I finally got around to building the digital mode interface cable for the data port on the FT-847, and modified the SignaLink according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The end result seems to work great, as I racked up a slew of JT65 QSOs tonight.
First thing I had to do was modify the jumpers inside the SignaLink to work with the 847. The process required a 2.7K 1/4-watt resistor and a .1uF capacitor (schematic). A trip to Radio Shack this afternoon took care of that. They didn’t have the 2.7K resistor but I tried some 2.2Ks and no smoke escaped, so I reckon 2.2K is close enough for government work.
Building the cable wasn’t too bad either. I had a Yaesu modular cable that came with the SignaLink when I purchased it, so I just snipped one of the RJ connectors off, separated out the three wires I needed to solder up to the stereo plug, and I was good to go.
The data port works quite well, as I don’t have to unplug my mic to use the rig on a data mode. The extra power definitely helped tonight, as I was able to grab two states needed for WAS: West Virginia and Oregon. The Oregon station in particular proved challenging, and my signal report was in the -20s.
Other good DX tonight included Greenland, Netherlands, Spain, Chile and Greece.
My recent bout of kit-building has definitely been helpful, as I’d never wielded a soldering iron or fooled around with electrical components until I built the Breadboard transceiver. Back when I first bought the SignaLink, I had no idea how to build a cable, and the thought of installing a resistor terrified me. Building a kit of any kind seemed like an impossible mission. Now it’s become an addiction.