The random trigger for getting this sorted out was seeing a tweet from Colin G6AVK on Twitter that he had ordered a ZLP interface for his laptop. I hastily Googled ZLP Electronics and discovered a range of interfaces very competively priced. I e-mailed Neil, G4ZLP to ask his advice about interfacing with the FT-847 and he recommended the Pro Plus interface. On the basis of his advice I placed an order.
Two days later it arrived, well packaged. Getting the FT-847 setup proved very simple indeed - although I'd had a bit of fun and games getting the levels right from the Pro Plus interface to my FT1000MP. However, it was the VHF/UHF rig that I really wanted to interface with.
Armed with the interface and the WSJT software, I popped onto the ON4KST chat server to see if anyone was around to try a JT6M test with. Although I only have the vertical up, I thought it would probably yield some results. And so it proved, as I was quickly able to exchange signals with Pat, EI8IQ on 50MHz although the reflections ran out before we could complete a 'proper' QSO.
Yesterday evening, I set the receiver running on 144.370 with the FSK441 decoder going and I was pleased to decode a meteor burst from Martin OK1UGA. I shall be keen to try and work him sometime soon.
Will 50W from the FT-847 be enough? I have a 4CX350A amplifier here, but I'm sort of trying to avoid using it! And I wonder if I can make some JT6M QSOs with the vertical, or will I have to try and erect a dipole or a low beam? It'll be fun finding out!