[aprssig] Re: VOX to key up soundmodem?

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Thu Apr 14 17:40:30 EDT 2005

Message: 4
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 14:50:19 -0700
From: "Scott Miller" <scott at opentrac.org>
Subject: Re: [aprssig] Re:  VOX to key up soundmodem?
To: "TAPR APRS Mailing List" <aprssig at lists.tapr.org>
	<005b01c54072$c9546d50$eacd0184 at vandenberg.afspc.ds.af.mil>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="iso-8859-1"

 > yeah but, a TNC-X goes for $45.  The only reason I would want to do
 > sound card is to do packet on the cheap.

Well, the real power in soundcard-based modes is flexibility.  You can run
all sorts of different modes with the same hardware.

I just can't believe how expensive these Rigblasters and things are. $105
for the standard model?  For some audio isolation and connectors in a pretty
box?  $290 for the 'pro' model.

For that price, I'd expect a peripheral that actually contained a USB
soundcard chipset of its own, and drivers to avoid having to use the PC's
existing serial ports.


I think there IS a USB rigblaster available now (or soon)...

The advantage of buying the expensive box (I have one, and think it was a 
worthwhile investment) is that

a) It has ALL the cables you're going to need... no running out to RS to 
get that funky miniphoneplug to RCA adapter.  If you have a good junkbox 
full of cables, or don't mind spending some time soldering, this advantage 
won't be so useful.

b) It has documentation on how to configure the internal jumpers for just 
about any radio you care to name.  No trying to decipher in and out, signal 
levels, etc....

Again, if you have plenty of time, you can find all this information on the 
web and in the owner's manuals.

c) It consolidates all the switches and pots and stuff into one place, and 
I didn't have to drill any holes, fabricate labels, make chassis, 
etc.  Personally, I was tired of having numerous customized adapter cables 
with warts in the middle or parts soldered inside DB25 backshells, etc.

To each his own though... When I was younger, I derived great pleasure from 
soldering cables up and so forth.  Now, I'm more than happy to spend 
disposable income on premade cables, and spend my time on something else 
more pleasant.

I do wish, though, that someone would sell a good USB audio interface that 
also had an integrated serial port and some parallel in and out bits with 
relays.  Maybe that's what the new USB rigblaster is?

Another USB device that I'm looking at is a MIDI control surface.  Audio 
interfaces, big knobs and sliders with nice feel, and some displays.

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