WSJT-X and the Yaesu FT-991

I’ve covered off on the mainstream Icom and Kenwood radios that come equipped with a USB port, so I figured I’d pull out and plug in my FT-991 and figure out those settings. I suspect they’ll be similar for other USB enabled Yaesu radios like the FTDX-3000 (although the menu item numbers may differ). Probably not much help to the owners of radios requiring the SCU-17 for PC control like the FT-450D or FTDX-1200. Sorry about that, as I don’t have a radio with that setup and can’t test it.

OK, first the radio settings:

  • 031 - CAT Rate - 19200
  • 032 - CAT TOT - 100ms
  • 033 - CAT - “enable"
  • 062 - Data Mode - “Others”
  • 064 - Other DISP (SSB) - 1500
  • 065 - Other SHIFT (SSB) - 1500
  • 066 - Data LCUT Freq - “Off"
  • 068 - Data HCUT Freq - “Off"
  • 070 - Data In Select - “rear”
  • 071 - Data PTT Select - needs to be set to “RTS”
  • 072 - Data Port Select  - needs to be set to “USB”
  • 073 - Data Out Level - start at 50, move as needed

Also, on the F-MLIST and MODE screens:

  • Nar/Wide needs to be set to Wide
  • Width needs to be set to 3000
  • All other filtering (APF, Notch, DNR, etc.) need to be turned off
  • Set radio Mode to DATA-USB

Now for the software setup:

  • Install the Silicon Labs driver here.
  • Install the WSJT-X software here.
  • You’ll need a USB 2.0 cable. See blog entries below for a link to a Belkin one on Amazon that works.
  • Power off both your PC and radio. plug the USB cable into the PC and the radio. Power on the radio. When radio is on, power up the PC. The order is important here, it means the radio will be online and discovered when the PC boots.

Start the WSJT-X software. 

Now set Radio in WSJT-X to the Silicon Labs Serial Port, Baud at 19,200, Data bits at 8/2/Hardware and PTT Method at CAT/Data/"Fake It" per the screen shot below.

The reason I set SPLIT to “Fake It” is when I set it to Rig, it requires that you already have VFO-B set on the right frequency in the right mode, and a lot of other bother that isn’t worth the trouble each time you go to operate. 

Note: You can run split in the software, but for it to work, you must first manually turn “Split” to “ON” on the radio AND you must press “A=B” before starting to equalize the frequencies and modes.

Click “OK” and go back to your main screen and select “Monitor” to start the scope. 

Set your band (I’m in 20M above) and run a manual tuning cycle and your power out levels. You should be good to go.

I’d strongly suggest checking your MIDI volume levels driving the Output. I had to set mine to -55db to get the ALC to acceptable levels to eliminate splatter.

A few closing thoughts:

  • Split not controlling rig easily bothers me a bit. On the other manufacturer radios, it tracks, on the Yaesu it doesn’t and VFO-B would have to be setup manually for it to work.
  • Even with low-cut and high-cut off, the radio still only does 3,000KHz and doesn’t go wider (why allow it in settings if the rig limits it in DATA-USB mode?)
  • The number of settings you have to set are pretty daunting. Four or five on an Icom or Kenwood, and a dozen on the Yaesu, plus four additional settings on MLIST. 
  • I suspect that operating in another mode, may screw you up when you come back to WSJT-X and you’ll have to recheck and reset a few of the settings (particularly on MLIST).
  • I found this page from N1RWY pretty useful in figuring this out for my Mac. Thank you Jason! If you are a Windows user, this document from N1RWY is for you.

© Alan W Dye 2021