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Author Topic: Soundcard CW/Rigblaster true keyed vs SSB  (Read 6926 times)

Posts: 194

« on: December 17, 2001, 06:37:48 AM »

Hello all.  First off, I'm rather a CW (and HF in general) newbie and want to do things right.  This question might also fit into the digital forum but since CW is involved, I will post it in both forums and get both the CW and the digital gurus' points of view.  
I have been looking into the Rigblasters and saw where it says that it will send CW with the soundcard programs that send CW.  There are several models of Rigblaster.  The new Plus model claims to send true keyed CW while the M8 model says it sends CW by sending a pure audio tone while you transmit with your rig in SSB mode. My questions regarding this are several:
First, is this the right way to go about sending CW?  Are there any issues about doing it this way that make it harder for the staion at the other end to zero beat or even receive my signal?  Has anyone sent CW using either model of Rigblaster and/or either method and how well do they work?
Second, from the other end, are there any issues with MY zero beating of the other station's signal?  In other words, how hard is it to be sure that I am transmitting on the correct frequency for him when using SSB and an audio tone through the soundcard?  The idea being to not take up too much bandwidth with our QSO if our transmit freqs are farther apart than they have to be.
I would just get the Plus model and be done with it, except there is also a notation on the Rigblaster web page that the plus model cannot seperate the left and right channels of the soundcard and the M8 model can do this and the reason this is important is that for applications like remote access using the internet, the left/right seperation is important for full duplex and this sounds like something that might be interesting to me in the future.
Thanks in advance for any help or insight that you can give.  I try research my purchases beforehand so as to not have to make them twice and as a lurker I have seen a lot of questions answered in these forums and have learned a lot just by reading......73

Posts: 196


« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2002, 02:16:50 AM »

CW is sent with a key! (electronic or straight). The keying through a Rigblaster is done for ID - where required - in combination with digital mode transmissions. In that situation there is no tuning problem.
But.... if you know how to hold a soldering iron you can save yourself the money spent on Rigblasters and the like. Depends on what radio you got and what you want to do. If you want to make SSTV, PSK31, RTTY or some other mode generated and decoded by a soundcard the only thing is to make a connection between your radio (phone patch in) and the soundcard line out with a 1:100 attenuator and another one between the radio's phone patch out and the line in. If you have a computer controlled radio most software (like Zakanaka for RTTY and PSK31) will switch your PTT through the digital control link with the radio.
Otherwise use VOX control. For the real ham rigblasters are just a rip off.
Tweaking audio in and out is done with the slides in your soundcard "Play Control" window.

Posts: 2

« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2002, 03:28:24 PM »

I use the regular M8 Rigblaster for all digital modes except CW Type.  The writer of the software said Rigblaster Plus is needed for that program.  

The cw program I like is HamScope which also does PSK31, RTTY, MFSK16 (though for that mode I prefer Stream).  With cw, you can transmit right back on his frequency or click on where the other station is coming from (most are a little off freq) and you, in effect, have split-freq operation.
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