Yaesu FT-991 Digital modes setup

25-Feb-2016 Update

Received today a note from Robin G1MHU who is a support tech at Ham Radio Deluxe LLC. Offering to replace the somewhat dated setup info here with a new setup guide he has authored and available at the link below.

Thank you much Robin.

HRD FT-991 USB Setup Guide

73, Jay


  1. Tried it all out would not work. Looking at the TX bar in the soundcard should there be a green bar going up and down when TXing.tried radion on USB and DATA USB but no go

    • John,

      Two things are needed to TX

      1) HRD needs to put the radio into TX mode. I recall this was an issue compared to other Yaesu radios and HRD issued a SW release. Are you running the latest version of HRD?
      2) Second is audio path, HRD (DM780) needs to be connected logically to the Yaesu sound card driver which I will assume you have installed. Check the soundcard setting in HRD and ensure that the RX and TX are using the same device. Something along the lines of (port#) CODEC Speaker and (port#) CODEC Microphone.

      Take a look at the HRD soundcard settings one more time. And ensure that you are running the latest version of HRD.

      73, Jay

  2. Although only new with FT991, I found that ptt would not work unless D U mode was selected. Would not sw tx. Tones were ok but no ptt. OK in D U mode, but heavily filtered and seemed not as sensitive.

  3. I should have mentioned that I am just using a USB cable from the rear of the unit to a notebook. Have not tried HRD yet. Almost there 🙂

  4. Hi All,
    I have tested FLDIGI v. 3.23.07 on MacBook Pro using USB serial cable into the back of the FT-991. It works 100%.

    The mandatory part is to first install the USB device drivers from the Silicon Labs’ website. Here is a link to it: https://www.silabs.com/Support%20Documents/Software/Mac_OSX_VCP_Driver.zip

    If you dont install the above, you will only get the audio device working which OSX will automatically detect. OSX labels the device ‘USB Audio CODEC’. Thats what you will use un your Configuration->Audio->Devices->PortAudio (both Capture and Playback).

    Once you have the driver installed, plug in the USB cable to the FT-991.

    If you now open a terminal window and do a ‘ls /dev’, you should see:
    tty.SLAB_USBtoUART and tty.SLAB_USBtoUART2
    Use the first virtual serial interface ‘/dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART’ for CAT control.
    For software that does not support CAT control and that relies on the traditional RTS/DSR method for ‘hardware PTT’ control, use ‘/dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART2’.
    (Under some usage scenario, I have seen these being picked up under a different number, e.g. UART6 – So if things dont want to work as expected, just check this and you may need to change the device name accordingly).

    So under my Fldigi’s->Configuration->RigCAT, I select ‘/dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART’ under ‘Device’ (Baud rate=4800, Stopbits=2) and have enabled ‘CAT command for PTT’.

    Before you go configure RigCAT though, first go download the ‘Rig description file’ for the FT-991 from http://www.w1hkj.com/xmls/yaesu/FT-991.xml
    I copied this file to my ~/.fldigi folder. Then when configuring RigCAT, select your FT-991.xml file. With this selected and the ‘Device’ specified, click ‘Initialize’. Your rig should now be under CAT control. Changing the freq on your rig dial will automatically update the frequency on fldigi. Similarly changing freq and modes on Fldigi will update your radio.

    On the FT-991, I set Menu 111, SSB Port Select = USB, Menu 108 (SSB MIC SELECT)=REAR.
    I use USB or LSB mode – not data. I found that on DATA mode the FT-991 brings in some narrow audio filters on both RX (narrower audio spectrum) and TX (which results in the higher freq audio tones on TX being attenuated or completely filtered out).

    The FT-991 is a lot of fun. I have to also working on both WSJT-X and WSJT (10.0) which I use mainly for meteor scatter.


    • I’m struggling trying to get it to work…same setup with FT-991 and MacBook Pro. I have the driver installed and fldigi is updating the frequencies and keying the transmit. I can hear audio from the radio, but am not able to send audio to the radio. I have USB Audio CODEC selected for both capture and playback.

      The only difference is that I’m trying to use DATA-FM in the 70cm band. I have settings 076 and 077 set to RTS and USB.

      Any thoughts?

        • I have tried both MIC and REAR. It seems to only affect when radio is in FM mode, not DATA-FM. But even the when on “REAR” and in “FM mode”, radio does not seem to get the audio from USB.

          Seems either like a defect or something simple I’m missing.

    • Keith,
      Could you pls. specify your Yeasu FT-991 Firmware versions? I’m using almost the same setup as you, but I cannot get TX out on USB using fldigi 3.23.07 on OS X 10.10.5. CAT switches PTT, but no modulation is done.

    • > I found that on DATA mode the FT-991 brings in some narrow audio filters on both RX…

      I agree with you, the FT991 default data mode is strange.

      For example the Data mode default (menu #062) “PSK” isn’t usable for JT or Wspr.

      To open the bandwidth in USB Data mode, you need to do :

      – Choose “Others” into the Data mode (#062),
      – About #064 (Other disp) & #065 (other shift) a “1800 Hz” for both is a good begining.
      – #066 Data LCut : OFF
      – #067 : 6 or 18 (as you want)
      – #068 Data Hcut: 4000 Hz
      – #069 : (6 or 18 as you want, not critical)

      RX bandwidth is now opened.

      Now, you can receive PSK, JT and other transmissions on approx 3KHz around.
      Adjust value for #64 & #65 as your convenience, but very important: set the SAME value for both #64 & #65, otherwise you risk to transmit in split mode, and not were you want.

      Enjoy the FT-991 !

  5. After struggling to get the TX out I found one setting that I had not seen mentioned in the above replies. Under Configuration, Audio, Right channel, I selected the PTT tone on Right audio channel. This then allowed the rig to modulate and transmit a signal and I was able to monitor also. Before I had changed the above setting, I would get the rig to key, but nothing would “get out”

    • Ed,

      Sounds like you are using FLdigi which I have used a little when helping others to get it working. Glad you got it to work, looking at my current setup for the FTdx3000 I have it setup to use DTR on the lower radio comm port for PTT. The 991 might be completely different glad you got it to play.


  6. I was able to get my Ft-991 set up and running with HRD today, it took about2.5 hours. First, make sure to get the two drivers from yaesu. Next, when setting up HRD make sure to select 38400bps and RTS. For the Radio, menu option 31=38400, 60=RTS, 70= Rear, 71=RTS, 72=USB and most important for TX 144=DATA. In your sound settings, both the MIC and SPEAKERS MUST SAY USB! That last one was preventing me from keying up my rig. These are my settings for using the Digital Master app inside HRD for CW, RTTY etc. Now that I have shared, im going to play with my radio, good luck!
    yaesu ft-991, windows Vista, HRD 30 day trial.

  7. I’m struggling to understand how I can get my Mac to adjust the output audio from fldigi. I can adjust the sliders in the OS down to mute but that doesn’t adjust the ‘tune’ output from fldigi. I’m trying to get the ALC to be disabled when transmitting. How have you adjusted your output volume?

    • Rob,

      While I have a MAC I do not run fldigi under OSX on it, I bootcamp and run under windows when doing Ham stuff. When running under windows to adjust the TX audio level if I recall that is done within Fldigi. I would look for help in a fldigi forum.


    • In fldigi, down on the bottom bar there is a “TX Level Attenuator (dB)” value. You can use the little arrow keys to adjust it. I’ve had to go down to -21 or less to get it to work.

    • I also found you can adjust the DT-GAIN on the FT-991 as well. That also seems to attenuate the input on the USB audio input.

  8. I am trying to set up digital on a ft991 with no luck so far. I am using digipan and Mixw with usb cable from radio to dell with windows 8

    • Carl,

      Go into more detail what instructions you have followed so far and folks will be more able to guide you.

      73, Jay

  9. Thanks Jay
    Well I down loaded the drivers and followed the instructions in the manual ( pg 118), set up the sound card as directed. Receive seems to be working ok but no output to xmiter, not on vox either. Any Ideas.


    • Carl,

      Having never used MixW I would follow the radio setup instructions on the HRD website, the link is available in this post http://morsetutor.com/2015/08/ft-991-digital-setup/ . With the radio setup the next challenge typically is setting up PTT to work and via CAT command is what you want. You will need to dig into the MixW settings to find this option.

      Another option is to download the 30 day demo of HRD, follow the HRD setup instructions get it going with a known working config, then work to adapt MixW to work.

      73, Jay

  10. More info

    I am using a direct usb cable from radio’s data port to usb port on combuter, with no interface.

    • Carl,

      I am assuming that you are seeking help, if so outline the steps taken so far and be specific with what is not working.

      1) Did you follow to 991 setup guide on the HRD website?
      2) Do some features work and others don’t, again the more specific you are the better the readers will understand your specific issues.

      73, Jay

    • Carl,

      I would suggest giving customer support at HRD a call. I suspect they will ask similar questions such as have you followed the instructions etc and get through the process a lot quicker.


  11. Well Jay thanks for the help, I think I am going to delete hrd and take up girl watching this is poor software.

    • Carl,

      Very capable and complicated yes, hence the phone support and the setup guides on the HRD website to help with the learning curve.

      As for being poor software, I and thousands of happy users would disagree.

      73, Jay

  12. I myself had trouble, and there is definitely a learning curve. It’s really just all about settings on the computer and radio. Once you get it going, it’s really easy from there.

  13. I am trying to run digipan on a ft991. I use a straight usb cable to a windows 10 computer. It receives ok but will not key the transmitter What gives??

    • Hi Carl.
      I have never used digipan, but from the manual at: http://kk7uq.com/html/download/Getting%20Started%20with%20Digipan.pdf it looks like this software relies on using the serial port for the PTT function.

      So looks like you will need to do this…..

      Firstly figure out which of the 2 serial ports to your FT991 to configure as your PTT serial port.
      Use: “Silicon Labs Dual CP210x USB to UART Bridge : Standard COMPort” – Not the second “Enhanced” port.
      In digipan, go set the above COMX port and enable “RTS as PTT”.

      Then on your FT-991, set the following menu items:
      a. Menu 66, Data LCUT Freq: Off
      b. Menu 68, Data HCUT Freq: Off
      c. Menu 71, Data PTT Select: RTS
      d. Menu 72, Data Port Select: USB

      Set the control panel sound so that USB Audio CODEC is the default. Adjust level for mic (e.g. 70%)

      That may do it for you.

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