DigiRig, The Tiny New Heavyweight in Digital connections.

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML

Why I Chose DigiRig: A Compact and Versatile Radio Interface

I am excited to share my experience with a fantastic piece of equipment that has significantly enhanced my amateur radio operations – the DigiRig. This compact and versatile radio interface has become my go-to choice, and I’m excited to tell you why.

The DigiRig: Small but Mighty

The DigiRig is a little powerhouse, measuring just 2.5 x 2.5 x 1 inches. But don’t let its size fool you! It’s packed with features, including a built-in sound card, CAT control capabilities, and compatibility with a variety of radios and software applications. It’s like having a Swiss Army knife for your radio operations!

Why DigiRig Won Me Over

Several factors influenced my decision to choose DigiRig. Its compact size is a game-changer – it’s small enough to fit in a pocket, making it perfect for on-the-go operations. The affordability of DigiRig is also a big plus, offering the capabilities of more expensive interfaces without breaking the bank. Lastly, its user-friendly setup and compatibility with various software applications make it a breeze to use, even for those new to digital modes.

Hearing from the Community

The positive experiences shared by other users further reinforced my decision. For instance, a user on the DigiRig forum shared how they used the DigiRig interface to connect a Baofeng radio to a laptop for running Winlink packet radio. This real-world application showcases DigiRig’s versatility.

YouTube user ModernHam demonstrated how DigiRig could be used for creating custom audio interface cables, testing and troubleshooting radio setups, and running APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System). You can check out his review here.

Another YouTube user, The Tech Prepper, provided a detailed comparison of several digital mode interfaces, including the DigiRig Mobile. He mentioned that the DigiRig Mobile works with all his radios and plans to fully outfit all his man packs with the DigiRig Mobile. You can check out his review here.

Setting Up Your DigiRig

Getting your DigiRig up and running with IC-7000/IC-706 on Windows 10 and 11 is a breeze. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Connect Your Equipment: Start by turning off both your PC and your radio before making any connections. Connect the DigiRig to your IC-7000/IC-706 using the appropriate cables. The DigiRig should come with a 13-pin DIN cable for the IC-7000/IC-706. This cable will handle both audio and PTT. Next, connect the DigiRig to your PC using a USB cable. Make sure the drivers for the DigiRig are installed on your PC.
  2. SetUp Your Radio: On your IC-7000/IC-706, go into the menu settings and set the CI-V Baud Rate to match the rate you will use on your PC (typically 9600). Set the CI-V Address to 58H for the IC-7000 or 48H for the IC-706. Make sure the CI-V Transceive mode is turned off.
  3. Set Up Your Software: Open your preferred digital modes software (e.g., WSJT-X, Fldigi, etc.). In the software’s settings, configure the radio to match your specific model (IC-7000 or IC-706). Set the Serial Port to the COM port that your DigiRig is connected to. You can find this in your PC’s Device Manager. Set the Baud Rate to match what you set on your radio (typically 9600). Set the Data Bits to 8 and the Stop Bits to 1. For the PTT Method, select CAT. For the Mode, select Data/Pkt. For the Split Operation, select Rig.
  4. Adjust Audio Levels: Go to your PC’s Sound settings. Under the Recording tab, find the device that corresponds to your DigiRig and set it as the default device. Adjust the audio levels to ensure that the audio is not too loud or too soft. You can do this by watching the audio level meter in your digital modes software while receiving a signal.
  5. Test Your Setup: With everything set up, you should now be able to control your radio from your PC and send/receive digital modes. Test this by tuning to a known active frequency (like a FT8 frequency) and see if you can decode any signals. Try transmitting a signal and see if you can find your call sign on a site like PSKReporter.

Remember, every setup can be a bit different, so you may need to adjust these steps to fit your specific situation. If you’re having trouble, don’t hesitate to reach out to the amateur radio community for help.

Software Recommendations

To get the most out of your DigiRig, I recommend using WSJT-X and Fldigi. These are some of the most popular software applications used with DigiRig. You can download WSJT-X here and Fldigi here.

For More Information

For a comprehensive guide and detailed instructions on using the DigiRig, don’t forget to visit the official DigiRig website. They have a dedicated reference section that covers a wide range of topics and provides step-by-step instructions to help you get the most out of your DigiRig. You can access these instructions at DigiRig Reference. Also check out the useful Forum if you have a different radio or need community help.

In conclusion, the DigiRig has proven to be a compact, affordable, and versatile radio interface that has enhanced my amateur radio operations. I hope my experience and these resources help you on your radio journey. Remember, the amateur radio community is always here to help. Enjoy your journey with DigiRig!

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