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
05-08 CAT RTS DISABLE
07-12 PC KEYING DTR
08-01 DATA MODE OTHERS
08-09 DATA IN SELECT REAR
08-10 DATA PTT SELECT RTS
08-11 DATA OUT LEVEL 10 (Watts)
08-12 DATA BFO USB

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.
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6 comments:

  1. 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

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    Replies
    1. 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

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

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    Replies
    1. 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

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

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

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