I just received a kenwood ts-690sat and have been considered doing some digital. Do I need any special equipment or software. I'm running windows 7 64 bit with 1.5 terebyte hard drive and 8gb ddr3 memory. I'm using a optimized g5rv for hf. Thanks all. 73 Gerry KD8RFO
You will need an interface between the rig and the computer so send and receive digital signals.
One of the easiest setups is the Tigertronics SignaLink USB. I have been using that interface since 2007. Very simple to setup and operate. The reason I like the USB model is the fact that it has a built in sound card. So you are not tying up the computer soundcard for digital modes. http://www.tigertronics.com/
There are many options for software. Personally I use Ham Radio Deluxe which gives me rig control, logging and digital software, DM780. You can download it for free. Remember this, you can not control the radio by using the interface. For that you need a separate cable from the rig to the computer. (Not sure if the TS-690 is CAT Capable but it should be) http://www.hrdsoftwarellc.com/
This is the company to contact with regards to being able to CAT control your TS-690. From what I understand there was an upgrade for that radio to make it CAT capable. Check with the owner, he will be able to tell you what is required for your rig. I have bought two CAT cables from him and have not had any problems. http://www.g4zlp.co.uk/index.shtml
I also use JT65HF to operate the digital mode called JT65. This is a great low power digital mode, but you can not rag chew on it. It is a mode where you call CQ, someone answers your call, you exchange signal reports and say 73. But it is great for working DX. http://iz4czl.ucoz.com/index/0-28
If you Google Amateur Radio Digital Mode Software you will see many programs available to you for free. Here is a good place to start http://www.qsl.net/rv3apm/
Here are some good sites to help you learn more about the various digital modeshttp://wb8nut.com/digital/http://hfradio.org.uk/html/digital_modes.html
As I am typing this post I am operating JT65 on the other computer.
If you have any other questions feel free to email me.
73, Rick VE3FMC