Setting up a Yaesu FT1D for APRS

When the radio is first turned on fresh out of the box or after getting a factory reset, it starts a setup wizard:

1. Initial prompt is your YSF callsign that other HAMs will see when using YSF. You can simply put in your callsign (e.g. “KI6ZHD” but if your first name is short enough, you can put in “KI6ZHD-Dav”. The FT1 doesn’t support any more characters than that.

a. Use either the T9 touch pad to enter in the desired key strokes or using the top rotary knob (the use of the knob can also get you to some other characters like “-” and “/”)

b. Use the ENT button to move the cursor to the next character slot

c. If you make mistakes, you can use the BAND button to go to the beginning of the line and use the ENT button to move one character forward at a time

d. Once the entire field is typed in, hold down the ENT button and the settings should be saved and the radio will go into normal “RUN” mode

2. If you’re interested in using APRS, do the following:

a. Hold down the DISP button to go into the Settings menu

b. Use the knob to scroll down to “9 APRS” and hit the ENT button

c. Go to “4 APRS MODEM”, hit ENT, use the knob to set to 1200 baud and then hit the DISP button once to back out one level from the menu

d. Go to “8 APRS MUTE”, set to “ON” (this will allow you to not hear all the 1200baud AFSK packet sounds

e. Go to “9 APRS POPUP” and you might consider changing many of these to OFF except MSG, GRP, BLN, ACK/REJ, etc. do avoid having the radio constantly interrupt the display with a remotely heard APRS station

f. Go to “10 APRS RINGER” and you might consider changing many of these to OFF except MSG, GRP, BLN, ACK/REJ, TX BCN, TX MSG, etc. This is to avoid having the radio constantly beep at you with a remotely heard APRS station

g. Go to “14 BEACON INTERVAL” and change to say 5 min if you want to save more battery life when NOT using SmartBeacon mode

h. Go to “15 BEACON STATS TX” and optionally consider turning “S.TXT” on and setting the #1 field to what you want to say. Can be like “Walking around with my new FT1” or “In the Tundra.. Send me a MSG”

i. Go to “16 BEACON TX” and set to “<icon> AUTO” for the radio to send beacons when needed. Set to manual for best possible battery savings

j. Go to “20 GPS POWER” and set to “ON” (turn this OFF when you need to conserve as much battery power as possible) – GPS can be used for both YSF and APRS

k. Go to “23 CALLSIGN (APRS)” and put in just your callsign and SSID. For me, I would put in “KI6ZHD” and then in the last character space after the callsign (“D” in this example), turn the knob once to get a “-“. At this point, you put in your SSID. SSIDs and Symbols are helpful to tell remote systems what kind of device you’re using and your status. For an HT, the recommended SSID is “-7: -7 walkie talkies, HT’s or other human portable”.

A good link of recommended SSIDs can be found here:
http://www.aprs.org/aprs11/SSIDs.txt

IMPORTANT NOTE: Both the SSIDs and symbols for APRS change over time as things change in the world. It’s important that you should review these documents every so often to make sure you’re up to date

Once the SSID is selected, hit the DISP button to go back. This navigation is a bit inconsistent with the rest of the ways to use the radio!

l. Go to “24 My POSITION” and set to ‘GPS”. You can also learn your position from GPS and then save it into a memory slot. At this point, you can then turn off the GPS to save battery power as long as you’re stationary

m. Go to “25 MY SYMBOL” and have it set to “/[“ which is the HUMAN/PERSON icon. You can also change this to other icons like a “Bicycle” when riding around, “Tent” when camping, etc.

A good intro list of symbols can be found here: http://aprs.od5.org/symbols.htm

NOTE: This isn’t 100% up to date but shows a graphical view of the various icons. The official symbol list is here but it’s just text: http://www.aprs.org/symbols/symbols-new.txt

n. Go to “26 POSITION COMMENT” and set it to something you prefer – This is part of the MIC-E concept and is an advanced concept. Do *NOT* set it to “EMERGENCY!” unless you want people to call 911 on you!

o. Go to “27 SmartBeaconing” and if you’re going to be mobile, change the status from OFF to one of the three kinds of profiles:

Type1: driving at freeway speeds / slow subtle turns
Type2: driving at on city streets/speed, more significant turns
Type3: riding on say a bicycle / slow speed, more significant turns

NOTE: SmartBeaconing gets you much more accurate positioning reports at the cost of battery life. If you are less concerned with posits at every turn, consider using a plain 5 minute beacon interval instead of SmartBeaconing

p. Go to “28 TIME ZONE” and either leave in UTC or change to -7 if in California Daylight savings

q. Leave the menus to go back to the radio’s main run view

r. Hold down the A/B button until both VFO-A (top) and VFO-B (bottom) show

s. Tap the A/B button until the bottom VFO text is larger

t. Using the T9 touchpad, type in 1 4 4 3 9 0 to QSY VFO-B to the primary US APRS frequency of 144.390 Mhz.

u. Tap the A/B button until the TOP VFO text is larger so you can use the radio as normal

3. If you’re interested in using the YSF Fusion Digital mode of your radio, do the following:

a. Hold down the DISP button to go into the Settings

b. Use the knob to scroll down to “2 TX/RX” and hit the ENT button, then “2 DIGITAL”

b.1 Go to “1 DIGITAL MODE” and set the MODE to “AMS”. Go back to “AMS MODE” and set to “TX M” if you want to be able to double tap the PTT button to switch between digital and analog modes. If not, leave in “AUTO”

b.2 Go to “4 LOCATION SERVICE” and leave it ON. If you want to conserve maximum battery, turn the GPS OFF from the section above

4. For improved battery savings, do the following:

a. Hold down the DISP button to go into the Settings

b. Use the knob to scroll down to “8 Config” and hit the ENT button, then “1 APO” and set to say “1.0 HRS” before the radio will turn itself off if you don’t touch any buttons, etc.

c. Go to “20 GPS POWER” and set to OFF

d. In the main radio run view, hold down the A/B button and turn off VFO-B (turns off APRS)

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