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Reviews Categories | Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet | Rascal GLX Help


Reviews Summary for Rascal GLX
Rascal GLX Reviews: 57 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $39.95
Description: Computer-to-rig interface for PSK31, SSTV, EchoLink, Packet, RTTY (FSK & AFSK), eQSO, WJST, APRS, CW, MT63, and more.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.packetradio.com/rascalmkv.htm
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K5DBX Rating: 4/5 Jun 23, 2008 06:20 Send this review to a friend
Works fine  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After purchasing a new FT-450, I chose the Rascal GLK (kit version of GLX) and assembled it myself. Good price compared to other products. This is a very strait-forward design and does work as advertised.

I only have two issues. One, the instructions could be misleading if you do not pay close attention (poor proofing of the assembly instructions), and two, the supplied parts. The capacitors were identical, and of the wrong values, and had to be replaced. While they should have supplied a .01uF (decoupler) and a .1uF or .47uF, (DC isolation) they supplied two .0068uF. The transformers were of marginal quality.

If a person pays close attention to how their rig is designed to work, and understand that line level is not mic level to their PC (mV vs. uV), then you should have no issues with this simple device.
 
WB6I Rating: 1/5 Jun 7, 2008 18:35 Send this review to a friend
Couldn't get it to transmit  Time owned: more than 12 months
My Rascal received on PSK31 but never could get it to transmit with my FT-817 running HRD and DM-780. After spending several hours trying to figure out the problem I gave up and ordered a SignaLink which worked first time connected.
 
KB5IAV Rating: 2/5 May 19, 2008 11:19 Send this review to a friend
Worked for 1 day  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been wanting to work with digital modes for a long time and finally got started when I bought this to interface with my Kenwood TS-140S. The first day it worked fine and I managed to make a QSO, but due to no fault of Buxcomm, it stopped working. The software stopped seeing the serial port, which was a USB to Serial adapter for my Dell laptop.

I tried another adapter, but with both adapters, I had another problem. In fact, it's the same problem reported in the W5TD review previously posted. When I key the rig, the level goes to full, even when the soundcard isn't connected. It even happened when the laptop was booted down! I think it was picking up noise from the power supply through the serial port, as it didn't happen when the PC wasn't plugged in. I emailed Buxcomm and they said if I send it back they'll check it for me and either replace it or return it, which at first I was OK with.

After seeing the other Eham reviews and finding I wasn't alone in in this, and reading another review regarding issues with USB to Serial adapters and this interface, I called in and decided to return it. They gave me no arguement and said I could have refund. but are charging me a 15% restocking fee, which I'm OK with I guess.

I'm considering trying a Signalink, which is about the same price as this interface, and won't need a serial to USB adapter. The Rascal may work for some, but didn't work for me.
 
W1KLJ Rating: 4/5 May 10, 2008 21:43 Send this review to a friend
Great for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased a microHam microKeyer about a year ago. After several days of attempting to get it to work, I finally emailed microHam's support. The answer to my problem was (basically) the USB software doesn't work with Windows Me installed on HP laptops (my configuration). The solution? 1) Keep fiddling with the settings till I find something that works or 2) buy a new computer. So the microKeyer has been gathering dust.

Then last week I came across a link to the Buxcomm Rascal. Buxcomm is having a "Dayton Special" so I ordered a serial only Rascal with an Icom 13 pin cable figuring if it doesn't work, I'm only out $40. I ordered it on Tuesday and it arrived on Friday. Friday evening, I tried to set it up and ran into problem #1 the supplied cable assumes the line in and line out jacks are located together. Not so on my laptop, the input jack is on the rear panel, the output on the front. So Saturday morning it was off to Radio Shack for an extension cable. Finally got all the connections made and ran into problem #2 just like W2ZEY, the transmitter was constantly keyed. I'm glad I followed the instructions and had the rig connected to the dummy load. I shut everything off and took a break for lunch. When I resumed, I found the problem. As soon as the computer is turned on, RTS goes high (or low, or whatever) and tells the Rascal to key the transmitter. But, if I start the computer, start the software, either WinPSK or MMTTY, then turn on the radio, everything works fine.

When I tuned into 14.070, up came problem #3 WinPSK says "Reduce audio level" constantly. Now, the manual warned about this one. The problem is the output level from the accessory jack of the rig is too high for the "mic in" on the computer. The manual says "you may need to insert some attenuation". Not even setting the Mic In slider all the way to the bottom helped. The solution? Don't use the audio from the accessory jack. I connected a cable from the rig's headphone out to the mic in and used the volume control. Success (turns out I didn't need the extension cable after all!). So, none of the problems were really the Rascal's fault they're all due to the way my 9 year old HP laptop is built.

Finally, everything was working. My first ever PSK contact was with FM5AA in Martinique. I went on to make several contacts in the US and with Germany, Belgium, Mexico, and Iceland.

My only complaint is that the manual is a bit on the thin side the bare minimum necessary to get everything going if it all works the first time.
 
VA7CPC Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2008 21:11 Send this review to a friend
Works, and works, and works . . .  Time owned: more than 12 months
My first few PSK31 contacts were in 2003, using an "air interface" -- microphones placed near loudspeakers.

I soon bought a Rascal GLX, with an IC-706 cable, and a Buxcomm USB->RS-232 converter. Much better than the "air interface"!

That Rascal was on my boat for three years down the Pacific Coast to Costa Rica. It has run the IC-706, a TS-570D, an FT-817, and an FT-450 (with appropriate cables). It has run PSK31, MFSK16, RTTY, MCW, and so on, with assorted digital-mode software.

I've never wished for anything 'better', and the Rascal has never failed me.
 
W2ZEY Rating: 2/5 Mar 29, 2008 10:25 Send this review to a friend
poor quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Rascal GLX seemed to be a good buy at first glance. Unfortunately I found its quality to be marginal at best. An example: There was a problem with the cable that was recommended for the Icom IC-706. When connected to the radio it constantly keyed the transmit - had to be disconnected to stop transmission. However, an RCI6 cable worked OK on an RCI radio. I have since replaced the GLX with a Tigertronics Signalink USB which has very good quality & knowledgeable support.
 
KB5DRJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 6, 2007 23:18 Send this review to a friend
Good gadget  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have found the Rascal GLX to be a good unit. It works the way it is supposed to. I have it connected between my Intel iMac 2.4 and my Yaesu FT-2800. Installation was straightforward and did not take much time. There are lots of good programs on the included DVD. I also have purchased the cable needed to connect my FT-817ND when it arrives. I also have a RIGblaster pro in my shack connected to my IC-718 HF rig. I'd say that the RIGblaster Pro is a better unit, but the Rascal GLX is a very good choice for the money. The quality of construction looks fine to me. There is a lot more plastic in the construction than the RIGblaster Pro - but the price is quite a bit lower. They ship the order really fast.

I have had no experience with their customer support since the unit works great right out of the box for me.
 
N4US Rating: 5/5 Nov 20, 2007 08:09 Send this review to a friend
Good Unit  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Works great with a Kenwood TS-570. Only problem is the 13 pin din plug will connect to the Kenwood Up or Down (Not Keyway Sensitive). After connecting to the Kenwood (180 degree shift) Unit works great. No Problems. 106 countries worked on RTTY in 4 months. Works well on PSK & SSTV.
 
LA9AKA Rating: 3/5 Oct 24, 2007 02:40 Send this review to a friend
O.K.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Works ok, but not the best quality parts. Would rather spend a little bit more money and get better quality.
 
W4HWB Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2007 14:30 Send this review to a friend
Worked First Try  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Worked for me the first time. All the cables I needed were included, connected everything, loaded the PSK31 software that's in Ham Radio Deluxe and pretty much worked the first try. Did have to adjust my transmit level a little but other than that, works great. Good product for the money.
 
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