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Reviews Categories | Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet | RigExpert WTI-1 Interface Help


Reviews Summary for RigExpert WTI-1 Interface
RigExpert WTI-1 Interface Reviews: 3 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $349
Description: The WTI-1 is a wifi interface for controlling a
transceiver from a remote computer without the need for a
computer at the radio. A hardware unit at the radio has
CAT, PTT, CW, FSK and audio in/out connections to the rig.
Prewired cables are available for most current HF
transceivers. The interface transfers data to and from the
control computer via a wifi link to your router. Software
in the control computer presents virtual serial port and
sound card interfaces to your logging, digital mode or
radio control software. The control computer can be
anywhere on your LAN, or anywhere there is broadband
Internet access.
Product is in production.
More info: http://https://rigexpert.com/products/interfaces/wti-1/
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PY7RP Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2017 13:19 Send this review to a friend
Easy to go remote!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I own a WTI-1 interface now for about 6 months. I used before a Signalink USB. The WTI-1 is a Wireless Soundcard interface that you can use it over your home network of even through the internet. I have been using it on both situations. In a local environment it gives access to my PC without need of any wire cable, all the connections are only between the interface and radio. There is no connection between the WTI-1 and PC. The WTI-1 once configured will access your home network and you can access your soundcard via PC. To work via PC you will need a software provided by RigExpert installed previously. The software - "Shacklink" will create a virtual soundcard and virtual COM ports and connect to the WTI-1 interface over your wireless or internet connection. In a local network the DELAY is negligible. I must say, i can not even realize any kind of DELAY. When using it over internet all the DELAY is due to the internet connection. In my case i use 5MBps in both sides i.e. remote at home shack and that seems to be enough to have it working with about 1sec of DELAY. So this is not a problem at all. I have been working a lot in CW using the CW memories of my FT2000 and the CAT connection the WTI-1 also manage. Seems a GREAT accessory to anyone who wants to have your shack in your hands over the internet anywhere. I also must say it has RS485 connection that can be used to manage relays, for example. This feature i did not use.
 
AA8TA Rating: 1/5 Jul 21, 2017 12:10 Send this review to a friend
Nothing but frustrations  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been trying for a few months to be able to access and operate my home station from my job when I take a short break. My initial efforts involved screen sharing, which mostly worked. But, that seemed like a lot useless data being channeled back and forth.

When I heard about the WTI I thought it was what I really wanted: send rig CAT data, Winkeyer data and audio back and forth with no other overhead.

When I got the unit, I had a lot of trouble getting it set up. While connected to my computer, the WTI would constantly disconnect and reconnect. I have a 63-character Wifi password but WTI only accepts 60 characters so I had to do a lot of router reconfiguration.

Once the setup was done I hooked it up to my Kenwood TS-590 and continued to have intermittent dropouts.

In general, the CAT control worked well but the audio was not as good as what I could get with Skype. I do CW exclusively so I wanted to be able to use N1MM to control the rig and send CW. N1MM would control the rig OK, but at first, I could send only dits. Then I was able to send normally but N1MM would only send by macro once then no other macros would work for sending. Pressing control-K to send free text would work, however.

I tried the ultimate test of trying all this from work, but even though the software showed it was connected to my home station, nothing else worked.

Another complication was that things worked pretty well if my laptop with the client program was close to WTI but I could walk around my house and lose functionality even though the Wifi signals were strong.

I spent so much time adjusting this and trying that that I finally had enough and returned it.

Maybe I had a defective unit or there is something about my home environment that it does not like. I think it is good idea and I really wish that I could have gotten it to work.
 
VE3KI Rating: 4/5 Mar 7, 2017 05:27 Send this review to a friend
Good basic remote interface, especially for digital modes  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This review is of a loaner unit borrowed for evaluation.

The WTI-1 provides for remote control of a transceiver without requiring a computer connected to the radio. It does not have provision for controlling complex equipment such as computer-controllable antenna rotators or power amplifiers, so if you have a complicated setup to control, it may not be the answer for you.

The hardware part of the interface is a small box, not much larger than a deck of playing cards, with a DB25 connector for the cable harness, a USB port for initial configuration (not used during operation), a jack for the 9-14V power (wall wart supplied), and several status LEDs. The cable harness has connections for audio input and output, CAT control, PTT, CW and FSK keying.

The ShackLink software in the control computer creates virtual serial ports for CAT control, PTT/CW keying and FSK keying that can be used from your radio control or logging software. There are also entries for serial ports for an optional RS-485 connection for relay control of simple auxiliary devices such as antenna switches (requires a hardware modification to the interface unit) and for Winkey emulation. The Winkey emulation did not work in the unit I tested, despite updating the firmware and software to the latest versions, so I used the direct serial port CW keying method instead. I was not able to test the RS-485 port.

In addition to the microphone and speaker/headphones connections, the ShackLink software creates virtual sound card devices that you can configure in digital mode software, without the need for additional hardware or software. A nice feature for those using transceivers with a sub-receiver is that the WTI-1 supports two channels of receive audio so you can listen to both receivers simultaneously, and/or set up two copies of digital mode software to copy from both receivers simultaneously.

Configuration is straightforward, and it was not difficult to get remote operation up and running. Configuring for control over the Internet was a simple matter of setting the router to forward a couple of ports and taking note of the router's public IP address.

Thanks to the virtual sound cards, digital mode operation is easy, using PTT control from the digital software. Digital modes were obviously an important consideration during the design of the unit. When monitoring the transmission from the radio's monitor output, I could detect some jitter in the transmitted audio - kind of a slightly varying gait in FSK RTTY, and occasional stumbles in AFSK - but that did not seem to have much adverse effect on copy either during an RTTY contest or when DXing in JT65 and JT9. Digital modes are where the WTI-1 seems to do best.

There is no provision in ShackLink for connecting a CW key or paddle to the computer, so unless your control software can accept keying input from a parallel port, you will be using the computer keyboard for CW. If you want to hear your transceiver's sidetone to monitor what is going out, you will have to use semi-breakin (VOX) or QSK and ensure that your software is not configured to use PTT in CW mode. The monitor audio will be delayed because of latency, so if you hit the wrong function key and want to abort the message, there will be a delay between hitting the Escape key and when it actually stops.

In SSB, the PTT button in the ShackLink window is essential, since the microphone is muted except when PTT is activated using the PTT button. In a contest situation I found myself constantly moving the mouse back and forth between the control software and the ShackLink window, which was annoying.

For ragchewing, audio latency is not much of an issue, but in a busy contest, latency delays inherent in any remote control method can be annoying. Another obvious issue, again common to many other remote control methods, is the lack of a tuning knob.

Since the WTI-1 requires a wifi connection between the hardware interface and the control computer, it can be vulnerable to interference from other wifi users. At one point when I was using it at home, someone else started a large download that monopolized the wifi router and the WTI-1 lost contact until the download finished. Unfortunately the WTI-1 does not have an Ethernet connector to allow you to bypass the wifi link to the router, but you might be able to use two routers to separate the WTI-1 from other household network traffic.

The WTI-1 seems to do a good job within the limitations of its design parameters. If you can live within those limits, this could be the answer for you.
 


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