Saturday, February 6, 2016

Digitizing My Yaesu FT-857D & SNOW!!

My main station at the house is made up of my Icom IC-703+ and indoor wire antenna's. I've been wanting to get an interface for my Yaesu FT-857D, which would allow me to run the digital modes while portable. My bud Sean, KL1SF, suggested on the Signalink USB. When researching prices, I felt I could not go wrong with this unit. So, after doing a bit of web searching, I found the cheapest price (had to look close as some internet prices seemed cheaper than others until you added shipping) and purchased one. I had also purchased a new laptop and backup drive, so today was configuring and downloading updates and software. It took a better part of a day to get everything playing together and all of my programs downloaded. But my Dell laptop and Signalink are nearly ready to take to the field for some portable fun. I also wanted something that would work well in our camper and this was just the ticket.

Talking in Sync
I snagged the following programs that I use frequently;

It took me a bit to find my interface cable for rig control, but it was not long before I had DM780 transmitting PSK31 with the Signalink USB. The interface cable allowed for rig control and things were looking up! Of course, with the new Dell, I had a trial version of McAfee LiveSafe - Internet Security. It was blocking the communications between HRD, the Logbook and DM780. Once I assured McAfee it was friendly and configured it to ignore my ham software, all became one. I've used Ham Radio Deluxe for several years but decided to try to full version to see if it's worth upgrading to the non-free version.  

N3FJP's Logbook has not been as easy to configure. For some reason, it's not seeing my COM3, where my Signalink USB is. It sees my COM4, so I have the rig interface working as it should. I was hoping to be able to send CW via my keyboard, so that one will take a bit more troubleshooting and research. 

I like the Yaesu FT-857D as it does QRP (5W) to QRO (100W). It's perfect for portable operation. The only thing it lacks is a tuner, but I have an LDG that I drag along just in case I can't get my portable antenna's in tune. Just a few more items on my wishlist for my portable set up. This will be the setup that I use activating Crater Lake this year for NPOTA. I hope to make plenty of CW contacts from there along with some SSB and of course digital. I've been busy dealing with the normal snow year while at work but now that the snow has subsided a bit, I can maybe fine some time to get on the air. 

The photo below is one I took from the 2nd story of my office building where the snow was (is) up to those windows. This was one of my maintenance employees working to relieve some of the snow from our 2nd story windows and dormers. I'm ready to hang up the snow shovel for my portable ham gear! It's sure been an interesting winter, one like I've never experienced before.   

Plenty of Snow at Crater Lake This Year


  1. Good afternoon Phil, I have the Signalink USB and had great success with it and just recently I have modified the unit so I can use it with either my K3 or KX3. I will be posting all about it.
    Have a good afternoon
    73, Mike

  2. Sweet, I'll be watching Mike! I wish I had a KX3! 72, Phil