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Reviews Categories | Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet | West Mountain Radio Plug-n-Play Help


Reviews Summary for West Mountain Radio Plug-n-Play
West Mountain Radio Plug-n-Play Reviews: 42 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $MSRP $99.95 + shipping
Description: Built-in USB interface provides rig control, CW keying plus carrier detect for Echolink operations. The plug & play works only with a radio's data or aux jacks, not a mic jack and may be orered for your particular radio.
Product is in production.
More info: http://westmountainradio.com
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W6CJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2010 10:31 Send this review to a friend
The Best and Simplest Sound Card Interface  Time owned: more than 12 months
The WMR Plug-n-Play is the best, and easiest to use of soundcard interfaces.

I'm involved in public safety, EOC, emergency, MARS and military communications: Things have to be simple, repeatable and practical. What I don't need (and have already tried) are large, complicated soundcard interfaces... too much possibility of failure because of volume controls, switches, etc.

The WMR Plug-n-Play is small and simple. You install the drivers on your computer(s) first.
Next, you plug and play.

Make sure the P&P will work with your model of radio before you buy.

A word about using the rear accessory connectors on a radio, versus connecting to the mike and speaker jacks: Using the WMR P&P (or other soundcard interface or TNC) with the radio accessories jack is the way to go. The audio levels there are constant. You can leave these connected and still use your mike and speaker. You can turn the volume down while operating digital.

I've been using my WMR P&P for over a year, with MIXW and many other freebie soundcard comm programs.

I also recommend WMRs line of emergency power accessories.

 
AE5JU Rating: 5/5 Oct 5, 2009 18:37 Send this review to a friend
Works great.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought the Riglaster Plug & Play used, and though it came with a CD, I chose to download drivers for Vista 32 directly from the West Mountain Radio site. Drivers, manual, and other information was easily found on their website.

The website's chart for obtaining the proper cables and adapters for using the Plug & Play with various radios was easy to use and I soon had a 13-pin cable for the Icom on the way. I liked that they had clear pictures of each item.

I had a few problems getting the radio to transmit at first, all of which were ID 10 T problems, that is, user caused (me), not Rigblaster's. A more careful reading of the Ham Radio Deluxe / Digital Master 780 instructions had it configured properly and connected to HRD, and then working just fine. I was on the air quickly with an Icom 718, and making QSO's.

Good product!
 
K3GM Rating: 5/5 Sep 23, 2009 18:59 Send this review to a friend
Out of the box and on the air in 30 minutes...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This little gem was on my doorstep less that 24 hours after ordering it. Setup was simple. I connected it to my Toshiba netbook which was online, it went out loaded the drivers automatically, and I was ready for my first QSO in under 30 minutes. Its diminutive size, and the fact that it's powered by the PC makes it ideal for how I intended to use it; mobile PSK31. Good, responsive customer service too.
 
W8NET Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2009 18:50 Send this review to a friend
Fine value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The key here is to actually READ WHAT THE DEVICE IS SUPPOSED TO DO. If you do that, read the instructions, use common sense and run your operation properly, this is a fine value for the price.

I use the PnP with my Yaesu FT-897 for RTTY, CW and PSK, and I will liklely experiment more with it. It operates as described, works well with HRD and DM780, and has provided me with a number of contacts already, in only a couple weeks.

I also intend to use it mobile with my FT-857D in the near future for /M CW and RTTY ops.

The device is simple, and elegant. Sometimes, the most simple of devices can provide the highest level of value. This is very much the case with the PnP.

Highly recommended FOR ANYONE WHO UNDERSTANDS WHAT THEY ARE PURCHASING!
 
KA6SGT Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2009 19:24 Send this review to a friend
Easy and flexible  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
While none of the West Mountain products have ever been inexpensive, my requirement was for a "plug 'n' play" interface for my new IC-703+ and W2K PC using both WriteLog and the HRD/DM780 software. This interface doesn't require external power supplies making it ideal for packing in a GoKit to contest anywhere from the van. The purchase from HRO included the radio-specific 13-pin ICOM compatible cable set and the CI-V cable. Within 5 minutes of unpacking, I had the West Mountain Radio Plug'n'Play interface working with both programs. Despite the fact I wasn't specifically looking for the remote control features, the CI-V cable facilitated the HDR software control features nicely making it easy to remote the transceiver without having to buy the ICOM remote head kit. All in all, this product is a great value for the money.
 
N3ZH Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2009 10:04 Send this review to a friend
The Best choice  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Rig Blaster Plug and Play works great.
I own an ICOM 746PRO radio.
The RB Plug & Play works on my Vista Home Premium SP1 computer - where I use it the most. I have also used on XP Professional and Windows 2000 Professional.

One thing to be careful about is where you get your drivers - get them from Western Mountain.

I have used it with HRD's Digital Master 780, fldigi, easypal, and Mars/ale. It works flawlessly.

Between the RBPlugNPlay and my computer I use an external USB sound card - a Behringer UCA202. Got it a samedaymusic.com. Using a separate soundcard for ham radio digital work, you won't end up transmitting windows sounds on the air. The sound levels were a bit high from this USB soundcdard, so I also went to radio shack and purchased parts to make a home-made variable attenuator for the audio.

I am so glad I didn't waste money on the Tigertronics Signalink products. Their big problem is that they use VOX to produce the PTT signal to the radio. The delay in PTT makes it totally unusable with MARS/ALE or HFlink. But, if you don't need ALE, then the Signalink has the nice variable attenuators (knobs for volume) right on the box and a built-in USB sound card.

The Rig Blaster Plug and Play can also key CW on your radio. You just need to make the simple cable. I have used this with HRD's Digital Master 780 CW mode - I can type letters and the software keys CW at the speed I specify.

When I purchaed the Rig Blaster Plug and Play, I had no idea it includes a built-in CIV interface. Just make a simple cable and it works. I found it works more reliably to set the 746pro's CIV speed to 19200 instead of "auto".
Works great with Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD). Just keep RTS OFF.

At first it wouldn't work with Airmail2000, so I contacted the author and now he has an additional ICOM CIV option (with the asterisk *) which keeps RTS off so that the CIV interface built into the RBPNP works.

So, the CIV interface works with Mars/Ale, HRD, and Airmail2000. But it won't work with Paclink nor any of the RMS software because WINLINK refuses to make the simple s/w change to allow RTS to be kept off. I know it is a simple s/w change because I have written software to control the Palstar AT-AUTO, LDG AT200PC, and several ICOM model radios - and I know it is simple.

When RTS is ON, then the RBP&P asserts PTT to the radio - and the radio starts transmitting. Pulling the RBP&P's 9 pin minidin connector off the radio stops the transmitting, and then the CIV interface works great. But who wants to keep connecting the 9pin minidin for digital work, and disconnecting it for CIV interface work. SHAME ON THE ENTIRE WINLINK TEAM FOR BEING SO RICH AND UPPITY TO INSIST PEOPLE BUY AN EXPENSIVE GENUINE ICOM CIV IN ORDER TO USE THEIR SOFTWARE.

The Radio Shack USB CIV cable has the same requirement - keep RTS off and it works great.

So, in summary: the Rig Blaster Plug and Play does digital modes great and is compatible with all software - even MARS/ALE - even the new WINMOR mode. It also can key the CW for computer aided morse code. It also has a built-in CIV interface that works with everything under the sun - except for WINLINK.ORG's software products.

It is small and compact and very reliable.

I recommend it, and I'd buy it again.
 
K0JEG Rating: 3/5 Mar 15, 2009 08:36 Send this review to a friend
Works with Linux, with issues.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
My earlier review was written running with Windows 98 (SE), and XP. Since that was written I have been running Linux (Ubuntu), and I have recently discovered FLDigi, a digi-mode program for Linux.

The good news is, I had very few problems getting the PNP to work with Lunux. But I did have a few issues:

1) It shows up as /dev/ttyUSB0, or something close to it if you have more than one USB-serial converter. This was unexpected and I wasn't able to see where anyone else had that listed as a possibility in any docs. Luckily, it didn't need any drivers to load.
2) Use Hamlib for rig control. This does work, but I had to mess around with the baudrate to find something that was reliable with my PC and the FT897d. 9600 seemed to be the most reliable.
2a) It sometimes looses frequency display and there isn't much other information. That may be due to the Hamlib configuration and Yaesu, but I haven't really perused and answer. To me it is just a minor distraction.
3) There are some issues with DTR/CTS control. Not sure why, but in some cases it lock the radio in keydown. The only way to get out was to re-initialize the interface. Since I got it for PSK31, I ended up just using VOX in digi mode. It works, but some time I may look for a fix.

Overall, I think this may be a good, not great, solution for a radio interface in Linux. Most of that is because the community can't really test every configuration out there. But even without full CAT control, it will get the basic data to and from the radio. The audio isolation is of course the same no matter who's software you're running. Would I use it for a contest, or where solid reliability was essential? No, I can't say that's the fault of the interface, either.
 
WM9V Rating: 0/5 Jan 5, 2009 05:38 Send this review to a friend
p&p dead now  Time owned: more than 12 months
i bought a rigblaster pro and a plug and play
i had to buy the stupid rs232 to usb adaptor for my puters ...folks who still uses rs232?
this is one of the stupidest concepts in amateur radio marketing ...its obvious that people who have rig control radios dont use rs232
i loved the plug and play when i first bought it.. it worked after downloading the drivers for xp but its a real hassle to install the software
it takes me two minutes to plug the cat cable into the radios and the usb to the laptop and hours to try to get the radio to talk to the hrd software... hex addresses and bit speeds
when are they ever gonna learn ?
people want plug and play... they dont want wall worts... they want wireless everything
i had to make a cable for the in terface on the back of the 746 that included a keying line for cw ..
still havent utilized 50 percent of the features in the interface ..
just cuz i wanted psk31
havent used it with packet, havent used it with satellite
why bother... throw this crap out and wait till they get their u know what together
need it for vco control on satellite
need it for packet form satellite
need it for telemetry
need it to decode everything and the way it looks now ill need it for digital broadcasting
someone here bought a 7700 and we had to show him how to use it on the air
that radi ohas a usb plug on it and he was using psk as fast as he could push the buttons
the rigblaster pro comes with get this 10 cables
i had to take the top off the interface and change all the little blocks and add wire jumpers to configure a mike for it
the box is marked for icom and and the guy at aes said no prob just plug it all together
its this crap with the incompatiblity and lack of usefullness of the products i have a problem with
 
KB3DIV Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2008 10:22 Send this review to a friend
Nice product & service!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
All I can say is the Rigblaster Plug & Play installed with ease just as the direction / manual instructed. The ordering process was flawless on the West Mountan web site.
The interface works without a hitch.
What more cound you ask for?
 
KH6DAN Rating: 3/5 Jul 28, 2008 00:16 Send this review to a friend
Not the same as the other models  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've owned the other Rigblasters. The Nomic, Plus and Pro. Ive used them all for PSK32 and EchoLink. The Plug N Play is the latest and simplest to hook up. You just need to make sure you have the right connector/adapter for your radio.
(If you do not have a serial port on your newer computer, and you think that only the Plug N Play will work, I think you may find that the other models now come with a USB connection vice a serial).

I wanted to use the Plug N play for Echolink on my FM radio. Thought it would be better. I could not get the sound output from my radio to my soundcard high enough. Even with all the sliders up. I tried it with two radios; The IC-207H and the TS-2000. There was no difference. I went back to my Plus.

The Plug N Play will get you on the air fast. It is less complex to setup. Westmountain says that most of the software is for SSB not FM. This may be the reason. I did not try the Plug N Play with SSB for PSK31, etc.
73
KH6DAN
 
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