Ed (DD5LP) had a problem when using his immensely popular Yaesu FT-817 portable transceiver mobile for the FT8 mode. Ed’s a Summits on the Air (SOTA) operator and this is something that I’m planning to do this coming summer, so this was of particular interest to me. We’ll let Ed take up the story…

“I set the FT-8 software to select the digital mode in the settings which it does via the CAT commands. In the FT-817 there is support in the menus for different data-modes and the default set-up is RTTY. RTTY always uses LSB irrespective of band and of course all modern data modes use USB irrespective of band. When I changed the FT-8 software to use USB mode rather than data, it started recieving and decoding!!”

He goes on, “…so I went in and configured the “USER-U” mode in the FT-817 as the default digital mode on the FT-817. I changed the WSJT-x FT-8 software back to use digital mode and it kept decoding!! The drive level needed adjusting to remove any ALC and then checking PSK reporter and my 2.5 watts of FT-8 is being received by two lads in the North of Scotland.”

So there we have it, the reason it wasn’t decoding was because the FT-817 was listening on the wrong sideband. Nice to know.

Reference: http://reflector.sota.org.uk/t/datamode-ft8/15677/29.