New to digital modes / Yaesu FT-450D

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by KD2NOM, Jul 13, 2017.

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  1. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm interested in using digital modes on my rig. I currently have a Yaesu FT-450D connected to my laptop via USB to Serial cable that controls the rig using the CAT port (works great on my logging software).

    I have a USB Audio adapter that I intend to use for getting audio out of the radio and into my laptop.

    First hurdle - I downloaded and installed WSJT-X but am not able to control my rig from the software. I selected FT-450 from the software but it does not seem to control the radio (the frequency readout is 000.00000). Does anyone have a working configuration they can share with me?

    Additional question - to monitor the radio audio, do I simply plug the external audio jack on the radio into the Mic port on the usb audio card?

    Best regards,

    Mark - KD2NOM
     
  2. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I use HRD (free or pay version) and a signal link USB sound card for digital modes on my FT-450D.

    As for listening to the audio. I believe you can just turn the radio up for that, but it's been a while since I tried.

    I've never tried WSJT-X.

    Good luck, and 73.
    David ~ K1SZO
     
  3. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    What type of adapter? Something like the SignaLink or Rigblaster works best. I used a simple "Y" cable at first, that took the audio signal from the data port on the 450 into the computer. It worked, but had its limitations. I now use a SignaLink, and it works much better.


    You really don't need rig control for the JT modes. Just park your rig on the right frequency, and the WSJT-X software does the rest. However, if you're not using a rigblaster/SignaLink, you'll need to adjust the digi vox on the 450, since there' not interface PTT control.


    If you're taking the signal from the data port on the radio, you don't need to do anything - the speaker in the 450 will still be active. Also, you'll need to go into the 450's menu to set the radio up for USB/data.
     
  4. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's literally a USB dongle with a Mic/Phone jack - made by plugable.com - no version number or anything else on the device.


    Can I do PTT control via the CAT connection?

    I was trying to avoid the purchase of a SignaLink but it sounds like that might make things simpler. I was hoping to simply use the CAT connection and the audio from the external out to the mic input of the usb audio adapter
     
  5. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The SignaLink makes things MUCH simpler. You'll need the SLUSB6PM-P for the FT-450D. That's the one that comes with the 6 pin mini-DIN cable. If you're at all serious about digital, it's the way to go.

    I just got serious about digital about 2 months ago. I started out with a similar set up to yours - a simple "Y" cable from teh data port on the 450, to the mic and speaker jacks on my laptop. It worked, but was a PITA for several reasons. First, the only way to control your output power is from the radio's menu. In order to trigger the transmit, the digi vox gain had to be relatively high, as well as the audio gain coming out of the computer. That caused the radio's ALC to run quite high, which caused a lot of splatter on my signal. Second, I could only run low power (under 20 watts). Anything higher would trigger the vox with no signal present. That's because of the lack of isolation between the rig and the computer. The upside is that it was VERY inexpensive - only $15 for the cable on eBay. It allowed me to experiment with the digital modes without any large investment. After about a month of running this way I decided I really liked the digi modes, so I bought the SignaLink, and I'm quite happy with the performance.

    I don't run CAT control with mine, so I can't say whether it would trigger the PTT or not, but I can't see why not... However, you still have the isolation issue to deal with, as well as the ALC levels. My advice would be to try it and see. I use WSJT-X for the JT/FT modes, and FLDIGI for PSK, etc. Both programs have menu settings for CAT control, so they just need to be configured accordingly.

    If you're going to download WSJT-X, I would suggest version 1.8.0. It's the newest version, and includes the newest mode, FT8. It's only been available for a few days, but there is a TON of activity on 40 and 20 right now. It's very fast, but fun. I downloaded it on Wednesday evening, and had my first operating session yesterday morning. Within my first 10 minutes I had worked Australia and New Zealand on 40m running 25 watts......

    There's a number of different program options for the other digi modes (PSK, RTTY, MT-63, Olivia, etc.). I've tried a few, and like FLDIGI the best. DM780 (part of Ham Radio Deluxe) is okay, but I've found FLDIGI decodes more reliably.

    Ultimately, try your current setup and see how it works. Like I said, my original setup worked (within its limitations), and got me on the air. I got hooked, so I decided to upgrade. At the very least, your setup will allow you to try digi and see if it's for you or not.

    Good luck, and welcome to digital!!!
     
  6. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just placed the order for the Tigertronics SL-USB-6PM from HRO - it's 'on sale' and I found a very good youtube video showing the integration step by step - hopefully will be sending / receiving digital in a couple of days.
     
  7. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good choice! It will make the modes much more enjoyable. It's super easy to set up. Basically just set the internal jumpers, plug it in, and go. Just make sure you set the software audio for USB CODEC. The instructions that come from Tigertronics are very comprehensive and will walk you through the entire process.

    Have fun!!
     
  8. G0VKT

    G0VKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have WSJT-X running using an external soundcard (similar to signal link) and full cat control. I can give you the SET up that works for me if that helps.

    Paul.
     
  9. G0VKT

    G0VKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Should have said that I have the same radio as you.
     
  10. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes PLEASE!
     

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