From experience I blew the microphone ground track on my
FT847 by using hard wiring, thankfully this was an easy fix.
about how you are going to key the radio into transmit.
Unless you're good with circuits your only option is to go with
VOX. This does work, and it works very well. However, there
are inherent TX start up and drop off times, so you could lose
some of your outgoing and incoming data so this is not recommended.
The best solution is to install an interface unit; an interface
will create the bridge for you between the radio and
computer. The interface will also handle keying your radio via
the computer’s communication RS232 port. The PTT circuit
employs either a reed relay or Opto isolator, the circuit that
handles this does it in an isolated manner.
The interface also performs another function where not only
does it carry signals to and from the radio/computer, but it
does it in electrical isolation to each other. The interface
employs a 600 Ohm isolation transformer in both TX AND RX
audio lines. This allows AC audio signals “the good” to pass
freely, however they block any DC currents “the bad” from
getting into your radio. The interface also uses an
electrolytic capacitor on the microphone line as good
measure to block any stray DC currents. The other function
of the interface is to remove any chance of ground loops “the ugly”.
No RS232 Comm Port I hear you say!!!!
Most modern laptops and computers no longer have comm.
ports built into them; the easy fix is to install a USB to comm.
port adaptor lead. Install the driver that comes with the lead,
insert the lead into the USB slot and your computer should
assign a comm. number -
FLDIGI and HRD have a very useful CAT function. Once setup
you can control the radio’s controls via your laptop.
However, for novice users I strongly recommend leaving this
until you have mastered the art of digi modes.
Remember “keep it simple”.
More on CAT in a later document.
There are many options available to us; each option offers
varied functions. However, as I keep saying, “keep it
simple”. You can pay anywhere from £25.00 to over £300.00 for an interface.
That just about sums this document up. If I can be of help
please feel free to ask, and if you’re in need of an interface I
can help there as well.