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Author Topic: SignaLink USB for dummies?  (Read 20616 times)
WALTERB
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Posts: 550




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« on: May 29, 2011, 07:03:12 AM »


Ok, so I picked up a new SignaLink USB at Dayton last weekend.  I got on their website to see how to hook it up.   Lots of documentation on the jumper settings, but found very little in the way of diagrams on the wiring setup itself to the computer, radio, etc.
I bought the jumper chip and installed it.

I have a Kenwood TS-570D.  I got the Data cable for it and have it hooked into the SignaLink.  I have the USB cable into the computer.  I found some youtube videos that claim I don’t need to use the computer’s sound card because the SignaLink is its own sound card.
I have a speaker plugged into the speaker jack of the SignaLink.  (assumed that where it should go).

I downloaded MultiPSK  and I believe I have it set up corrected.  
It seems to RX and translate each mode fine.

Here are my questions:

(1) When transmitting am I suppose to set the radio to VOX and press the SEND button to TX each time I send a message on MultiPSK, or is there some other mode that allows the radio to know its time to send?  Just seems rather cumbersome.

(2) I’m not married to MultiPSK,  if there is something better, please let me know?

(3) The PTT light doesn’t seem to come on at all during what  I believe to be transmission (VOX, and SEND).  I can hear the signal (CW, PSK31, RTTY, etc.) coming out of my computer speakers,  but I don’t know if I’m actually transmitting?

(4) Should the mode on the radio match the mode I’m using? (i.e,  CW for CW,  USB for RTTY,  FSK for PSK31?)  or should it always be USB?  The reason I’m asking is that CW wouldn’t be using the Keyer jack on the back.

Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 07:09:01 AM by WALTERB » Logged
JEREMYB
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2011, 07:46:01 AM »

Sounds like you don't have multipsk setup to use the signalink for TX, that is why you hear it from your computers speakers
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WALTERB
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2011, 08:44:26 AM »

Sounds like you don't have multipsk setup to use the signalink for TX, that is why you hear it from your computers speakers

very possible.  I'll try and figure that end out now.

thanks
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W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 09:39:46 AM »

The system sees USB Signal link as another sound device. You must tell MultiPSK to use it because by default it will use one in PC. Also I want to mention that I have been using MultiPSK with a USB based sound card on a laptop connected to a Rig Blaster Plug n Play for over a year. This is basically what you are doing except you are doing with one piece of hardware that I am doing with two. Also make sure that you keep PC's sound card the default sound device for PC. When setup correctly you can do Digi and still use PC sound device for other functions. One more thing, USB Signal link should create a virtual com port. Remember number and tell MultiPSK to use it for PTT control of rig.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
AB0RE
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 10:06:59 AM »

"One more thing, USB Signal link should create a virtual com port. Remember number and tell MultiPSK to use it for PTT control of rig."

I have a SignalinkUSB and am not aware of that feature (my understanding was that the unit is VOX-based PTT).  When you plug the SignalinkUSB into your computer it auto-installs as a secondary soundcard.  I was not aware of a virtual com port also being installed.  Are you sure this is the case? (It'd be cool if it were, but I don't think it is)

73,
Dan / ab0re
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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2011, 10:31:20 AM »

"One more thing, USB Signal link should create a virtual com port. Remember number and tell MultiPSK to use it for PTT control of rig."

I have a SignalinkUSB and am not aware of that feature (my understanding was that the unit is VOX-based PTT).  When you plug the SignalinkUSB into your computer it auto-installs as a secondary soundcard.  I was not aware of a virtual com port also being installed.  Are you sure this is the case? (It'd be cool if it were, but I don't think it is)

73,
Dan / ab0re

I do not own one but I would be surprised if it does not. As I stated earlier I use a Rig Blaster PnP with a external USB sound card for same function. The PnP creates a virtual  com port too to allow for PTT control of rig. Without this virtual com port for control PTT of rig it limits Digi modes too (Like Amtor, Pactor and Packet to name a few) that VOX keying will not really work for. If USB signal link did indeed not create a virtual com port for PTT control, it would be a real good reason not to buy one.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
W6BP
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Posts: 536




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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2011, 11:07:06 AM »

"One more thing, USB Signal link should create a virtual com port. Remember number and tell MultiPSK to use it for PTT control of rig."

I have a SignalinkUSB and am not aware of that feature (my understanding was that the unit is VOX-based PTT).  When you plug the SignalinkUSB into your computer it auto-installs as a secondary soundcard.  I was not aware of a virtual com port also being installed.  Are you sure this is the case? (It'd be cool if it were, but I don't think it is)

73,
Dan / ab0re

I do not own one but I would be surprised if it does not. As I stated earlier I use a Rig Blaster PnP with a external USB sound card for same function. The PnP creates a virtual  com port too to allow for PTT control of rig. Without this virtual com port for control PTT of rig it limits Digi modes too (Like Amtor, Pactor and Packet to name a few) that VOX keying will not really work for. If USB signal link did indeed not create a virtual com port for PTT control, it would be a real good reason not to buy one.

The SignaLink USB does not create or use a virtual COM port.  As AB0RE said, it has an internal VOX that generates a PTT signal.
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NA4IT
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2011, 11:13:50 AM »

The SLUSB DOES NOT create a com port. It shows up as an extra sound card device in Windows Device Manager and Volume Controls. It DOES have a VOX type keying, but is much faster than normal VOX found on a rig. Some softwares will allow you to select port "0" for keying, in others, just select one that isn't used and it will work fine.

See also www.qsl.net/na4it and click on "Signalink USB Hints and Tips".

de NA4IT
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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2011, 03:58:33 PM »


The SignaLink USB does not create or use a virtual COM port.  As AB0RE said, it has an internal VOX that generates a PTT signal.


Thanks for clearing that up. I find that a questionable solution and good reason for me not to consider one.  I prefer full PTT control via a virtual com port.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
N0SYA
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2011, 05:02:13 AM »

Also, some feel that USB really stands for Unpredictable Serial Bus.
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If you have a clumsy child, you make them wear a helmet. If you have death prone children, you keep a few clones of them in your lab.
WALTERB
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Posts: 550




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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2011, 06:56:38 AM »

Also, some feel that USB really stands for Unpredictable Serial Bus.


its plug and pray, and always has been. 

thanks to all ,but I'm still at a loss as to how to get Multipsk to control the Signalink without pressing the VOX and SEND buttons on the radio each time I wish to go to TX mode.

Also,  it seems to work in USB/SSB mode (on the radio), but I don't see my SWR meter do anything in CW mode??
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W8JX
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2011, 07:30:48 AM »

It works via AFSK keying in SSB mode. It will not work when radio is in CW mode or FSK mode.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
WALTERB
Member

Posts: 550




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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2011, 07:54:19 AM »

It works via AFSK keying in SSB mode. It will not work when radio is in CW mode or FSK mode.

ok, thanks.  maybe it is working correctly.

I'll just have to play with it for a while and see if anyone can hear me.
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KM3K
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2011, 11:18:06 AM »

If you continue to have a problem, call SignaLink.
If I recall correctly, they are available Mon, Wed and Fri in the late afternoon.
The phone-number, days and times are in the paperwork that came with your SignaLink.
I write from personal experience that they'll stay with you on the phone until you have the system working.
73 Jerry KM3K
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WALTERB
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Posts: 550




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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2011, 12:10:18 PM »

If you continue to have a problem, call SignaLink.
If I recall correctly, they are available Mon, Wed and Fri in the late afternoon.
The phone-number, days and times are in the paperwork that came with your SignaLink.
I write from personal experience that they'll stay with you on the phone until you have the system working.
73 Jerry KM3K

thanks.  It maybe working for all I know.  I'll just have to play with it for a while and see if  I get a response.

I would like the software to control the radio without having to hit the SEND button each time I TX a message. I don't know if that is possible with this model radio (Kenwood TS-570D).

thanks
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