Just got my new 9600 cable for my FT-818 - and the questions occur: is the “9600 baud” capability just for “packet”, or for any / all digital modes ? I want to believe that I can just install the new cable, and change the radio’s option for “9600 baud Packet”, and maybe change a setting in the software I’m using. So, will this cable also work for Vara FM / FM (Wide) ? - How about Vara HF ? I think that this 9600 connection to the FT-818 bypasses emphasis circuitry in the radio which allows the faster speed - but could it be used for any digital program (e.g., WSJT-X) as well ? Is the 1200 baud cable even of any use to me now ? Lots of questions, I know - I think the original label for the radio’s digital input as the “packet” input is now a bit confusing to some (including me) since so many new modes / modems, etc., have been introduced since the advent of AX-25 packet. In addition, the radio has a dedicated mode for both “PKT” and “DIG” operation: The “DIG” mode is user-customizable, but other than that, I think there is only a different filter applied for either mode. I appreciate any and all input here - I have Vara FM working, but have not gotten Vara HF to work - yet. Thanks !
There are multiple factors that need to line up for you to take advantage of 9600 baud:
- radio must support it and configured accordingly (you are good there with FT-818)
- digital mode must support it. VARA FM, M17 do, I’m not certain about others
- with some software modems you may have to purchase a license (looking at you, VARA)
- faster baud rates require better RF conditions
I don’t think using 9600 baud connection for 1200 baud modes is a problem. I can see that there may be some significant noise outside of the narrow voice spectrum that otherwise would be filtered out by the radio. Then again it’s either DSP filter in the radio or DSP filter in the software on the PC that will have to deal with it.
Thanks for taking the time to reply - I really appreciate it (and the product and your support of it are also excellent - )
I made my first HF connection night before last after reading a post over on the Vara Modem IO group - the poster there mentioned something like “I think the 9600 cable only works for the FM” - which caused a light to go on for me… and it worked ! Well, almost - I got kicked off of the connection by Vara’s 5 minute “trial version” timer ! I also learned a new term - “Nagware” ! Lol.
I think the more you learn about digital modes, the easier it is to see how all the pieces fit together. I just used your instructions for setting audio levels - and that made a big difference in my signal strength not only for Vara, but for WSJT-x and plain old AX-25 as well (I like to mess around with the ISS and APRS ),
This radio has a few shortcomings - no adjustable “line output level” for the digital modes being a big one. A little more power would be a big help, I think, but I kind of enjoy the challenges (and there are lots) of being a “QRP operator”.
I believe that I confirmed that the new cable does not work with WSJT-x for FT8, either - I’m thinking there’s probably a setting in the software, but so far I haven’t found it.
Thanks again, and I’ll post the results of my experiments for the record.