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Re: Efficient Planning of the FT-847 Memory Registers

On Mar 2, 2008, at 2:32 PM, Gary Schuchardt wrote:

> I am sure that there are several AMSAT members that have similar  
> equipment
> and especially using the FT-847 rig. The rig has 78 general purpose  
> memory
> channels and 12 satellite memory registers.  Am I correct in stating  
> that
> the rig's general purpose channels are not really good for satellite
> purposes and that I am limited to the 12 satellite memory registers?
> Scanning could be very helpful too.


As another FT-847 owner, I would agree with the other's sentiments  
regarding the memories.  They're great for "regular" operating, but  
for satellite doppler tracking, the "features" of satellite mode on  
the rig are kinda one of those -- how do you say it -- gimicky things  
that Yaesu added, but really isn't necessary, especially for a  
computer-controlled station.

The serial interface on the FT-847 and computer tracking software work  
*excellently* (unless you have a VERY early serial number FT-847 --  
some of those had a bug that didn't allow 2-way serial communication)  
and leave tuning to the computer, which knows where the bird is, if  
you have your clock well-synchronized with UTC on the PC.  You can go  
into the menu and turn the speed up from the default and it usually  
does help with "latency" when the PC is tracking, etc.

Additionally the FT-847 is one of the ONLY rigs that ever got the damn  
serial connector RIGHT... no stupid mini-din, just a standard DB-9  
connector that any regular "null modem" cable with TX/RX reversed and  
a ground -- is all that's needed to hook it to the PC.

No messing around with chopping up mouse cables or any of the other  
wacky crud the manufacturers (including Yaesu) switched to, so they  
could sell $40 serial cables.  Retarded engineers.  They had it right  
and screwed it up on later rigs.

Bigger rigs have PLENTY of room on the back for a nice normal DB-9,  
and I wish more did have them... That's by far my favorite "feature"  
of the FT-847... (I fully understand the "real estate" problems on  
small rigs like the FT-857, but on the bigger rigs... if they'd just  
put a dang DB-9 on the back... it's SO much simpler.  The only  
"better" thing I can think of these days would be to put the USB-to- 
serial converter INSIDE the rig and just run a USB cable... haven't  
seen anyone do that yet.)

Anyway, there's my $0.02... with current prices, it won't get you far  
-- but I like the FT-847 as a great solid "all purpose" rig for doing  
a whole lot of things, and computer control of the rig is an utter  
breeze compared to some... every computer "geek" I know can make up or  
has a null-modem cable lying around somewhere... I had two.  One of  
them got plugged into the back of the FT-847 and stays there, even  
when I take it out roving, etc.  That cable and a solid USB-to-serial  
(now that laptops don't have serial ports anymore, really), and I can  
talk to the FT-847 with any computer that happens to be handy, as long  
as I can find whatever software I want to drive it with or already  
have it loaded.

73... enjoy the rig... I sold mine off once and then re-purchased it  
back... it's one of those rigs that probably won't ever leave my  

Nate Duehr, WY0X

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