Things to know when setting up a digital interface to your radio and computer.
1. What version of the Windows operating system are you using?
2. Is the soundcard in the computer at least a 16 bit card?
3. Does your computer have a serial port, or do you need a USB to Serial Adapter?
4. If you need the USB/Serial adapter, have you installed the drivers? They are a positive MUST! They should be on a small CD in the adapter package.
5. Digi modes software setup. You need to set the software to key the rig via the serial RTS line. NOT DTR! That is usually used for keying a CW interface. Also you need to make sure that the port you choose is available.... usually, but not always, Com1 or Com2 will be valid.
6. You will need to use "Left Channel" audio for normal digi modes if your computer allows you to set this.
7. Read the instructions that come with the interface... You will need to connect the receive audio to "line in" or "mic" for receive audio, and for the transmit audio you need to use "line out" or "Spkr" of the soundcard.
8. Next..... with your lines connected, and your rig turned on, tune it to a popular digital frequency..... Do you see any yellow lines going down the screen? There may also be a small amount of yellow "snow" also... click your mouse on one of the lines, and you should see print. If the lines are weak, you may need to turn up your receive audio level a small amount on the soundcard. If there is a lot of heavy yellow "snow", you need to back down the audio a bit. This gets much easier with experience.
9. Next, keep your power level set down to where you will achieve between 15 and 25 watts.... NO HIGHER, or you can fry your finals. Digi modes are a "Key Down" situation! If you have a high SWR, that can cause scads of problems, so tune that antenna well. Ok, with the power set, key the software, and quickly adjust the transmit audio of the soundcard to where you achieve your power setting, with only small blips of ALC. Lots of ALC makes for a wide and dirty signal, and is a good way to make QRM and enemies.
10. Different modes need different audio level settings, so my advice is to download a FABULOUS FREEWARE named Quickmix. With that, you can save your settings more or less by name ie: PSK.qmx, RTTY.qmx, SSTV.qmx etc. on your computer. This makes for initial adjustments for different modes, to recall when changing to a different mode.
11. An easy software (freeware) to set up and use is Hamscope. It has lots of bells and whistles as well. You will want to thank the author for this great ware!
Again.... Low Power! I have worked every corner of the globe using only 15 watts, into a wire only 14 feet off of the ground, around 100 feet long.I hope to see you on the "Waterfall" soon.
Very 73,"Whitey" - K8BE