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

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  1. #1

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

    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. #2

    Default

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

  3. #3

    Default

    Google:

    youtube K7AGE psk

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

    GL and 73,

    Owen KJ4YAC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,868

    Default

    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. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by N7SMI View Post
    Signalink USB. Buy it, plug it in, and you won't ever look back.
    Agreed. Having loads of fun with my Signalink and JT65.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    florida usa
    Posts
    2,306

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KF6ABU View Post
    to start out with you can just put a speaker from the rig next to your computers mic.
    ... and you will have a TERRIBLE signal

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Shropshire. England.
    Posts
    17,218

    Default

    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. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    19,940

    Default

    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!
    EchoLink, IRLP, Allstar and DSTAR linking - adding interest to repeaters worldwide 24X7

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Kilowatt Alley
    Posts
    9,893

    Default

    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.
    "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to receive."
    -Otto Watt Sept. 5 1925

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Flint, MI
    Posts
    353

    Default

    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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