Not a clue so I'm asking about digital modes.

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by KC2RDC, Apr 25, 2012.

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  1. KC2RDC

    KC2RDC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello to all on the forum,I have been thinking about doing some digital stuff on my Ic746,I have talked to few guys that do it and I'm am interested in giving it a try,I would like some ideas on a setup to buy without trying a bunch of different gear,I would like to be able to do HF/VHF,just wondering what people are using with there 746 non pros,I have a laptop that is running XP and has only USB ports,I have several hf antennas and a beam set up horizontal and a omni for 2 meters,I guess I'm looking for a plug+play setup,any info would be great,thanks and 73.

    Chris KC2RDC
  2. N7SMI

    N7SMI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Signalink USB. Buy it, plug it in, and you won't ever look back.
  3. N1KAM

    N1KAM QRZ Member QRZ Page


    youtube K7AGE psk

    and watch his great videos on how to get started in this mode.

    GL and 73,

    Owen KJ4YAC
  4. KF6ABU

    KF6ABU Ham Member QRZ Page

    to start out with you can just put a speaker from the rig next to your computers mic, or use a line in, and a line out to your mic, and use VOX to trigger it. Thats about the easiest way to get started and costs next to nothing.
  5. AC8KR

    AC8KR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Agreed. Having loads of fun with my Signalink and JT65.
  6. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    ... and you will have a TERRIBLE signal
  7. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Be prepared for RFI and have some ferrite rings and clips handy. Sometimes you do, sometimes not, and don't forget to adjust the 746 for no ALC showing, can be tricky but try again, ad don't use more than 25 watts. Remember 25 watts on your power meter is actually 50 watts
  8. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    RFI shouldn't be an issue, but it doesn't hurt to take precautions.

    I use an older RIGblaster plus with my IC746 non-pro. I take the receive audio off the aux output in the back. PTT and transmit audio are handled through the front panel mick connector, and the RIGBlaster provides an input for your microphone. I think the Signalink might be a better idea, and the RigBlaster folks also have a similar unit now. The Rigblaster really doesn't do much on receive - in fact it does nothing in my setup. It's a direct connection from the aux audio out (NOT the speaker) to the mic input on the computer. Once you have that working, you can move forward with transmitting. If you are using the mic jack on the front of the radio, you could use VOX to key the rig. That's basically what SIgnalink does, anyway, and it avoids conflicts with USB to Serial junk.

    I have several different software programs that I like to use. FLDIGI is what I use most often, but Ham Radio Deluxe and others work well. I am not using the CAT interface right now, but it works fine.

    If you are going to use a USB to Serial adapter, shop around and find those based on the FTDI chip. I've had nothing but grief lately with anything that calls itself Prolific. Ever since upgrading my #1 ham radio computer to the latest fixpack for WIn 7, it won't recognize Prolifics. I had the same problem on another Win 7 machine, and removing the update eliminated the problem. But, on the one computer, I have had no joy getting Prolific to work , with or without the Windows update. I've tried all the many different drivers out there, and no joy. FTDI chipset devices work perfectly on all of my computers, no hassle. It just takes longer to find the FTDI based units. Prolific blames it on countefeit chips. Since this problem exists with so many Prolifics, I guess they are all counterfeit.

    Anyway, the 746 does a good job on digi modes. Another hint - turn OFF the AGC and use the RF Gain control. It will help a great deal!
  9. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also use a SignaLink USB. I really like it. I replaced a RigBlaster Plus with it.
    The SignaLink USB is very easy to set up and get running. The instructions are very well put together.
    The built in soundcard is a great way to go and makes setup easy.
    It takes power from the USB port so no wall wort and one less cable.
    There is just one cable from your rig and the USB cable.

    Fldigi is a very good piece of software for digital modes and is a free download.
  10. WC5B

    WC5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love the new Rigblaster Advantage also that was created to compete with the SignaLink USB directly. Its about the same cost but has a few features that is really nice compared to the SignaLink. Both would be great options.
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