Data mode communication is a lot of fun due to its 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 set up 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 configured correctly, this will involve taking the unit apart. It should have come with clear instructions on how to do this, alternatively go to the Tigertronics website 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 pre-cut 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.
Connect your Signalink, PC and radio as follows:
You'll need to install the driver and setup your Signalink sound card levels on your PC as described here: http://www.tigertronics.com/index.htm . It's relatively easy to do, so this should not cause any problems.
Switch on the FT-817 and check your settings as shown below: