Radio/PC Interfaces: Everything You Need to Know

There are many brands of interface available to connect a PC to a ham radio transceiver. Often home-brew interfaces are used. They all do essentially the same thing.

They key the radio to transmit, pass a signal based on the mode of operation from the PC to the radio, then un-key to go back into receive mode.

Some automatically bypass the microphone

Sites about soundcard interfacing

Manufacturers

  • Digimaster from ZLP Electronics. A variety of interfaces and connecting cables are available.
  • PCInterfaces In both kit and pre-constructed form.
  • Microkeyer USB interface from Microham. Other models are available.
  • SignaLink from Tigertronics. Two models available, one that used the computer soundcard and DB9 connection, the second has a built in soundcard and connects via USB
  • Rascal GLX from Bux CommCo. Available in kit or constructed form. A variety of cable options are also available from the site.
  • Rigblaster from West Mountain Radio. Has interface models with both USB and RS232 DB9 connections. Includes inbuilt rig control capability.
  • RigExpert USB interfaces and MixW software.
  • VA3TO linking interface. Operates under EchoLink software and doubles as a soundcard interface for various digital modes.

Home Brewing

Interfaces can be fairly simple and thus are easily home-brewed. Here are 2 schematics. The first one is for PCs with a serial port being used for PTT, the second one for an Asus Eee netbook. It uses a VOX circuit for PTT.

Tips for using interfaces

Using the signaling USB with and ACER Aspire ONE for WSPR and MMSSTV / MMVARI File:Signalink.pdf

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