Nibbling on the Timewave Navigator

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by WA6MHZ, Mar 9, 2014.

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  1. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Pat -

    Regarding the Tigertronics SignaLink USB (photo below).
    Sampling Size/Rate: 16 Bits, All standard rates are supported up to 48 kHz (same for all 3)

    The SignaLink design is circa 2006 (silkscreen) and uses a 28-pin USB Audio CODEC (don't know which chip# yet).
    The 14-pin IC should be a PIC (also used on SignaLink SL-1+, circa 2003)
    Want to open up the enclosure and read the IC part numbers being used?

    There are a number of comments on the Internet, regarding modifications of its component selection,
    to improve overall RTTY performance.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  2. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Based on Tigertronics Support FAQ, they never intend SignaLink to support FSK.

    Does the SignaLink USB support FSK?
    None of our SignaLink products support FSK operation.
    However, except among a small group of "FSK purists", this is not an issue because FSK is no longer the preferred method of operating RTTY. FSK used to be preferred because radios we're not very linear in operation on Transmit, and the only way to access your "good" RTTY filter was with the radio set to the RTTY mode.

    Today's modern radios provide excellent AFSK performance in both Transmit and Receive, and most provide complete control over all filtering, so you can still select the "good" RTTY filter while in a digital AFSK mode.
    AFSK is also preferred over FSK because every other modern digital mode (PSK31, MT63, SSTV, etc.) uses AFSK, and on most radios, switching to FSK would require a completely different cable connection.
    Here is an Advantage of Timewave Navigator (all CAT); Yaesu SCU-17 (Yaesu CAT) and RigExpert TI-5 (all CAT),
    over the SignaLink USB.

    Can I use the SignaLink USB to control my radio, or will I need a separate CAT interface?
    The SignaLink USB is a sound card interface that provides the necessary hardware to operate all sound card digital and voice modes, but it does NOT provide the "CAT" (Computer Assisted Tuning) hardware needed to control the radio.
    If you want to control your radio (tuning, band/mode selection, etc.), then you will need a separate CAT interface.

    We suggest checking your radio manual for the radio manufacturer's CAT interface part number (CI-V, CT-x, etc.).
    If you do not want to purchase a CAT interface from the radio manufacturer (these are usually more expensive), then we suggest searching the internet for a compatible unit.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  3. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wonder where they got their information to back up this outrageous claim? I have not seen or read anything that backs this up. Ask Don AA5AU, one of the worlds foremost RTTY contesting experts, which method he uses.

    Was??? I don't know about other brands, but this is still the case with Icom. If AFSK was the most preferred method of using RTTY, then why do all their HF radios have advanced RTTY functions and filtering such as Twin Peak Filtering in RTTY mode?

    What a load of crap! One transmits RTTY in either AFSK or FSK. There is no such thing as receiving in one mode or the other. All receiving is done at the audio level.

    So what? I have a "real" DB9 serial port on my PC and the "completely different cable connection" only cost me a few dollars to build out of junk box parts. Even if you don't have a serial port, you can also use a USB-to-serial converter.

    The bottom line is that the capabilities of your radio and the software you use are far more important factors in receiving RTTY than the soundcard interface. Even though different brands and models may have certain bells and whistles, at the end of the day all the soundcard interface does is take the audio from your radio and sends it to the computer where the "heavy lifting" of processing that audio is done.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  4. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    For the record, Pat WA6MHZ is trying to make an informed purchase for his RTTY operations.
    He already owns the SignaLnk USB.

    As Scott NØIU noted, those statements about AFSK (for RTTY) were made by Tigertronics Support.
    The AFSK/FSK statements in their FAQ are a bit arrogant, and demonstrate
    a lack of respect, historical context, and technical foundation.
    When you don't have that functionality (FSK) in your product, BUT your competitors DO --
    it appears that attacks are the defense for that short-coming.

    The Tigertronics USB design, released in 2006 per PCB silkscreen, is now getting old and really could use a refresh.
    West Mountain Radio Rig Blasters had this same issue, and recently released some new designs.
    John Olson, WA6IKO founder of Tigertronics designed and sold the BayPac BP-2M Multimode Modem in 1990s.

    The majority of new radio amateurs (past 15 years) can not differentiate between remote computer control (CAT, CI-V) of the radio and digital modes by processing the radio's audio through a computer DSP chip or Audio CODEC.

    A single interface box (radio/computer Magic Box) is what typical radio amateur,
    using MixW, Ham Radio Deluxe, or FiDigi applications, desire today.

    That hardware is available today by Yaesu (SCU-17), Timewave (Navigator), and RigExpert (Standard, TI-5).
    The last two products were available in 2006, but more expensive that SignaLink or various sound-card interfaces.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
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