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Reviews Categories | Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet | RigExpert Tiny Help


Reviews Summary for RigExpert Tiny
RigExpert Tiny Reviews: 11 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $115.
Description: Developed by the MixW team, the RigExpert Tiny is a revolutionary new sound card to transceiver interface. Combining complete functionality, simplicity of use, excellent design and low price, the RigExpert Tiny is perfect for all digital modes and CW/Phone. Models built for different transceivers like the Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood and Ten-Tec are now available.

In addition to a year of full warranty we offer our customers a 30-day money back guarantee (100% refund), if you don't like the product.

Product is in production.
More info: http://www.rigexpert.net/main.html
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N7NRA Rating: 5/5 Aug 3, 2005 22:20 Send this review to a friend
RigExpert Tiny works well, MixW software setup poorly docmented  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased the RigExpert Tiny interface along with the MixW V2.15 software from W3GWW in Maryland. Unit was shipped USPS Priority (2-3 day, my preferred method. I expected UPS.) and it arrived in 2 days. Excellent service.
I also bought the ProLog2K logging software from its vendor. It is supposed to interface with the MixW digital mode software and give me some control over my rig from the computer and is also supposed to extract the frequency and mode form the radio for automatic input into the log.
I had bought a computer at a hamfest about a year and a half ago for the ham shack I'm building. It's not the latest & greeatest, but is more than adequate for the job requirements, i.e. logging, digital and internet access. It's an HP Pentium III, 500 MHz, 256M ram and 60M HD. I spent many hours replacing the OS from MS-ME to MS-XP and installing all my usual convenience software - maps, office applications, logging sw and the MixW multi-mode digital software, plus the RigExpert Tiny drivers.
As far as the hardware drivers go, the documentation was adequate. Follow the directions carefully and everything will be ready to work with your digital and logging software. No hassles here.
The problem was with the MixW software documentation. I spent hours trying different settings. It was relatively easy to luck onto the right combo for receive, but setting up transmit to work was another story.
I finally came to the realization that the aftermarket sound card in my second-hand computer wasn't outputting any sound. After reinstalling the drivers the sound card came to life, but the MixW settings still didn't send them to the radio. After several more tries at various configuration settings I finally got it working.
My biggest complaint is that W3GWW doesn't answer his e-mail and his hours for phone support severely conflict with my working hours here in Arizona. Fortunately, I work for Intel and am fairly computer literate. I also have access to people who are experienced computer techs, an advantage not had by all. In addition, I have a background as a technician in various electro/mechanical disciplines and am usually able to use logical methods to trace down a problem who's answer isn't readily apparent. Othewise I'd have to take time off work to phone Glenn, W3GWW, for help.
Having finally made my first PSK contacts (first being Argentinean DX) I can give the RigExpert Tiny hardware and associated drivers a hearty thumbs up. They install and work great!
Both the MixW and the ProLog2K softwares read and write to/from the radio to track freq and mode. When I log a digital contact in MixW and save it, it's automatically transferred to ProLog2K which tracks my award progress for just about any award you can think of. Very convenient. The folks who sell ProLog2K also offer a computer-radio interface, but with the RigExpert Tiny, it's not needed. The Tiny plugs into a USB port, freeing your RS232 serial port for other purposes, and also connects to the sound card for the digital modes. The other end connects to (for my Icom 706 Mk II g) the CI-V remote (computer control) jack, the keyer socket for CW and to the accessory port (13 pin) for audio I/O for digital modes. Everything you need for computer-radio interface is included in the RigExpert Tiny device. Cables are adequately long for a table mounted radio and a floor mounted computer with a couple of feet of cable to spare. In fact, if you're going to use it with a desk-mounted laptop computer on the same tabletop as your radio, you're going to have to bundle up some of the cables. They're plenty long. The audio plugs are gold-plated metal with gold plated metal shells and the strain reliefs on the audio plugs that go to the sound card are, in my opinion, better than the moulded-on ones on most cheap plastic 3.5mm stereo plugs. So far I haven't encountered any RF coupling to the device or computer, so I assume that everything is shielded and decoupled as advertised.
I don't know why no one else has rated this hardware, but I'm happy to be the first and to give it high marks. The only reason I could fault it is if I was carrying a radio from one computer to another and had to adjust the sound card settings for each computer. While that might be a bit inconvenient, I don't consider it a barrier. For my setup, with one radio and one computer, it meets expectations and requirements with ease.
Regards,
Stew
N7NRA
 
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