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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.
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W5GW Rating: 3/5 Jul 9, 2007 07:23 Send this review to a friend
Overpriced for minimal features  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used RigBlaster Pros in my two shacks for 2+ years. While they are semi-adequate, as commented on by WI5F, the features are pretty minimal. When you compare it to either a Rig Expert or Navigator, then it really comes up short.

I do like the looks of the unit tho.

Documentation leaves a lot to be desired as well.
KG5I Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2007 11:07 Send this review to a friend
Best So Far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After owning the Rigblaster Plus for a few years, I decided to upgrade to the Pro & I'm glad I did. I think a couple of the nicest features I've found so far are the front level control & status leds. As most of you digital sound card users know, that ALC must be turned down to a low level for proper operation. This control makes that easy. Sure you can turn your mic gain down, but why touch it when you have the control right here?

The mic process feature seems interesting and I would like to try at some point. A group of local hams here like to experiement with digital voice on HF and this feature lets you leave that cheap PC mic alone & use your real "Ham-Radio Mic". Yes, this interface can route your radio microphone thru the soundcard and back out to your rig. In addition, with proper software you can custom tailor your audio a bit. Sort of like they do with those 8-band eq's. I can't say more about that because I have not yet tried it.

Just like my previous RigBlaster Plus, I never unhook or disconnect any cables. Once it's setup and connected properly you should never unplug anything. Let me also say I have recieved excellent support from the West Mtn Yahoo group. Their tech. support are very responsive to questions and comments posted there.
K5HSV Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2007 21:46 Send this review to a friend
Great Way to Go Digital  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I reveived my RIGblaster Pro from HRO. The free shipping was what sold me. First of all let me say that I was quite pleased at the ease of setup. The operation manual was put together well, however, was not too Windows XP friendly but nothing worth dinging them on. I've looked at this rig for quite some time before taking the plunge.

Secondly, the USB / Serial cable was a great touch. Follow the instructions without leaving out a step and you won't go wrong. The only problem that I had was software related; which I finally figured out with the help of another ham. Study the manual and software helps for a smooth install. Having two comports out of the RBPro is a nice option. Once again, here is the point you want to make sure you have the cable installed to the right port for the right applications you are going to be working on your rig.

Thirdly, the automatic switching of the RBPro via the software applications works great. No switching cables! For example, the microphone is muted and you aren't sitting there with a hot microphone when working applications like PSK-31, SSTV, WinDM or others. No need for a second PC microphone like other similar rigs that I looked at. Cables, jumpers and software all worked well and 6' cable length made it great for my "rack mounted" rig install.

In conclusion, only time will tell how this little master piece will hold up but at this point it has impressed me. I don't plan on "FM sounding" or processing of my voice to work HF, however, that is possible with the RBPro without a second sound card or PC mic. It does what it says it will do. As for cost, "You'll get what you pay for here".

WI5F Rating: 2/5 Oct 31, 2006 17:07 Send this review to a friend
Disappointed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
No level control for radio receiver audio out to soundcard audio in. Actually it does no processing whatsoever of the receive audio. May as well eliminate a cable and just plug the radio speaker out directly into the soundcard audio in instead of running one cable from radio to RigBlaster and a second cable to soundcard. I also tried the fixed level audio out provided on the mic connector of my Alinco DX-70TH. This audio level was to high for the mic input of the soundcard in my laptop. See next comment.

Expects line in on your soundcard. I was using a laptop (and suspect many others would be using a laptop also) which has a mic in and no line in. The RigBlaster does not accomodate the level required by mic in. Even with the mic in set at its lowest level, just one pixel off the bottom of the slider, the level coming out of my Alinco fixed audio out of the mic jack saturated the soundcard. If using the speaker out of the radio I couls set the audio lower so as not to saturate the mic input, but this was too low for comfortable listening. You have to set the level at whatever the mic input requires and live with that for you own listening.

No Level control for soundcard to headphone audio. You have to set the output of the sound card at whatever level is required for transmit audio and live with that level in the headphones. In my case this level was too high for comfortable and safe listening. However, I am not into listening to digital tones anyway.

Does not provided receiver audio to the headphone jack. It does provide soundcard audio to the headphone jack, but I'm not in to listening to digital tones. West Mountains workaround for this, IF you have a full duplex sound card, is to turn on full duplex and feed the receive audio coming into the soundcard to the audio out of the soundcard. The reason you might want/need to do this if for a dual mode QSO like SSTV where one minute you are sending data and the next you are talking on voice.

There are other solutions for less money that provide all of the missing features mentioned above. The Tigertronics SL-1+ at $69 provides level controls for both the transmit and receive audio at 1/4th the price (The Rigmaster Pro is now $280). But the best deal if you don't mind spending a couple of hours soldering and drilling some holes in an Altoids box is the kk7uq kit which provides everything the Tigertronics does and more.

I've only commented on the soundcard interface aspects as those are what I found most expected and least provided for this so called 'soundcard interface'. The RibBlaster does also provide c.w. keying and fsk keying and cat interface. The Tigertronics SL-1+ provides none of those, but I wasn't planning on using the computer for c.w. keying and I do not have a radio with fsk. The kk7uq interface provides two keying circuits that, depending on how you wire the rs232 cable, can be used for any two of ptt, cw, or fsk. As a soundcard interfaces (for afsk, psk31, etc.) the SL-1+ and even more so the kk7uq both outshine the RigBlaster Pro.

As a soundcard interface the RigBlaster Pro just doesn't cut it.

On the plus side West Mountain did take the unit back and refund my payment promptly. I seldom return items, but this time I'm glad I had the option. At $280 look at alternatives.

Paul, WI5F
MM0ODI Rating: 5/5 Aug 18, 2006 15:21 Send this review to a friend
Great Gizmo  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bought the instructions......set the thing up per the instructions.....plugged it into my TS2000...into my PC. Switched everything on and enjoyed the most contacts in an hour since I got my license! PSK31, RTTY et al. Great fun!

Great facilities, processing audio via the soundcard is fun, and the ability to use a second mic via the 3.5mm socket on the front is useful.

Buy it! You'll love it.
NE5C Rating: 4/5 Jul 24, 2006 03:57 Send this review to a friend
RigBlaster Pro & Yaesu Mp1000 Mark V Field  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well being new with the RigBlaster Pro, I wanted to take the time to say how the whole experience unfolded. It arrived alive and fine business (UPS)from HRO. Basically from start to finish was relatively smooth except that I found the small plastic bag OPENED, that holds the Jumpers and it was missing a few of these according to the shipping Data! But there were just enough to get me on the air as needed. I will contact West Mountain about this, and I am sure they will respond and help on that subject. Basically, I want to stress is that the installation manual and QWICK SETUP sheet provided, are pretty well written and if you spend just a little time reading...THEN "FOLLOW STEP BY STEP" it will walk you through it step by step, with a breeze. I loaded DIGIPAN from their CD all provided and found myself PSK31 on the air, in about an hour. I'm using an upgraded PC from Mellinium HP - PC to XP Home software, and I really had no problems with my machine again, by following setup manual either. Of course YES... I am a newbie on PSK31...coming from the days of the Older Kantronics TNC's but this RIGBLASTER-PRO is the way to go for me, again following the setup manual for my radio for signal input settings on the soundcard and so forth, and "Well alright IT WORKS" sure there are some fine tuning and feel for input adjustment to learn but all and all I would give West Mountain credit for a fine Crafted HAM TOY. More to come later as I use the snot out of this Fun Critter. God Bless You and your Family and 73...DE N5JFJ
KE4EX Rating: 2/5 Apr 20, 2006 20:17 Send this review to a friend
Would not buy again  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The West Mountain Rigblaster pro is not all it's cracked up to be. The mic connector was cocked sideways. One screw missing from the case, found it in the packaging. The first chapter, they tell you you donot need the unit to receive data, well hell I knew that. If West mountain was worth a grain of salt why couldn't they write a simple program to preform the funtions of the unit. Additionally, you really need to dig, dig into the manual to get information.
A call to the company, I get a half smart butt on the phone, I am very dissapointed.....
Oh, I have it working, and it is doing what I want. No thaks to the West Mountain company.
Would I reccomend the unit or purchase another? NO...
WV1K Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2006 16:53 Send this review to a friend
Easy  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used a NoMic for awhile then, convinced, switched to the Pro. It's a fine product and sits nicely atop my radio.

I have had no negative issues with it. Hookup was smooth, although you must be a step by step reader. Don't rush.

A couple of specific questions brought emailed answers in 24 hours.

I quickly started adding to my RTTY totals, and also enjoyed some automatic CW through N1MM Logger and some keyboard CW. My RTTY software is MMTTY. N1MM also provides a slick PSK31 interface. The software is free with untold users.

I use it in FSK to take advantage of the radios filters.
AC0DV Rating: 4/5 Jan 21, 2006 23:15 Send this review to a friend
Not bad... not great.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought the PRO unit because it had the rig control in it. And Microphone EQ. And plugs to use a cheapo headset.

It works... especially HAMSCOPE. (It works VERY well with Ham Radio Deluxe.) Although it's an effort to find and tune in good signals to try stuff with... that'll take experience and practise.

I can't get it to RECORD anything yet... could be me. (BTW I'm a computer programmer and have been using home computers since 1976... so I should have SOME success...I'm not a novice on computers... although I admit I've not really done multimedia stuff a lot... so time will tell.)

In addition I haven't been able to get the Microphone to do EQ with the "process" switch yet either... so I'm still working on that. (Could be the shareware/freeware software etc... I'm looking for better audio manipulation software.)

NOTE: I don't like the way plugging in a headphone doesn't turn off the external radio speaker if you use it. I ended up unplugging that.. and just using the computer speakers... the computer is always on when I'm on the radio anyway.

Also -- the "level set" knob doesn't appear to have a lot of effect... mostly I just use the radio volume control until the "level" light comes on.

All in all... I like it. It'll take a lot more work and experience to figure it all out. I've tried unplugging everything and starting from the beginning... but no luck yet. I'll do it again.. and maybe plug it into the radio audio in a different manner.. although that has nothing to do with the soundcard.

(I had planned on perhaps getting a fancier/newer soundcard after I got it working nicely.. I might have to do that to get some better audio manipulation software... I'll look around...)

I'd buy it again... although it should be only about $175.00-$200.00 not $250.00
K3GIL Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2005 04:45 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Piece of Equipment  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After getting back on the HF bands I wanted to go digital, especially PSK31. I decided to go first class and bought a Rigblaster Pro. All I can say is the this piece of equipment is very professionally made, West Mountain provides great customer service and I am very pleased how the RB Pro runs with my Icom 706MK2G.

Lots of fun from an excellent product . . .Gil
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