Yaesu FT-857 digimodes settings


I am using the FT-857D in combination with the MicroHam USB III Interface and have wired it to the DATA and CAT ports according this diagram.

People using this kind of "external sound card solutions" (also embedded into the TRX or from other vendors), should also read about the "sound interface bug".

The following text assumes that you are using the FT-857 rear DATA port and have not connected your sound card via the microphone and phone jacks.


How to configure the radio?

A look into the FT-857 User Guide is more confusing than helping, so I found it out by trial and error.

You might have recognized that besides CW, AM, FM, USB, LSB, a "DIG" mode can be selected.
Whatīs it all about? Cantīt I just use USB and be happy?
Sure, that is possible. But this will keep the microphone enabled during digital mode transmit.
This might only make sense for modes like SSTV, but it would be better to save the SSTV frequencies to memory twice.
One time with SSB mode and one time with the matching DIG mode.

For all other digital modes, set the mode to DIG.

Go to menue 038 [DIG MODE] and you will see:

RTTY-L:  AFSK RTTY operation on the LSB mode
RTTY-U:  AFSK RTTY operation on the USB mode
PSK31-L: PSK-31 operation on the LSB mode
PSK31-U: PSK-31 operation on the USB mode
USER-L:  User-programmed custom operation based on LSB mode
USER-U:  User-programmed custom operation based on USB mode


In my opinion only USER-U makes sense, the RTTY and PSK31 modes only move the passband around.
That makes it difficult to find out what frequency you are working on.
Nearly all digital modes are done in USB no matter what band you are on.
RTTY may be an exception, but you can still use "inverted mode" (to reverses the mark and space tones) within your digimode software.
So you can do all kind of digimodes without the need of changing menue 038.

Note: The FT-857D DSP system does affect the rear data connector.
So you may play around how DSP Noise, DSP Notch and DSP Band Pass Filter work together with your digimode software.


To set the TX audio level:

1. Set RF POWER SET to 100% [MENUE 75].
2. Set DIG GAIN to 50% [MENUE 37].
3. Set MTR to display ALC (multi function row "i").
4. Set output volume for your digmode sound card to 0%.
5. Connect an external power meter.
5. Set your digimode software to play a continuous tone (tune).
6. Increase your output volume while checking the power on the external meter and the ALC.
7. Stop when you have reached the desired power and make sure that the ALC meter does not indicate anything.

Note: In my setup, tuning the TX audio level was a bit difficult because all needed to happen within a tight area from 10 to 17 %.
Increasing DIG GAIN [MENUE 37] helped to spread this out.


Reference: Digimode related menue settings from the FT-857 User Guide:

MENU MODE 036 [DIG DISP]
Function: Defines the displayed frequency offset during DIG (USER-L or USER-U) mode operation.
Available Values: -3000 to +3000 Hz
Default: 0 Hz

MENU MODE 037 [DIG GAIN]
Function: Adjusts the audio input level from terminal equipment (such as a TNC or
PSK31 sound card) during DIG (Digital) mode operation.
AailabIc Values: 0 to 100
Default: 50

MENU MODE 038 [DIG MODE]
Function: Selects the mode and sideband (if applicable) in the DIG (Digital) mode.
Available Values: RTTY-L/RTTY-U/PSK31-L/PSK31-U/USER-L/USER-U
Default: RTTY-L
RTTY-L:  AFSK RTTY operation on the LSB mode
RTTY-U:  AFSK RTTY operation on the USB mode
PSK31-L: PSK-31 operation on the LSB mode
PSK31-U: PSK-31 operationonthe USB mode
USER-L:  User-programmed custom operation based on LSB mode
USER-U:  User-programmed custom operation based on USB mode
In the USER-L and USER-U modes, you can define the display frequency offset and carrier
frequency offset by Menu Mode 036 [DIG DISP] and 039 [DIG SHIFT].

MENU MODE 039 [DIG SHIFT]
Function: Defines the carrier frequency offset during DIG (USER-L or USER-U) mode operation.
Available Values: -3000 to +3000 Hz
Default: 0 Hz