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Author Topic: Need Recommendation for RTTY/PSK31 Interface  (Read 6784 times)
KG6SII
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Posts: 27




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« on: February 12, 2012, 02:42:51 PM »

Hello, all.  I recently upgraded to General and am looking for a cheap way (under $100, preferably under $50) to interface my laptop to my Yaesu FT-747GX, so I can explore RTTY & PSK31.  The transceiver is older (1980's?), but it does have two DIN connections:  "Band Data" (provides "parallel TTL-level bandswitching signals" for Yaesu antenna tuner and amp) and "CAT" (provides "access to the serial data lines from the microcomputer and A/D converter, for control of the transceiver from an external computer").

I don't have time to build a circuit from scratch.  So far I've found the W3YY /FSK kit ($25) and the West Mountain RIGblaster Nomic ($60).  Which interface (or other that you suggest) would be cheap, easy, and reliable, for my older transceiver?

Any advice is appreciated,
Glenn
KG6SII
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 07:48:32 PM »

hi Glen,

take a look at the SignaLink SL1+ from Tigertronics,
no serial ports necessary for digital modes,
radio transmission is controlled by VOX on the interface.
It will not do CAT.

http://www.tigertronics.com/sl+main.htm

you can find them used as many have upgraded to  
the newer USB model.

73 james
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 02:11:52 PM by KE4DRN » Logged
VA7CPC
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Posts: 2354




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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 09:49:01 PM »

Hello, all.  I recently upgraded to General and am looking for a cheap way (under $100, preferably under $50) to interface my laptop to my Yaesu FT-747GX, so I can explore RTTY & PSK31.  The transceiver is older (1980's?), but it does have two DIN connections:  "Band Data" (provides "parallel TTL-level bandswitching signals" for Yaesu antenna tuner and amp) and "CAT" (provides "access to the serial data lines from the microcomputer and A/D converter, for control of the transceiver from an external computer").

I don't have time to build a circuit from scratch.  So far I've found the W3YY /FSK kit ($25) and the West Mountain RIGblaster Nomic ($60).  Which interface (or other that you suggest) would be cheap, easy, and reliable, for my older transceiver?

Any advice is appreciated,
Glenn
KG6SII

1.  Neither of those DIN connectors give you what you need for PSK31 and most other digital modes ("true FSK RTTY" excepted).  You need _audio_ input to the rig, and _audio_ output from the rig.  CAT control is a frill, and adds to the complexity of that first digital QSO.

If the transceiver has connections for "packet" or "phone patch", and a push-to-talk (PTT) line, _those_ are what you need to use.

2.  The W3YY/FSK kit is a special-purpose kit, suited _only_ for sending "true FSK RTTY" (and computer-generated CW).  It shouldn't be on your shopping list.  The RigBlaster NoMic will work, probably.  Take a look for the "Donner" interface -- inexpensive if you can find it.  The BuxComm Rascal was inexpensive (that's what I use), but I think it's gone up in price.

you may have tried this, but a Google search for:

. . . PSK31 interface kit transformer

might give you a list of candidates.

Averaged over all the forums I watch (many!), the easiest interface to get up and running is the Tigertronics SignaLink USB.   It has its own VOX circuit, so you don't have to worry about RS-232 interfaces.

Check your manual for descriptions of "packet" or "phone patch" operation.  That, essentially, is what you'll be doing. 

If you haven't picked out your software, my two favorites (Windows) are:

a) Digipan -- just PSK31, but very cleanly and simply implemented, and easy to get running.

b) "fldigi" -- All common modes and many uncommon; as simple as it can be, given its capabilities.

Have fun --

               Charles
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W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 05:40:37 AM »

Hello, all.  I recently upgraded to General and am looking for a cheap way (under $100, preferably under $50) to interface my laptop to my Yaesu FT-747GX, so I can explore RTTY & PSK31.  The transceiver is older (1980's?), but it does have two DIN connections:  "Band Data" (provides "parallel TTL-level bandswitching signals" for Yaesu antenna tuner and amp) and "CAT" (provides "access to the serial data lines from the microcomputer and A/D converter, for control of the transceiver from an external computer").

I don't have time to build a circuit from scratch.  So far I've found the W3YY /FSK kit ($25) and the West Mountain RIGblaster Nomic ($60).  Which interface (or other that you suggest) would be cheap, easy, and reliable, for my older transceiver?

Any advice is appreciated,
Glenn
KG6SII

1.  Neither of those DIN connectors give you what you need for PSK31 and most other digital modes ("true FSK RTTY" excepted).  You need _audio_ input to the rig, and _audio_ output from the rig.  CAT control is a frill, and adds to the complexity of that first digital QSO.

If the transceiver has connections for "packet" or "phone patch", and a push-to-talk (PTT) line, _those_ are what you need to use.


Not true. The DIN connectors on 718 do support AFSK data/digi modes. The Rig Blaster Plug and Play will plug directly into one of those DIN jacks with a 13 pin adapter they offer for it that adapts the mini DIN on the Plug and Play to DIN on 718. If you want to try CAT control of 718 in future, the Plug and Play supports that with a additional cable.

  
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 06:32:00 AM by W8JX » Logged

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KC2RGW
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 12:14:39 PM »


Not true. The DIN connectors on 718 do support AFSK data/digi modes. The Rig Blaster Plug and Play will plug directly into one of those DIN jacks with a 13 pin adapter they offer for it that adapts the mini DIN on the Plug and Play to DIN on 718. If you want to try CAT control of 718 in future, the Plug and Play supports that with a additional cable.
 

Good info for those with an IC-718, but the OP has a Yaesu 757GX and the advice given is correct.  He'll need to use the mic jack for audio in most likely and the spkr out jack to get the audio out into a soundcard interface.

Another vote from me for a Signalink USB from Tigertronics.  I've made some, bought some and love the Tigertronics.  I own two of them now.
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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 01:10:37 PM »

Good info for those with an IC-718, but the OP has a Yaesu 757GX and the advice given is correct.  He'll need to use the mic jack for audio in most likely and the spkr out jack to get the audio out into a soundcard interface.

I stand corrected. 757, that's a olde.
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K8GY
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 06:52:46 PM »

I use the digipro plus from ZLP electronic on my older Kewood TS450SAT. It gives you CAT control as well as the sound card intereface. Of course you'll need the cables for your rig.

Good Luck.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 08:26:41 PM »

I don't have time to build a circuit from scratch. 

If you've got time to operate, you've got time to build an interface. There is absolutely no circuit simpler or cheaper to build than a sound card to rig interface. http://www.w0btu.com/digital_modes.html
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KB6HOH
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Posts: 189




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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2012, 03:58:07 AM »

Glen,

         There is a lot of good information that has been provided here.
Here are my thoughts on the Subject. Unless you plan on having a dedicated PC for doing the Digital Modes I
would recommend staying away from the Interfaces that rely on using the PC's Sound Card. Yes you could
install a 2nd Sound Card but it would be a waste of money and time not to say what conflicts would arise from
such. Use the KISS method. Building is fun and I have gone that route more for the Fun of building and I ended
up giving it to a friend to use. I do Multitasking with my PC and I DONOT want to dedicate the Sound Cad to
one operation. I highly recommend using an Interface with a built in Sound Card that will eliminate that problem.
I own 3 of the Tigertronics Signlink USB Interfaces and I do you use all three of them, 2 at the same time on
HF/VHF/UHF. Also for a program I highly recommend FLdigi as an MultiMode and MultiOS (Windows, Apple MAC
OS and Linux). It is very user friendly in terms of setting it up and operation. Now for the Radio. It was a great
NO thrills radio in its day, but if that's all you got or can afford, so bit it.  A Radio like the Icom 718 has both a
DataPort for PTT TX Audio and RX Audio (Fixed Level) as well as a CAT Interface. There are other Radio's as well
that will do the samething. Something to think about and that is, how am I going to Interface the Radio to the
Sound Card Interface? Yes you do have connections on the rear apron BUT Only for RX Audio, PTT and CAT
control. NO connection for TX Audio. So that means having to use the Mic Jack which I never recommend
unless absolutely necessary! One you loose the use of the Mic itself while operating the Digital Modes, which
mean having to connect and disconnect when switching back and forth between Voice and Digital. This also
means a Balancing act between the Radio's Mic Gain control and the TX Audio Control on your interface or thru
the PC. You want minimal ALC action on TX. The only saving grace with the Radio is the AF Output Jack on the
rear has a Fixed Audio level that is not affected by the Radio's AF Gain/Volume control settings. So you can
turn the Audio all the way down and not loose the Audio Signal. FYI the Mic Jack does not support RX Audio.
I could go on but I think that is enough. All of the above is IMHO. Good Luck. Drop me an Email sometime!

                                73 de Steve KB6HOH in the SF North Bay
                                kb6hoh(AT)comcast(DOT)net

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K7RNV
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2012, 09:42:58 AM »

west Mountain radio rigblaster nomic.  Worked with my ft847 and Mark V..
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3710




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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2012, 05:48:42 PM »

hi,

here is a newer program that will do digital modes
and works well on the newest Windows versions.
The DSP engine used in Airlink Express is MMVari
by Makoto Mori, JE3HHT.

http://www.airlinkexpress.org/

PSK, QPSK,  MFSK and RTTY and
CAT control.

73 james
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K4AMA
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2012, 02:03:47 PM »

http://donnerstorenet.ipage.com/DCC/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_15&products_id=42

Have one, works great...
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K5TED
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Posts: 677




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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2012, 11:31:03 AM »

Probably the most painless way, that is, to not cripple your microphone functionality, is the MFJ Deluxe Sound Card Interface, which can be found used on the internet auction site for pennies on the dollar. It plugs into your mic jack and sound card, and has a standard 8 pin PTT microphone jack on the front. You then can simply switch between MIC and DATA. The MFJ has buffering amps and jumpers/trimmers to customize the audio level going into the rig.

The use of a separate sound card for your radio digi modes is a very sound suggestion, no pun intended, sorta..  No need to tie up your main sound card. The sound card can be an also relatively inexpensive USB external sound card of your choice. It doesn't need to be anything special, but make sure the input or record sample rate is at least 44.1. The Griffin iMic is a good one, or a number of other less expensive brands.

There are probably others that offer the mic functionality, but the MFJ is the cheapest I've seen.


 
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