New RIGblaster Advantage Sound Card and Rig Control Interface from West Mountain Radio
The RIGblaster Advantage is West Mountain Radio's newest sound card and rig control interface. It features a simplified PC interface and expanded rig control radio compatibility, accomplished without compromising the functionality and flexibility that the RIGblaster products are known for. This new addition to the RIGblaster product line incorporates several user requested enhancements:
- Internal sound card
- Single plug and play USB cable connection to PC for audio, rig control and power
- Rig control interface for CAT/CI-V as well as RS232 through a DB9 port
- Front panel mounted transmit power level, receive audio level and VOX delay adjustment knobs
Placing the sound source for digital mode communication within the RIGblaster Advantage simplifies the PC interface. Two audio cable connections to the PC can be eliminated - receive audio from the radio and transmit audio from PC. A single USB cable cable connection between the PC and RIGblaster Advantage now handles audio, rig control and power.
The internal sound card also enables the RIGblaster Advantage to generate audio completely independently of the PC's sound card, a personal preference of some hams.
The RIGblaster Advantage makes it easier to control rigs that require RS232 DB9 cables for rig control. The newest laptops and desktop PCs aren't readily available with RS232 ports or if they are offered, are an extra cost option. So in addition to the CAT/CI-V port also used for rig control on ICOM, Ten Tec and some older Yaesu radios, the RIGblaster Advantage features an RS232 DB9 port, eliminating the need for a separate USB-to-RS232 rig control interface.
The front panel controls make it a snap to change transmit power levels on the fly without having to adjust the output volume in software. The receive audio level adjustment knob allows you to set your radio's sound level for comfortable listening while adjusting the the RIGblaster's receive level for best operation. The VOX delay knob controls the amount of time the VOX circuit waits before unkeying the transmitter.
Compatible with over 2000 radios, the RIGblaster Advantage makes it easy to switch back and forth between voice and digital modes. It features an 8-pin screw on mic connector used by many radios, with low cost adapters available for other mics. Internal jumper blocks configure signal routing from the mic connector. PTT control can be exerted through your microphone's PTT, software or foot switch. For CW fans, a CW/FSK output jack is provided for connection to your radio's straight key input.
The RIGblaster Advantage is priced at $200 and includes microphone and USB cables, audio cables, and a CD loaded with free sound card software. It will be available in mid March from West Mountain Radio and authorized West Mountain Radio dealers.Go to RIGblaster Advantage product page.