Touchy HT Volume Knob Winlink & VARA FM - How to Fix?

Using a Yaesu FT-65 with Digirig, I find adjustment of the volume knob to be very touchy - a very small turn up/down has major impact on Winlink success/failure. Is it the Win10 Playback level that can broaden that adjustment range? How does VARA FM Drive Level interact with Win10 Playback?


If most of the working levels are at the low volumes then enabling Digirig’s attenuator may widen the range.

With my HTs I put dots on the knob and the body with a metallic sharpie. The dots align at the level which is known to work for packet comms.

I can’t speak to your particular radio but i do find that for the best results I find myself using doing some tuning the sound levels using the PC because the volume steps for my VX6r are not as finely adjustable. My base setting in my PC is almost always close but if my noise floor where operating goes up or down in level it usually means an adjustment to the level in my sound settings by as little as 2 or as much as 10.

I hope that helps.

I have been living with this issue with the Baofeng HT as well. In addition, there is some hysteresis in the volume knob so that the ideal knob position is different depending on whether the volume is being increased or reduced. In my experience, the sensitivity to knob position swamps the range of the Digirig volume setting in Windows.

Once this position is set to the recommended level, Vara FM works well, even under conditions which are bad for voice communication.

For Digirig 1.9, how is the attenuator enabled?

If I can’t solve otherwise, that looks like an option. It looks like I have to permanently alter the device by cutting a masked connection on the PCB. While I’m sure that would work well, the Digirig may not be usable with other radios. I guess an attenuator would have to go on the USB input from the radio? I’m not sure there and any such inline Micro USB Attenuators, are there?

Yes, but the the change is not permanent: You can bridge the attenuator pads with the solder blob if you wish to remove it. Also, even with attenuation the interface will still work with other radios, though the audio levels will have to be adjusted accordingly.

The attenuator would not work on the USB line because it is not an analog connection.

That’s just perfect! Thanks.

Thanks for the clarification.

FYI, I had to cut the attenuator for my FTM 400XDR so it is needed on other radios as well. After doing that the digirig was labeled as “ATT Cut” so it was obvious which digirig it was. I have another digirig for other rigs.

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