FT-897 - some information on the ports, but also some questions

Matthew Delaney

I haven't bought a RigPi yet, but am looking at it to switch to a non-PC dependent solution.

I have a Yaesu FT-897D. Using a Windows based remote solution and a RigBlaster, here is what I have found out:

The FT-897D will transmit audio from voice modes (SSB, FM) when using the back DATA jack's input...IF you hard key that jack's PTT line. If you use CAT commands to key the radio, digital mode audio comes from the back, but voice modes' audio comes from the front MIC jack. 
The receive audio coming out of the data jack is DSP processed. If I enable to the DSP buttons on the front of the radio while listening to the remote audio, you can hear the difference.
I post both of these points of information, but they both contradict earlier threads in the forum about the 897. So perhaps there is a difference in versions of the radio. Mine is  "D", with a serial number that starts 6J740, and I bought it new in 2007. 

Now my questions:
1) Does the RigPi support hard PTT (the PTT line, not CAT) through the data jack? This would be essential to having it work without having to build a custom cable to split transmit audio to go to the MIC jack.
2) Is it possible to switch to a specific memory channel *as stored in the radio* (not a software memory)? As far as I know, this is the only way to do the 60M band with the have to switch to the radio memory channel with one of the 5 US channels (you can't VFO to them).

Howard Nurse, W6HN

Hi Matthew,

Thanks for the info on the FT-897D.

RigPi 1.05 uses a CAT command to determine PTT status to tell when the radio is  in transmit.  That requirement complicates PTT operation.  Yes, you can key the PTT line on the data jack, but if the radio doesn't have a CAT command to get PTT status, RigPi releases PTT or may cause it to lock on.  This issue is fixed in RigPi 2, currently in Beta.  RigPi 2 will control PTT on radios that do not have a CAT PTT command.

Any function that can be controlled through a CAT command can be used in RigPi.  If there is a CAT command to switch to a memory channel you wil be all set.