Re: Need advise on how to get started in digital modes

Donald Evilsizor


Permit me to rattle on here a bit...

I am probably near the bottom of the knowledge list when it comes to computers,
ham programs and interface devices. However, several years ago someone suggested
a Donner to me and it worked first time right out of the package.

I ran Digipan initially and in my opinion that program did a great job for me
and liked the feature of monitoring the screen print of several stations at the
same time allowing me the choice to select one for a possible QSO.

Also ran Hamscope, Multipsk, MixW and some various PSK basic programs too all
on an old beater Compaq Win98 computer with very little memory. Someone bumped
that old computer up to a XP but it just chokes and stalls on Ham Radio Deluxe.

That old Compaq computer has 2 serial ports and one is used to run VHF packet
24/7 in our local area and other port is connected to a Donner interface.

I use MixW for my HF packet and can connect easily down to N9LYA BBS in southern
Indiana on 40 meters. Yes, I know packet has sort of fell to the wayside but
we still use it in several counties in this area.

I was pleased with the Donner interface enough that several were purchased to
operate with various transceivers such as the Kenwood TS-520 & TS-820,
Icom's -726, 735 & 745. Also last one I got was for the Kenwood TS-480 rigs.
So that is a total of 3 Donners we own that fits several radio types.

Now the problem we ran into here was the newer computers apparently want a
different USB to Serial adapter cable and the good hams on here advised maybe
our problem is with the cable chipset suggesting a certain series to buy.
And that problem is not resolved yet on our new Windows 7 laptop so still
trying to figure it all out.

There is a pretty good base of knowledge on these emails for help and that
has been a plus for me. And maybe there are better interfaces out there but
just wanted to let U know my experience with the Donner at least.


From: "Eric" To: digitalradio@...
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 2:23:58 PM
Subject: [digitalradio] Need advise on how to get started in digital modes



Thanks for allowing me on this list.  I am getting back active in amateur radio and wanted to try working some digital modes.  After searching on the net I contacted Skip KH6TY about one of his kits and he told me that he was sold out and referred me to Donner's Digital Interfaces and I bought their digital interface for my Icom IC 706 MK II G which will also work with my IC 7000.  First,  Was this a good choice or should I consider another interface ?  THey assured me that their interface was as good as other more expensive models and it was only $ 40.00 so if another interface is recommended I don't have a lot invested.  Second, What software do you recommend for me to use ?  Currently I have LOGGER 32 and someone told me about FLdigi but I am open to suggestions.   I am thinking about starting out on PSK 31 and RTTY if these are good choices to start out on ?  I am also really interested in trying but I understand there is a steep learning curve involved and it does take some practice and skill to learn how to work the mode.  My primary interest in amateur radio is DX and working new places. 

Thank you for your time consideration on this matter and I am looking forward to getting on some of the digital modes.


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