Topics

Yaesu 818-ND Project - It's Alive!


randall krippner
 

I finally got all the bits and gubbins I needed to get the 818 on digital and got everything put together and up and running this afternoon. All I need now is to put together a box/carrying case for it, a battery system and it's ready to take out in the field :)

Yaesu 818 ND, (small black box on far left) with a Yaesu SCU-117 interface and a refurbed Lenovo laptop, with the Alpha mag-loop antenna standing off to the left out of sight. Took a bit of fiddling to get everything set up but I seem to have all the settings on the 818 and the software correct and it actually works. Even made a contact while messing around getting the software set up. PSK Reporter says it's getting out.

That may not look impressive but I'm running 2.5 watts and the antenna is standing in the basement 5 feet below ground level, so I'm rather pleased. I can't wait to get JS8Call set up now and get this rig outside somewhere where I don't have an S8 noise level and the antenna is in the clear.


 

Nice setup, I didnt even know yeasu had an interface.


On Fri, Sep 6, 2019, 14:53 randall krippner <randallkrippner@...> wrote:
I finally got all the bits and gubbins I needed to get the 818 on digital and got everything put together and up and running this afternoon. All I need now is to put together a box/carrying case for it, a battery system and it's ready to take out in the field :)

Yaesu 818 ND, (small black box on far left) with a Yaesu SCU-117 interface and a refurbed Lenovo laptop, with the Alpha mag-loop antenna standing off to the left out of sight. Took a bit of fiddling to get everything set up but I seem to have all the settings on the 818 and the software correct and it actually works. Even made a contact while messing around getting the software set up. PSK Reporter says it's getting out.

That may not look impressive but I'm running 2.5 watts and the antenna is standing in the basement 5 feet below ground level, so I'm rather pleased. I can't wait to get JS8Call set up now and get this rig outside somewhere where I don't have an S8 noise level and the antenna is in the clear.


James Dyke
 

Yeasu interface…? May I ask what the model of the interface is. I didn’t know of one either.

 

N6JED

 

From: main@OffGridComms.groups.io <main@OffGridComms.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim, K7JLJ
Sent: Friday, September 06, 2019 2:58 PM
To: main@offgridcomms.groups.io
Subject: Re: [OffGridEmComms] Yaesu 818-ND Project - It's Alive!

 

Nice setup, I didnt even know yeasu had an interface.

 

On Fri, Sep 6, 2019, 14:53 randall krippner <randallkrippner@...> wrote:

I finally got all the bits and gubbins I needed to get the 818 on digital and got everything put together and up and running this afternoon. All I need now is to put together a box/carrying case for it, a battery system and it's ready to take out in the field :)

Yaesu 818 ND, (small black box on far left) with a Yaesu SCU-117 interface and a refurbed Lenovo laptop, with the Alpha mag-loop antenna standing off to the left out of sight. Took a bit of fiddling to get everything set up but I seem to have all the settings on the 818 and the software correct and it actually works. Even made a contact while messing around getting the software set up. PSK Reporter says it's getting out.

That may not look impressive but I'm running 2.5 watts and the antenna is standing in the basement 5 feet below ground level, so I'm rather pleased. I can't wait to get JS8Call set up now and get this rig outside somewhere where I don't have an S8 noise level and the antenna is in the clear.


randall krippner
 

It's an SCU-117. I got it from GigaParts via Amazon. I didn't know Yaesu had a digital interface either until I started doing some research. I was going to use a Signalink but the 117 looked like a better option. Bit expensive, though. But it's more or less idiot proof (if I can get it working, it pretty much is idiot proof) Two cables from the 117 go to the 818, one to the CAT port and one to the Data port. Then a single USB cable goes to the computer. (Install the USB driver before connecting anything to the computer, BTW. That's downloaded from Yaesu's website). Find out what comm ports the usb driver uses (it will use two, one labeled "extended" which is used for CAT, and one labeled "standard" which is the data interface. Then set the baud rate on the 818, set the data mode to User-U for upper sideband and check the settings of a couple of other menu items, and then have at it. Turned out to be a lot easier to get working than I thought it would be. 


 

I''m glad you posted this up.  Reminded me to order a cable for the FT-817 to use with my Signalink USB.  I've been using the wolphi link on the FT-817 and SLusb on the TT-599 but seeing how well JS8Call works in poor conditions, I"m going all in on my backup rig (FT-817) and digital.  Just need to find a used netbook to put linux on and will be set!


randall krippner
 

I originally thought about blowing out Win10 on the laptop and installing Linux. I do like it and that's basically what I run on the RaspberryPi so I'm fairly familiar with it. Finally kept Win10 because I might install HRD on it as well.


randall krippner
 

Quick update on the Yaesu 818 project - Finally got JS8Call installed and running on the 818's laptop and that's working well. Haven't made any contacts but with the antenna currently standing in the basement I didn't expect to, but PSK Reporter did show that some stations out there were hearing me.

The biggest issue I've had has been the noise level, which has generally been running about S-8, pretty much burying just about everything except the strongest signals down under the noise floor. That puzzled me because when I had the big transceiver on the noise level was about S-3 yesterday. Well, I should have done a better job reading the manual I guess because I eventually found out what was going on. I had overlooked the fact that the 818's preamp was turned on. I had originally skipped over that because Yaesu doesn't call it a preamp, it calls it "IPO" (Intercept Point Optimization). Once I turned that off the noise level dropped down to a comfortable S-2 and I could actually hear signals that weren't booming in at S9+. Wow, what a difference that made! All of a sudden there were signals all over the place.