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Reviews Categories | Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet | WestMountainRadio Rigblaster Blue Help


Reviews Summary for WestMountainRadio Rigblaster Blue
WestMountainRadio Rigblaster Blue Reviews: 5 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $199.95
Description: Completely Integrated Bluetooth® Interface

Pairs with a PC, tablet or smartphone to provide a sound device and a rig control serial port.
Digital mode capability on a tablet or smartphone
Pairs with a Bluetooth® headset for receive and transmit!
High gain Bluetooth® antenna provides up to 33' range
Uses bi-directional audio Bluetooth® protocol (HSP & HFP)
PC configuration software included for maximum flexibility
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.westmountainradio.com/product_info.php?products_id=rb_blue&navcode=/QSTBlue
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KD4IZ Rating: 3/5 Oct 2, 2016 20:13 Send this review to a friend
Interesting challenge - promise yet to be fulfilled  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This unit promises a lot, but is a challenge to configure for rig control. Let me say I have extensive experience with BT hands-free configuration, port configuration, and a number of rig control programs. I routinely use HRD (paid version) as my main op center, so it was my test bed on a Win 10 desktop.

I was able to directly configure the headphones easily... I used the Sennheiser noise cancelling BT headset (M-450X) that I use with the mobile phone and iPad. This voice only setup worked with both the IC-7000 and the FT-817, VOX adjust was good and got good audio reports sideband and FM.

Configuring the COM ports was another story all together. I was able to get HRD to control the 817 (CAT via serial port DB9) after some fooling around using the setup utility... that was relatively simple but...

It was my hope that the IC-7000 would be as easy - NOT. About 5 hours of tweaking the port speed and then deinstalling and reinstalling the drivers/utility. I can't seem to get the program to see/hear the rig properly to initiate control. I can use an FTDI USB to RS-232 dongle to control the rig through at CT-17 CI-V adapter, but the CI-V port on the WMR unit does not seem to be alive.

I won't even try to set up the Elecraft KX-3 until I see the IC-7000 behave.

A number of questions are in to WMR Support - hopefully they can set me straight because the manual only gets one just so far.

Well made unit, has promise, but the documentation needs update to include Windows 10 BT/Com configuration notes and there needs to be setup checklist for each possible path.

So the unit works... with some tinkering, but I have yet to get it fully functional and working smoothly - much less transitioning from Digital to voice with any of the radios.
 
KE4GRP Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2015 08:55 Send this review to a friend
Takes care of all my problems  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I currently run my station remotely, that is, from one computer to another to the radio. I have always used Skype for the audio transmit and receive. While Skype is a wonderful tool, and useful when on vacation, I wanted something better while in the shack.

Enter the Rigblaster Blue. After reading the manual on line several times before I got the unit, it was very easy to hook up and start transmiting and receiving. The unit arrived at my door at about 4:15 yesterday, and I was on the 5:00 o'clock net, getting good reports, even though I was downstairs in the kitchen.

The only compaint I have is not be able to mute the Vox using the headset so I might talk to the XYL in the shack without wispering. This can be somewhat solved by just turning off the headset, no big deal.

One other thing, the unit uses the microphone circut in the radio, so I can use all the eq stuff I have. Skype uses the computer circuts and and has a lag time that the Rigblaster doesn't or isn't noticable.

Great unit, Westmountain.
 
WZ4I Rating: 4/5 Dec 23, 2014 01:30 Send this review to a friend
Works as expected – Finally  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
All I'm currently using it for, is for a wireless headset connection to my rig.

Long story short.

1st one I received was DOA.

2nd one I received would not pair with a Logitech H800 Headset. It would pair with the Bluetiger headset (clone of the one WMR carries) but they are very uncomfortable. Contacted WMR, and they were aware of the incompatibility issues. Was informed that a new updated unit would be released in early December that would address this issue, and mine would be exchanged at no cost too me.

3rd one arrived yesterday. Works perfect.

Very easy to configure, but the software supplied is not Linux compatible. Easily configure the unit by toggling the switches on the front panel in a specific sequence. The only configuration that was required to mine was too increase the mic gain by one step. In addition, WMR now includes jumper blocks preconfigured for the major rig manufactures. No more pin to pin jumpers!

Receiving excellent transmitted audio reports, and the received audio using the H800 headset is great. Range is easily 20-30ft.

If you're considering one, be sure it's the latest version....
 
WY1R Rating: 2/5 Oct 24, 2014 21:04 Send this review to a friend
Pain to setup, pain to use  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The bottom line: If you already are using a data adapter you are satisfied with, then stick with it. Whether it's Signalink, MicroHAM, WMR or whatever, if it has wires to your computer and it works, then keep it that way, just buy some USB extension cord and you're practically as good as with the WMR Blue

I got the WMR Blue after years of using a cabled data adapter (Signalink and MicroHAM USB III) never with an important issue. However, after probably 6-8 hours of attempting setup, going back and forth with WMR support, buying additional cables...and another hour of writing this review..then finally having a go at communicaiton, I can tell you it is not worth it. I got it to work, in receive and in transmit, with Digipan only. The Blue isn't fully compatible with many of my favorite programs because of the VOX nature of the PTT keying through bluetooth and an annoying COM port over bluetooth setup for CAT control with my Yaesu FT-897D that I couldn't get to work anyway because only the paid version of HRD will work with it it seems.

I was excited by the prospect of going across my house with my laptop, wirelessly communicating from another room or sitting outside DXing away. When I did finally get Blue to function, I found the range to be unimpressive. I tried an aftermarket external antenna, did help extend things a little bit, but the transmitter is just not kicking out. My Wifi router and Wifi internet hotspot device have ten times better coverage than Bluetooth devices such as the Blue. f you think Bluetooth will go as far as your Wifi signal, don't use that for comparison.

I have stayed away from WMR in the past because I found their products to be esthetically unattractive with that giant mic connector in the front of their units. With the Blue and the FT-897D, the required connection passes via the front panels of their device and my radio with a 2 foot wire figuring prominently on the desk of my nice neat station setup where 99% of all my other cables are in the back hidden away.

On the back side, the Blue requires additional cable connections for Data/audio/CAT, the bluetooth antenna and last but not least, an external power supply to make the bluetooth transmitter work (wall wart!).

I am impressed with the novelty of the bluetooth. WMR has broken new ground for amateur radio with this product and they got my business for that. Unfortunately, with this apparent version 1.0 of the Blue, the enormous complexity in setup and operation do not justify the meager additional range you will get versus sticking with a USB cable connection to your computer and some USB extension cords...(purists will say not to do this)

I will be returning or selling the Blue and going back to my cabled data connector until I see greater acceptance and maturation of the concept of wireless communication.

I must commend WMR for their technical support, it has been excellent, but I have contacted them too many times already and am still not quite getting full satisfaction out of this product. I am not the techie type, this thing is just taking too much of my time and enjoyment away from just getting on the air in data modes, which I had previously done quite easily with a USB cable connection.
 
K4ELO Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2014 14:45 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this mainly for the bluetooth headset capability and it works great. I usually use a Heil Gold Elite mic and my regular contacts said they would not have known I was using a bluetooth headset if I hadn't told them. Excellent audio reports with their headset.
Range is about 45' for me.

It takes a few minutes or longer to pair with the headset the first time, but after that it pairs in a few seconds after you turn the headset on.

Haven't tried any Android digital modes yet.

If you want hands and wires free, this is the thing.
VOX works great too.

73
Wayne
K4ELO
 


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