

    W7ESR Ham Member QRZ Page

  9. WL7PM

    WL7PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Checking in to see how goes your FT-891 with direct Audio in to windows machine ... Any success ?
  10. W7ESR

    W7ESR Ham Member QRZ Page

    No issues here, works fine. Just have to be able to adjust your audio in the audio mixer to get it to the right levels. Pay attention to the mic input value.

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