Tuesday, June 24, 2014

One step closer to going digital!

The digi setup
For some time now I have been thinking of getting back into the digi modes, I do have a setup that offers QRP power levels and a narrow bandwidth antenna which can be perfect for digi modes such as JT65 just for starters. In the past I had the Signalink USB interface but ended up selling it when my mode of choice seemed to be CW. I came across a used Signalink USB unit for a great price so I scooped it up. I am planning on setting up my Elecraft KX3 for digi operations and leaving the Elecraft K3 setup for CW. Last I wanted to make use of a Toshiba net book I have had collecting dust for some time now. The net book runs Windows 7 home addition and after loading a fresh instal of
Discovery soldered jumpers
Windows 7 on the net book it's ready to go. The used Signalink did provide a surprise once I opened it up. Inside the unit you will find some jumper wires that have to be moved around depending on the rig you are using with the interface unit. The unit I purchased was not being used with the Elecraft KX3 so some jumper swapping  was in order. To my surprise the jumper wires were soldered in place! Signalink had designed the jumper positioning as a non solder setup using a 16 pin IC socket, this way you could remove the jumpers and reconfigure just in case you changed out your rig. My plan was to see if I could remove the wires and see the damage to the IC socket. After the wires had been removed, solder sucked out and some melted plastic on the socket removed I decided to just add some fresh jumper wires. It's now time to set up the net book and get it communicating with the Elecraft KX3.
IC socket cleaned up, wires removed
 
New wires in and ready to go

6 comments:

  1. Hello Mike, it would be great to see you on digimode again. I see no use of soldering the jumper wires? The person who did it must have read the manual wrong. Anyway, I guess it's working right now. 73, Bas

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    1. Good morning Bas, I too was confused when I saw the wires soldered in place but all is well now. It's now time to download the software and get the PC talking to the KX3.
      Mike

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  2. Hi Mike, I hope to see on my screen one day with JT65 or JT9. Great modes for QRP. Good luck, 73 Paul PC4T

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    1. Good morning Paul, yes I am excited about getting on the air but this weekend I am away fishing with some work friends so it is going to have to wait for just a short time.
      Mike

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  3. I have just gotten on the digital modes myself. I skipped the Signalink and just plug my KX3 directly into my computer - seems to be working fine. I just tried JT-65 for the first time last night and made several contacts! In my location noise is a factor, but these digital modes seem well suited for noisy conditions. You can read about my operating last night here - http://www.n0hyd.com/2014/06/first-jt-65a-contacts.html

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    1. Hello Burke, very nice to hear from you and thanks for taking the time to comment on the post. I had used the Signalink in the past with my K3 and enjoyed using it. I now also have the KX3 and will use that along with a netbook for just digi work. Very nice blog and I have added you to my blog roll.
      mike

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