Which CAT / audio interface should I buy for Linux + FT-818ND?

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by M0XTE, Oct 9, 2018 at 10:25 PM.

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  1. M0XTE

    M0XTE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looking at CAT/audio interfaces for my FT-818ND so I can op FT8 / WSPR with it with WSJT-X on Linux (xubuntu). Looked at the following and have come up with the following conclusions...

    Yaesu SCU-17: windows only, have to buy an expensive cable as well. Straight up nope.

    Signalink USB: works on Linux, seems reasonable. Lots of people complaining about them dropping dead. I suspect that might be misuse, grounding issues etc at high power levels however.

    DigiMasterPro+: works on Linux, seems reasonable. Unless something goes wrong. Cheaper than Signalink. Lots of people complain about cruddy support but I suspect that might be "user issues"

    Toss up between Signalink and DigiMaster.

    Would anyone care to comment or nudge me in the right direction. Headaches are what I would like to avoid if possible :)
     
  2. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You may just be over thinking the issue. I don't see why any of them would not work. It may be that the software advertised for the SCU-17 is for Windows only. But if you don't use that software, what's the problem?

    The CAT interface is just a signal level conversion from USB/RS-232 on the computer, to TTL at the radio. The OS just sees it as a serial port. If you get the permissions right and the proper files modified on the Linux box, they should all work. And there are plenty of Linux users around to help you get it going.

    The audio interface is also simple. The units that you mention, provide some isolation and level control. The Linux box only has to provide a good audio driver.

    There is always going to be good and bad things said about any piece of hardware. So just pick one and put it to work. There will be more work getting the software operational than the hardware.

    I don't deal with the modes you listed, but for other digital mode use, I made my own interface. The CAT (CI-V for Icom users) consists of 4 transistors and a couple of resistors and capacitors. It interfaces directly with a serial port. I have used it with a USB to Serial Port converter cable also. The audio part is just shielded audio cable. I handle level control on the PC. I have used this interface on both Windows and Linux. I didn't care for Linux, but to each his own.
     
  3. KA7O

    KA7O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fedora 28, Kenwood TS-2000, SignaLinkUSB has been a rockstar for me. It "Just Works"(tm). Hamlib via RS-232 for rig control does that bit quite handily.
     
  4. M0XTE

    M0XTE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks both for the replies.

    I bought a Signalink USB in the end. Decided I don't need CAT for what I do to start with and I can add it later. I will make my own lead up as K7MEM suggested.

    To note, I found a picture of the board inside the DigiMaster Pro and ran a mile. No solder mask. Seems very low quality.
     

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