PSKer with FT-817ND and iOS 9

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Gilligan

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I am considering purchasing one of the Easy Digi interfaces for getting on PSK31 with my FT-817ND and my iPhone & iPad. All of my iOS devices are up to date, currently running iOS 9.3. There are only a few reviews posted in the App Store for the PSKer app and all of them are negative, saying that the line-in setup doesn't work. I'm curious if anyone is currently having success with this app using the iOS interface of Easy Digi. It connects to the iOS device with a four-tip 1/8" plug into the headphone/mic jack and into the FT-817ND via an RJ-45 cable into the microphone jack on the radio. I just want to make sure that there is a working setup for these together before I spend the $50-60 on the interface and another $5 on the app. Thanks.
 

PrimeNumber

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I use PSKer with my iPhone all the time without any interface. Put the phone near your radio's speaker to receive, and key the mike and hold it near the phone to send. Add in a $20 bluetooth keyboard and it all works like a charm.

Now, I usually use a 100w rig and back the mic off to keep the power down around 20w so as not to fry the finals. It's not twitchy at all, and in two years of doing this haven't had any trouble. It can pick up outside noise, so this may not be the best for a crowded tent on field day.

I am not sure how hard you can push the finals on your QRP rig. I can say that I showed a friend with an 817 how to do this, and on 2w with one of those little BNC whips he made a 20m contact with Canada without any trouble at all. 1200 miles, not bad for working off the trunk lid of his car on AA battery power.
 

Gilligan

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I use PSKer with my iPhone all the time without any interface. Put the phone near your radio's speaker to receive, and key the mike and hold it near the phone to send.
Thank you. I'm mostly concerned about using the audio interface due to outside noise etc and trying to find out if it will work with iOS 9.
 

K7MEM

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I made a digital mode interface for a friend's FT-817. But I didn't go through the microphone jack.The microphone jack only provides you with audio input and PTT. You would need a second cable that connects to the speaker jack for the audio out. I used the DATA connector on the rear of the FT-817. The DATA connector provides for a constant level audio output, which eliminates a redundant level control, and audio input.

The interface worked great and during testing had several good contacts using only 1 watt.

I looked at the Easy Digi interface manual, http://www.aracc.org/easydigi!.pdf, and the Yeasu interface does not go through the FT-817s microphone jack. It uses the DATA port on the rear of the FT-817. This gives it access to the Audio In/Out and the PTT.

For your other devices you will need to use the Audio In/Out directly from the Easy Digi interface to your device. I do a similar connection with my laptop. My laptop has a similar combination jack ( 4 wire) that includes the mono microphone input and stereo audio output. To make it easy to switch I use an adapter, Audio Headset Splitter Adapter.

I assume you other devices have a VOX capability of some kind. If not you may have to do the RX/TX switching manually.

Martin - K7MEM
 

Gilligan

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If you use PSKer with simply the speaker and microphone of your radio, should you lower the SSB mic gain down? Also how close do you hold the iPhone to the microphone? I'm not having much luck with this so far. Thanks
 

PrimeNumber

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If you use PSKer with simply the speaker and microphone of your radio, should you lower the SSB mic gain down? Also how close do you hold the iPhone to the microphone? I'm not having much luck with this so far. Thanks
G, to listen, set your radio to USB mode, don't bother with any narrow digital or CW modes. And be sure to turn off any auto-notch filters, because those will target digital signals. Lately, 7.070 has been really active at night while 14.070 is lit up during the day, so those are two good frequencies to get started on. You should hear a warbling tone, many of them actually. It sounds a lot like the transporter from Star Trek. Start up PSKer and you should see lines forming on the waterfall display. Kind of like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3N8fXGnAm0 If you have an external speaker, put it near the phone, but if you don't that's OK too. Surprisingly, you may have to turn the radio's volume to clean things up. If you hear signals but aren't getting anything on the waterfall, you may have to fool with your phone's control panel to enable the mic for apps or such.

To send, hold the mic about 3" away from the phone's speaker. Hit send and key the mic together, and watch your power meter. I leave my radio on full power (100w) and move the mic closer or farther to keep the power down around 20%. About mic gain, I usually run on an FT-450D, so I set the 3-position gain to medium and set all the voice equalizations (in the menu and the switch on the back of the mic) to flat. Pretty much default settings work fine.

Just that easy. Of course, that's not a complete tutorial about how to operate PSKer, but ask away if you have any more questions.

BTW, the listening part works pretty well on any SSB shortwave receiver too.
 

vagrant

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I use PSKer with an iPhone or iPad with great success, but I use a particular interface cable that is no longer in production. 817 iPad by VK3XJM Product Reviews

I ordered one early on and it works very well. If you find one buy it. If you don't buy it tell me and I will buy it as a backup. Here's an operator's review of it, VK3XJM 817iPad Interface Cable - VK3BQ

There's also this device, but I am unaware if it has been ported over to work with iOS. Wolphi-Link interface – Wolphi – Mobile Software Development
 
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