July 09, 2014

Going digital is easier than you think!

by KN5G - Enjoying a little JT65 on 6 Meters this morning. Once you have your computer and rig interfaced for digital modes they all work pretty easily just by switching software. JT65, BPSK, RTTY, they all use the same interface between the computer and transceiver.

I understand from talking to the HRD folks at HAM-COM, that the latest version of Ham Radio Deluxe being released right about now will support the JT65 mode along with all the others that it already supports.

The new versions of HRD cost around $100, but it is a super program if you are considering interfacing your computer to your HF rig. The older FREE version of HRD is still out there if you want to give that a try before dropping $100 on the new version.

The screen-shots here are from the WSJT-X program, which is a free download.

If you want to give the Digital Modes a try, or if you are just considering using HRD or some other software to control your rig, you will need a CAT cable to run between your computer and transceiver. This will allow the computer to talk to and control your transceiver.

To use the digital modes you will also need an Audio Interface Cable between the computer and transceiver. The audio interface cable connects your computer's sound card to the microphone or audio input of your transceiver and the speaker output of the transceiver back to the computer's sound card.

You can home brew an audio interface, purchase a kit with a couple of isolation transformers, or purchase a Signal Link interface. You can find all the info you need on the Internet, but if you hit a snag, don't hesitate to drop me an e-mail or give me a call. Sometimes talking to someone that has a system up and running cuts out a lot of research time on a new project.

Most of all, Have FUN with your Amateur Radio!