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


Reviews Summary for West Mountain Rigblaster Duo
West Mountain Rigblaster Duo Reviews: 9 Average rating: 3.4/5 MSRP: $300
Description: Digital mode interface
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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You can write your own review of the West Mountain Rigblaster Duo.

K0AZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 29, 2011 07:33 Send this review to a friend
2 years and still smiling.  Time owned: more than 12 months
First you need to make sure the DUO is what you want/need. I have had mine a couple years with no
problems. The station is a IC756PROIII and FT847.
I am using a WMR speaker set into the DUO for both rigs. Works great. Also using a Heil PR781 mike on Heil's boom. Both rigs work fine with this mike set up. I run SSB, CW, RTTY FSK, JT65
suite plus JT65HF and a little PSK. If you follow
the instructions you should have a smooth set up with much fewer cables than before. Customer Svc from WMR is excellent in my opinion. Had to get help on figuring out what I missed on setting up for FSK. The computer, and rig audio is set and forget basically and using the RX and TX level on the Duo covers all the bases for me. I like the product and after two years would be lost without it. You must first know that a DUO is what you want/need. It is not for everyone. Second you must read the manul. Third you must read the manual.
 
W6LAX Rating: 4/5 Sep 24, 2011 17:33 Send this review to a friend
Works well  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've run the Duo for nine months now with no problems; the unit does exactly what they advertise. My primary disappointment is that I had assumed that "station integration" would include being able to switch my cw key between two rigs, but it turns out that that would require the purchase of an optional add-on unit. For a cw operator, this is a major design short fall that West Mountain could have avoided with minimal cost. Also, in my station configuration in order to keep the Duo away from RF sources as they suggest required the purchase of two additional mic cables; I think they should provide more than 3' mic cables. Except for the cw limitation I would give this a 5.
 
WA2TGE Rating: 4/5 Mar 11, 2011 17:12 Send this review to a friend
Good idea  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The unit when functioning as advertised (and it does in spite of the negative reviews on this forum)it is a great piece of equipment. My experience indicates it worked flawlessly for several months. Lately, the unit has begun to add audio to psk31 data streams and the phone and Rx volume controls seem to have developed levels beneath which no audio is sent over the lines. Since the Duo is wired into two radios, it is a real pain to take out for the return trip to WMR for repairs. I suppose the cables will have to be returned also as the symptoms may indicate a loose ground. There is also the possibility of heat as one of the culprits. I know of no other product that does what the Duo does so I can't offer a comparison. Will add to review after the return is back from WMR
 
AB3FH Rating: 4/5 Jan 2, 2011 07:29 Send this review to a friend
Good Unit  Time owned: more than 12 months
As a followup to my earlier review I would just like to caution that hooking up an older rig using negative voltage keying is a problem. The computer keying output will not drve an older rig using neg voltage keying. You must provide an external isolation device such as the HamGadget UKA-2. This is the same problem for FSK output and teh West Mountain CW switch sold separately. WMR should provide isolated outputs in my opinion. Otherwise my review stays the same. Unit works reliably. I do though now have the DUO and the optional CW switch to tie my keying into two radios and an external isoaltion box. Not sure what I have saved in number of wires!
 
W2JAZ Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2010 10:27 Send this review to a friend
Now Mac & Windows Friendly  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Earlier I had placed a negative review, followed by a revised somewhat more positive review. For some reason both of these seem to no longer be posted. I can now report that after receiving exceptional support from a ham friend who worked directly with the support team at West Mountain Radio, the Duo works very well! Not only does it now recognize Mac Leopard & Snow Leopard OS systems with the drivers WMR provides, but I also have it running on my Mac under Windows XP via Parallels. Now I have access to a range of software apps on both platforms and seamlessly can control my Kenwood TS-480 and Yaesu FT-847 using only one MD-1 desk mic. I'm also using a Keyspan 1-USB to 4 serial ports interface that gives me everything I need. Thanks to WMR for working through the issues and ultimately creating a very versatile and cross platform compatible box! BRAVO!
 
VE6WQ Rating: 1/5 Dec 15, 2009 12:49 Send this review to a friend
Lots of problems  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this about 2 months ago from WMR and have been very disappointed with the quality. It is connected to an ICOM 756proII and 756ProIII. Connecting the unit with the instructions provided was quite simple.
Problems I have encountered:
1) the CW-A plug fell into the unit and does not work. Only CW-B works
2) the Radio A audio input does not work. WMR suggested maybe a loose connector. I have been using a splitter to get A and B audio but sort of defeats the purpose.
3) the on/off switch is always on unless I disconnect the power source
4) Com A works fine for CW but after weeks of fiddling I cannot get Com B to work with FSK and MMTTY EXTFSK. I am using a WMR supplied interface cable. AFSK works fine
5) I am getting RF into the computer via the cables that connect the soundcard to the Duo. A bunch of ferrites have not helped.
I had a Rigblaster Plus for several years and it worked great. Too bad I gave it away.
 
K8JAM Rating: 1/5 Mar 5, 2009 11:00 Send this review to a friend
Poor performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I owned plus model and upgraded to duo.
In RTTY mode, plus model used to works very well in my shack but duo model internal relay for ptt sticks and I have to restart the Duo to get it work again. So disconnected duo and reconnected plus back to my radio.

May be I had high expection about this model.,
 
KB5PQL Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2009 20:45 Send this review to a friend
Opened up a new world for me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This little box is alot of fun! I love receiving the digital modes and switching the various sources through my computer speakers. At first, I thought the computer speakers were not going to sound good. I was sooo wrong! I have a pair of monsoon flat panel speakers with a subwoofer and the station sounds better than it ever has before! I can still listen to music in stereo from my speakers while listening to HF and 2meters! wonderful! :) The software programs included with this Rigblaster Duo are great but i've only tried a few of them! Great stuff! I am very happy with this setup! For me, everything has worked well. The setup is easy. The jumpers close to the mic connector are wired according to the mic you will use. The jumpers that parallel left and right are for the radios you will be using. I wired these two for 2 Icoms. An Icom 735 and an Icom IC-746. Wired control for both radios are via Ham Radio Deluxe. You have to use 2 cables with one 1/8th stereo plug and a mono plug to the other end. I used 2 of the supplied cables that came with the rigblaster and bought a stereo to mono adapter. Works great! Have fun! :)
 
K9WJL Rating: 2/5 Feb 3, 2009 15:23 Send this review to a friend
Save your money!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was fortunate to receive one of these for Xmas this year.
Configuration of the unit was straightfoward and the manual was well written, but I couldn't get either CI-V port to connect to my radios, an IC 756 Pro III and a 746 Pro. After taking the unit apart, I found the 1/8" jack "port A" for the CI-V cable cold soldered to the board, and hanging on by a thread. Not wanting to wait for the return process from AES, I soldered it on myself.
It still didn't work, so I checked the Trouble shooting section of the manual and they describe a CI-V cable that needs to be fabricated, stereo plug on one end and mono on the other, but their description of this cable leaves alot to be desired, and I was unable to make one from the description. A schematic would be nice here, I can make cables all day long if I know where to solder the wires! So I spent another $20 for cables from AES, and I'll be damned, the thing works... Sort of.
HRD picked up my rigs no prob now, but dosen't allow keying from PSK-31 and rig control on the same com port regardless of how its configured, so the "virtual" comport is a waste of money. To use the programs that I was used to using, I still had to run two comports from the computer. Not what I was intending to do at all here.
IIRC, WMR takes no responsibility for the software and that I understand, but I wouldn't have had the XYL get it for me if I'd known that HRD and psk-31 wouldn't work with the thing.
Also, combining audio from two rigs into a pair of computer speakers is horrible. I bought some sheilded Bose computer speakers (which have absolutely great audio on music and don't pick up every work I say into the mic but cost another $100) but I couldn't get received audio to sound right. So I go to Radioshack and buy another $40 worth of crap so I can bypass the computer speakers, and listen to the Icom speakers which to me sound a hell of alot better for radio anyway.
Lastly, The mic cables supplied with the thing are a nice touch, but the 8- pin connector probably requires about 25 lbs of force to insert and remove from the radios. How much insertion force did Icom design their mic jacks to withstand? Can I hang the radio from the mic cord?
After all that, I have the device working well, and I do like the one mike into two radios configuration, but I'll warn you right now, you'll be better off without this piece of hardware. This is the first WMR device I've purchased, and I'm sure it will be the last.
 


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