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Reviews Categories | Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet | West Mountain Radio Rigblaster Pro Help


Reviews Summary for West Mountain Radio Rigblaster Pro
West Mountain Radio Rigblaster Pro Reviews: 33 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $299.95
Description: The complete computer interface
for "any" radio:
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.westmountainradio.com
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VA3AG Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2014 16:57 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I do not know what the fuss is about!! I purchased my Rigblaster Pro used, read the manual and set it up according to the manual (Radio IC-7410) and it worked first time!! I don't understand how can anyone have a problem if they follow the instructions. I would recommend this product.

Thanks and enjoy!

de VA3AG
 
G4JKZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2014 15:39 Send this review to a friend
Faultless  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought mine secondhand with no leads six years ago and like most read the manual first, okay so it's a bit fiddly to setup but has performed faultlessly over this period. I do recommend the normal practice of using cable identifiers should anything come adrift though.
You will find me on most RTTY contests and other digi modes running this with an old XP PC and Icom 765 transceiver, which has a convenient 12v output, thus eliminating the mains transformer. So good that I have acquired a Rigblaser Plus to link to my new 897D so I can't recommend these enough.
 
EI7GMB Rating: 0/5 Feb 13, 2013 12:28 Send this review to a friend
Essence of an American style....the hard way...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Avoid like an leprosy. I could actually finish here but it wont be fair, so here it goes.

What I dislike:

Connections, connectors, interconnects, anything around "cabling". Tens of wires, cables, interconnects and it still is not RIGHT for a data modes of Yaesu rigs. By the default setup it requires a pass-through for a microphone. I do not need any cheesy PC-based so called "DSP". Must to mention - there is NO SUPPORT for real data mode with Yaesu rigs. Data return is made through Microphone audio in - why? The manual comprises 3 different wiring methods and none of them are actually right for Yaesu (possibly others too?). Without some smart wiring it will make "Digital" mode on Yaesu's rigs simply useless. No, no, no - i hate to put anything between microphone and transceiver, full stop.

CAT command drives me mad. It actually requires TWO COM ports to get the full functionality. Well, one is enough for basic operation, with a VOX enabled on your rig. Or it doesn't? It is really messy. Must to mention - an "USB ready" sticker on its box and ad materials is misleading. It just has an USB2COM interface thrown into box along with other leads. No USB here, forget it.

BIG enclosure what actually roam VERY LITTLE, or rather - an piece of a hardware what could be easily fit in 1/3 of its current package. What a waste of a space. Not to mention that it wont match anywhere nicely. I really can't get it what drove the designer to draw such a bulky thing.

Back again to cabling - instead of one DB25 socket or mini DIN or anything else (actualy "anything else" would be more convenient), guys at WestMountain got an "brilliant" idea of employing countless 3.5 audio sockets and respectively number of required leads at the back. If someone would like to wire up RigBlasterPro as per instruction manual then this unfortunate person will end up with a harness of wires what could put on shame mid-sized telecom enterprise. With a little dexterity you can reduce number of required wires to 1 on TRX side and 2 (or 1 if 2 will be taped up....) on PC side.

Connectors, connectors once again. Power socket - was it really so hard to pick more common one? CAT control - why 3.5 jack? PTT IN/OUT - now this puzzles me why RCA? Probably just to add some nice variety I suppose, pity they're not gold plated (sarcasm). Mic IN/OUT - modular on one end and radial at another plus of course 3.5 jack... Did they ever hear about a standardization or a good rule of not mixing up different kinds in one design? Headphones outlet has 6mm and 3.5mm sockets... This is the only one what I wont complain about even though I really can have an appropriate adapter around. It could be a nice touch on its own but here it is just one too many.

Internal jumper settings....Once you know what are you up to then it isn't too complicated but rather time consuming task. It could be solved by simple PCB with few most common transceivers setup snapped on top of gold pin bank. Cheap and easy. Instead there is a whole cobweb of wire jumpers... (most of them might be replaced with typical 2 pin configuration jumpers).

Needless do say that this is really overpriced piece of the hardware. 50$ might be a right price but not 300$. Technically this is a very simple interface packed up in "all bells and whistles" fancy enclosure.

Instead of "what I like":

The only real positive side of this interface is a linear pot for signal level adjustment. No other qualities found. Ah, I like its metal box and internals, a feeling of quality for sure. Pity it is so awkward yoke in general.

But to be fair - once you get this set up - it just works. Not a bad interface on its own, but the engineer(s) done all the wrong with its design.

In my case - one day it just dropped behind the desk pulling out the wires and this way I got rid of it. If next time I'd like to work some digital modes I'd rather buy another interface than bother removing this one from the behind.
 
N1ZZZ Rating: 4/5 Jun 25, 2012 07:24 Send this review to a friend
Versitile but complex  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just spent an hour setting the RB Pro. It's really not as complicated as people say. You have to understand what you are trying to do to have it make sense. Follow the instructions, and you should have no problem. Using the included labels on all of the cords makes the wiring much easier the second time around.

I have a NoMic for my mobile rig which works well, but I wanted more versitility for my base station. This unit allows me to fully utilize my MixW software with various keying modes and Rig Control while allowing me to use my normal mic without unplugging things all of the time.

I enjoy the front end power control and indicator LEDs. A big step up from my previous interfaces.

If you are looking for a field interface, this isn't the unit for you. It's too big, needs power, and there are a lot of wires, even in a basic configuration. This is for your base station.

I bought the accessory Icom rig control cable and it worked right away with MixW.

If you want a simple plug and play interface, this is not the unit for you. If you want an interface that allows you to work a variety of modes and don't mind taking the time to set it up correctly, this is a great unit.

I'd give it 5 stars, but I think it needs a USB interface for newer computers. No reason in 2012 there are new products that are looking for serial ports. I am just glad I have an older tower in my shack with two serial ports.

73 Jeremy N1ZZZ
 
K3ROJ Rating: 2/5 Nov 28, 2011 15:23 Send this review to a friend
To many wires  Time owned: more than 12 months
A few years ago I bought the Rigblaster Pro thinking it would be better than my regular Rigblaster. Wow, the amount of wires running to the radio and PC were too much for me. I still have it since nobody wants to buy the Pro any longer. Things turned out well however when I bought a Flex Radio 5000A which uses a firewire connection, speaker out and microphone in. The time is near when all radios will not have knobs. The Flex Radio does not require audio routing since it uses virtual cables instead. A trackball mouse does all the work.
 
AJ4RW Rating: 1/5 Dec 8, 2010 15:51 Send this review to a friend
Whatever happened to simple!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased in July of 2009. Read the instructions and decided that it was to complex to undertake at that time. Move forward to December of 2010, the instruction were still complex but decided to try to set it up. After working on the rigblaster pro for a week and a half, I'm not any closer to making my first contact on PSK 31 than I was in 2009. Hard to find anyone who's knowledgable about it to come over because they had a difficult time setting it up also. The rigblaster pro has 7 wires coming out of it which is more than all the wires for the rotor, radio and amp, makes for a real mess. All it is now is just a novelty for watching decoding of PSK and cw signals but I think I can live without that. Tech support is very courteous but no help on the problem. Next stop might be the 2 lb. sledge hammer routine.
 
WM9V Rating: 4/5 Jan 28, 2010 15:12 Send this review to a friend
Bought a plug and play  Time owned: more than 12 months
i bought the rig blaster pro and the plug and play
make sure you leave the store with the right cables for your radio
make sure you understand how to hook up ptt
the pro is a nice product but really isnt necessary
the plug and play would be my preferred interface
don't buy the rs23 to usb convertor
it is not necessary
you will also have to remove the cover and reconfigure jumpers and blocks for the external
mike interface ( a feature that is extraneous in hindsight )
i prefer the plug and play but the rigblaster pro is not bad
nice quality but warranty support will cost you so make up your mind when you get it or you will not be able to return it after the warranty expires
you will also need a an external speaker with a 1/8 inch phone plug
the website is good for drivers
documentation is good... price is a little high
but the plug and play is a better product
 
W9HC Rating: 5/5 Sep 27, 2009 19:00 Send this review to a friend
It Does the Job  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my RB-Pro after having used the Nomic interface. The Pro does everything I want when I am operating RTTY or PSK. I have not taken advantage of its other features, so I cannot address them here. West Mountain warranty service is good. I had one unit quit on me and they cheerfully sent me another. Well, not so cheerfully, but I got it put back into service anyway. It's a good product. It's rugged and well made.

Steve
W9HC
 
N8XAE Rating: 4/5 Mar 28, 2009 19:36 Send this review to a friend
Well made, looks good, a tad $$  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It does precisely what I expected it to do. Hook up was relatively simple. I am most impressed with the construction. A well planned circuit board with a clean and neat component layout and excellent soldering quality (unlike some ham manufacturers that I found I had to re-solder myself). The packaged CD of operating software was helpful although I already have my own. If you have spent a lot of time with computers, sound cards, DSP, and monitoring CW with a microphone in front of your rigs speaker like I have. Odds are this will be relatively easy to understand, connect and use. If you are trying this for the first time. Be patient. With time comes wisdom in all categories of life.

My only issue... The price. It is a tad expensive for what it does. But, made in the U.S., not China. That is a plus. I purchased mine used on Ebay and have been very happy with it.
 
KI4BUN Rating: 1/5 Jun 22, 2008 10:16 Send this review to a friend
Save your dough!  Time owned: more than 12 months
For the price...aw, heck....save your money. I'm replacing this monstrosity with a Tigertronics USB unit.

What's my bid for this slightly used....

73'
 
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