Data mode communication is a lot of fun due to it's pleasant pace and QRP (low power) performance. There is no voice communication involved, everything is done via text making data mode QSO's (contacts) a great way to learn basic radio etiquette.
Setting up for data modes can be a bit daunting initially. This guide will take you through the steps required to setup and configure the FT-817 and Tigertronics SignaLink sound card for data mode communication. This guide may also be useful to users of other equipment.
In this guide the following items are used:
Before connecting up, do ensure that your SignaLink is properly configured, this will involve taking the unit apart. It should have come with clear instructions on how to do this , alternatively go to the Tigertronics web-site for help.
There are four socket head screws on the front of the unit to remove, this allows you access to the configuration socket. Configuration is no problem and should not be too difficult to do. New units are supplied with precut link wires which work just fine, alternatively there are pre-configured adapters available which will slot right in and eliminates the need for link wires.
The connections below assumes the FT-817 speaker is active, there is no need to connect the audio output directly to your PC if you do not want to do this as the received audio is also fed to the PC via the SignaLink sound card. An audio link from the 3.5mm radio jack can be fed directly into a speaker or PC if desired, but this will be independent of the HRD software and not required.
Now this is where it can get confusing. The thing to remember is that you are adding a second sound card to your PC. All FT-817 communication will be fed through the SignLink sound card to the HRD software, leaving the original PC sound card alone. All the HRD output will be fed back through the SignaLink to the FT-817.
You will need to setup your SignaLink sound card as described here: http://www.tigertronics.com/index.htm
Switch on the FT-817 and check your settings as shown below: