Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Configuring the FT-891, Easy-Digi and WSJT-X

In an effort to become more familiar with my FT-891 I've decided to use it as the main station rig for the time being. I have no love for this radio but keep thinking that I just need to "give it a chance" and it'll eventually prove its worth to me. Yeah, okay...more on that topic in a future post.

I spent more time this morning than I'm willing to admit in getting all the menu items and WSJT options selected in just the right way as to make everything talk nicely together courtesy of an Easy-Digi interface from KF5INZ. After that unspicified amount of time, VA3TO went into the log as my first FT8 QSO with the FT-891.

As a possible help to others, and an anticipated reminder to my future self, here are the details:

I never could get CAT or PTT control with the Easy-Digi's built-in USB cable. Instead, I used a separate dedicated USB cable to connect rig and laptop directly. This requires downloading the drivers from Yaesu's website for the FT-891. Once the drivers are installed, the USB cable is seen by the computer as two COM ports - a "Standard" and an "Enhanced". The Standard is for PTT; Enhanced is for CAT control.

Menu options in the FT-891:

05-06 CAT RATE 9600
05-07 CAT TOT 1000
08-11 DATA OUT LEVEL 10 (Watts)

And finally, the WSJT "Radio" set-up screenshot:

As happy as I am to have it all working nicely together, my main take-away from all this is that I really appreciate my Flex. One ethernet cable between radio and PC does it all, whether you only want CW or a station that does it all. Only one cable. One.


VA3ZC said...

Hi John,
Hopefully someday there is a Flex in my future. In the meantime I was considering the FT-891 until I read about (and saw on Youtube) the clicking CAT problem. Does you unit exhibit the polling noise?
Thanks and 73.
Paul VA3ZC

John AE5X said...

Hi Paul,

I read those same comments and reviews but, no, mine doesn't have any noise at all associated with CAT control

73 - John

VA3ZC said...

Interesting. I guess the FT-891 is back on my list as a possible replacement for my aging FT-857D.
73 - Paul.

Unknown said...

Hi John, just FYI, I have been using 38400 for the CAT baud rate without problems for some months.

John AE5X said...

Thanks - I guess that value isn't too critical then. I'll change mine and see what happens.

John AE5X said...

If you can do without 2m/440 it seems a good replacement. I had a FT-857D for a while - sold it and soon regretted it.

73 - John

Johnny said...

Hey John, thanks for this as it would have taken me ages to get up and running. The data mode did not work for me though - I had to put the rig into USB in order to get the signal feeding into WSJT-X, so i'm not sure what was different between my setup and yours!

John AE5X said...

Hi Johnny,

Well that's odd - I'm curious what is needed in order to get the rig to work with WSJT with it being set to data mode since that is of course what you're doing when using WSJT.

I no longer have my FT-891 so I can't go in and tinker with the settings.

73 - John

KD4EG said...

What parameters did you used in the radio for the digital mode audio. Frequency cut off and BW etc. ?


Unknown said...

Hi, nice work and lots of info....my problem seems to be with communications....I cannot seem to get the driver to download correctly. I have tried on 3 different PCs. I am an experienced WSJT-X user and have other radios hooked up. Got this specifically for remote HF/6m ops so CAT is essential. I'm ready to sell it and move on, any ideas? de WO8USA Chris