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Author Topic: Totally frustrated...  (Read 7829 times)
WA8MEA
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« on: March 22, 2018, 11:51:09 AM »

I have tried digi a couple of times.  Each time, the advertised "plug and play" was FAR from plug and play.  It was as if the sellers of the USB radio interfaces were saying; "Here's your interface, here's your connectors, now you're on your own."  The software was old or you were told to go to Figidi.  Without much success, I resorted to tutorials on YouTube.  And where I once was receiving a few words, by the time I did all of the audio adjustments for my set-up as per Figidi and the tutorial... the waterfall was gone and I wasn't seeing a single letter, let alone words.  I was done with it.  I put the sound card settings back to default and sent the SignalLink back to the store. (Someone had recommended the SignalLink to me. Second different interface I have purchased and returned in the past five years.)

Isn't there one single manufacturer out there that sells EVERYTHING together so that it is actually "plug and play?"  I mean interface, cables, software and easy-to-understand instructions so I don't have to go to YouTube and mess everything up???

73, Bill
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VA3VF
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2018, 05:15:08 PM »

Isn't there one single manufacturer out there that sells EVERYTHING together so that it is actually "plug and play?"  I mean interface, cables, software and easy-to-understand instructions so I don't have to go to YouTube and mess everything up???

73, Bill

Yes, Signalink USB (Software is mostly free, no sale there). The only other simpler option, aside to using a transceiver with a built in soundcard, is to connect the computer soundcard in and out to the transceiver's mic and phones.

Just for testing and setup purposes, place the transceiver mic in front of the computer speaker, and the computer mic in front of the transceiver speaker.

I don't think the problem is the interface. Something else is at play.
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K0UA
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2018, 05:32:11 PM »

Please give us a rundown of what you have for rig and software and what you want to do.  I am sure we can help you.  I can give you individual help over the phone and  with teamviewer 13 if you like.  No charge. I should be free tomorrow.  Send me an email, and I will reply with my phone number.  It is all up to you, but if you want my help I will give it.  73  James K0UA
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
N9AOP
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2018, 02:30:14 PM »

Yes, please take that offer of help.  Signalink use is elementary and the device is plug and play.  You will like it once you get it up and running.
Art
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WA8MEA
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2018, 10:50:13 AM »

Hello James K0UA:

Thanks for the offer and I am going to take you up on it.

However, I have long returned the SignalLink and have actually sold the Icom 718 I used with two interfaces.

I have the itch for this new FT8 mode and thought that maybe the third time might be the charm.

Not opposed to getting a higher end interface if it makes the job easier.

I suppose the rig I would use is my Alinco SR8 since the unused Icom 725 I picked up via an estate sale is probably too old to be applied for digital communications.  I am also not opposed to buying another moderately priced rig that might mate better with interfaces.

Thanks again, Bill
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VA3VF
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2018, 11:07:37 AM »

I am also not opposed to buying another moderately priced rig that might mate better with interfaces.

Then go for an IC-7200, no interface needed.

If the budget allows, an IC-7300.
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W8VVE
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 12:37:14 PM »

I have a 7200 for sale....am using it now on FT8....works great.  Sam W8VVE  nwsam@ntelos.net
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K0UA
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2018, 01:38:37 PM »

Yes, a modern rig like the 7200 would be a good place to start.  I have the 7300 and interfacing was very easy.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
VA3VF
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2018, 02:56:09 PM »

Hello James K0UA:

Thanks for the offer and I am going to take you up on it.


Make sure you do. It's not everyday that you find a ham that is so committed to helping others out this much (phone, teamviewer).

But I blame him for some of the crowding of the FT8 segments. LOL
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K0UA
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2018, 06:16:34 PM »

Hello James K0UA:

Thanks for the offer and I am going to take you up on it.


Make sure you do. It's not everyday that you find a ham that is so committed to helping others out this much (phone, teamviewer).

But I blame him for some of the crowding of the FT8 segments. LOL

Well, I have lost count of the guys I have helped get on FT8,  I don't know if they all stayed with it or not, but at least they got a chance to see if they liked it or not. Some were very easy, just one or two little things they overlooked, some were very difficult.  It is just the luck of the draw.

 I used to be remote support for techs in the field many years ago, and I got used to trying to "see" thru the phone, and anticipate what their problems were. Not always easy, but it is challenging.  And the guys are very appreciative.   I had some "elmers" when I was just starting out, so I know how important it is.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
W5DXP
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2018, 07:06:39 PM »

... the unused Icom 725 I picked up via an estate sale is probably too old to be applied for digital communications.

I used to run PACTOR on an IC-725. I don't see any reason it wouldn't work with the modern digital modes.
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My antenna says, "What makes me happy is when the tuner is adjusted for maximum available current through my radiation resistance!" 73, Cecil, w5dxp.com
WA8MEA
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2018, 07:09:25 AM »

There in lies the quandary, Cecil.  I can go for the Icom 7200, which looks really nice.  But something I have ALWAYS done is sell one, two or three other amateur radio related items after my purchase to help offset the cost of the new rig.  That would happen in this case.  I would sell two older rigs and a VHF amp. 

So it's whether I want to get the 7200 and spend several weeks unloading other stuff before getting to the digital fun.  Or, getting something that would match up with either the Alinco SR8 or the Icom 725. 

Another quandary; HRO has the 7200's at such ridiculously low prices; $719 after rebate, it is almost irresistible!  But I have to decide before March 31st if I am going to go that route... since that's when the savings end.

Decisions... decisions...
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K0UA
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2018, 07:27:03 AM »

There in lies the quandary, Cecil.  I can go for the Icom 7200, which looks really nice.  But something I have ALWAYS done is sell one, two or three other amateur radio related items after my purchase to help offset the cost of the new rig.  That would happen in this case.  I would sell two older rigs and a VHF amp. 

So it's whether I want to get the 7200 and spend several weeks unloading other stuff before getting to the digital fun.  Or, getting something that would match up with either the Alinco SR8 or the Icom 725. 

Another quandary; HRO has the 7200's at such ridiculously low prices; $719 after rebate, it is almost irresistible!  But I have to decide before March 31st if I am going to go that route... since that's when the savings end.

Decisions... decisions...

If you want to enjoy the full experience of FT8 you will need a rig with CAT control.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
W5DXP
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2018, 10:48:35 AM »

If you want to enjoy the full experience of FT8 you will need a rig with CAT control.

Does the ICOM CI-V protocol qualify as CAT control?
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My antenna says, "What makes me happy is when the tuner is adjusted for maximum available current through my radiation resistance!" 73, Cecil, w5dxp.com
VA3VF
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Posts: 3008




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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2018, 10:56:01 AM »

If you want to enjoy the full experience of FT8 you will need a rig with CAT control.

Does the ICOM CI-V protocol qualify as CAT control?

Yes, for practical purposes...it's only a different nomenclature.
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