YAESU Ft-8100 and Digirig+VARA FM+Winlink Express, No PTT

I recently received a Digirig and cables for my Yaesu FT-8100.

  • USB-C from Digirig to USB-C on laptop
  • Audio cable out of Digirig to DATA port on back of Yaesu FT-8100
  • Winlink Express set to Peer-2-peer and attempt to Direct Connect to fellow operator.

Three tries, and failure to connect is reported. I never saw the PTT light come on, nor hear on another radio monitoring the same frequency anything broadcast.

When the fellow operator tries to connect to me, I hear and see data (as I should) on the VARA FM window with the correct call signs, yet again - no PTT action and connection fails.

Is it the Digirig or is it the cable? How do I trouble shoot this?

73 kd7uro

This is a frustrating start. Since you are monitoring locally, you have a great tool for troubleshooting.

Denis K0TX has a troubleshooting guide:

Troubleshooting Digital Modes – digirig

which presents methods to check audio out of the Digirig and check PTT being pulled on the connector to your radio.

73 Constrainted

I google’d a bunch of videos to watch. The one that shows how to test the cable for PTT activation was helpful, as mine proved to be functional. Also, I noted that the cable to the DATA port on my radio was not quite seated. I checked for bent pins, all was well, but this time when I plugged it back in it sort-a clicked, so I felt better about that.

I also made sure the Windows driver was correct and updated - then WAH-LA! everything began working!

Chalk this one up to loose cables and an old driver. Problem is resolved!


Congratulations and thanks for following up with the details of your troubleshooting!

73 Constrainted