Posts Tagged ‘RigBlaster’

Where’s the Love West Mountain Radio?

So again, I am looking in the QST, and I found that West Mountain Radio is offering a new RigBlaster. Sweet! I love their products. So I read on and notice something is missing from the info on the website and in the QST ad. Does it support Mac?

RigBlaster Advantage

Photo Courtesy of West Mountain Radio

Now I have been a convert from PC for about 4 years now. My very first computer was a Commodore 64, which I then upgraded to an Amiga 500. I have been and will always be an Amiga user at heart. For me, Macs are the closest thing to a main stream Amiga, other than an Amiga which are pretty expensive nowadays. But you can read more about that as well as listen to that on the Amiga Roundtable podcast that is produced here at AmiZed Studios.  So now that I am a Mac user, I want the full experience. Ham Radio included.

I have an older Macbook Pro in the shack for my main machine. I do have a small PC, but it’s slow and I built it for an entirely different use. So it wouldn’t be practical to use that. But with the release of the RigBlaster Advantage, which looks to be an awesome product I would use in a heart beat on my Mac, I don’t know if it’s Mac compatable. Yes, Macs 90% of the time work with everything, but it would be nice to have that little bit of info to know that it will, without having to go hunt for a driver, like I did for my USB to serial interface I got. It works perfectly, but it would have been nice if I knew I had to go download them from the chip maker since they weren’t included on the disc I was given with it.

I was going to buy a RigBlaster Data Jack Plug and Play for my Mac, when i was told by the gentleman from Quicksilver, that it wasn’t supported on Mac. So I got a NoMic. When I got home and did some checking, I discovered it can work with Macs. I admit, this is more a pet peeve then anything, but still. It would be nice to know. I mean, there has to be more than one person at West Mountain with a Mac. OK, so I shall finish my rant here and just say that it would be nice to have that info from the manufacturer directly, instead of getting anecdotal evidence from a Google search.

But in case you’re wondering, here’s a link to the specs on West Mountain’s website.


Rich also writes a Tech blog and posts stories every Tuesday and Thursday on Q103, Albany’s #1 Rock Station website, as well as Amateur Radio stories every Monday thru Friday on AmiZed Studios and hosts a podcast called The Kim & Rich Show with his fiance’ Kim Dunne.


LHS Show Notes #052

Episode 50: A milestone!



  • Scott, AD7MI, posted an article on his blog about moving to an all-Linux ham shack. Richard and Russ discuss the article, including Shackbox Linux, Ham Radio Deluxe, CQRLog, and more. Ultimately, Fldigi and CQRLog resulted in “100% Linux Nirvana”.
  • Scott also asks what we think would be the ideal Linux-based ham shack. Russ describes his shack, which he thinks IS ideal. Our hosts then discuss various soundcard interfaces:
  • Most sound cards work fine, and Russ recommends the SoundBlaster series over all, but suggests staying away from the SoundBlaster Audigy SE (model CA0106) sound cards as they don’t seem to work well (or at all) under Linux.
  • Richard likes his Yaesu FT-897D. Most modern rigs allow a fixed-audio level connection to the computer sound card, as well as computer rig control. Russ has the Kenwood TS-570D, and it, too, is well-supported in the Linux ham libraries.
  • Russ and Richard discuss the fact that most hams don’t log VHF/UHF contacts, other than in contests or toward an award.
  • The FCC, created by the Communications Act of 1934, included the requirement to maintain a log book in the rules. Sometime between 1983 and 1986, this requirement was dropped as the FCC determined that the information was of little use to them. (If someone can point us to a reference that identifies when the exact rule change occurred, please let us know. I was unable to find the specific change online. -Ed.)


  • Leif, KC8RWR, writes that Internet over EME (earth-moon-earth) isn’t likely to work due to the high latency involved. (This may be in reference to a comment in Episode 48.) NASA and DARPA are involved in a Deep-Space Internet project.
  • Leif also asks “Isn’t Morse code dead?” and wasn’t it replaced by “Gerke Code”? Our hosts discuss.
  • Craig, KB5UEJ, writes that he thinks Russ’ audio is louder and muddier than Richard’s in episodes 46 and 47. Russ agrees that the audio on a few of the recent episodes did suffer, but should be much improved now.
  • Grant, KC9SJQ, comments that he doesn’t see a link to Russ’ screencast about SSL anywhere. Yes, it somehow disappeared, but Russ is working on it. He’ll either find the file or redo it.
  • William, KB9TMP, sends his comments about Episode 48 where we discuss KE9V’s article that questioned the relevance of amateur radio.
  • Craig, KB5UEJ, commenting about WSPR, says that you can run less than 5W on an FT-897 by reducing the audio drive from the computer to the radio. Richard points out that the reduction is often not uniform across the audio freqeuncies used, so some intelligibility may be lost. He had that problem with packet, but he’ll try it with WSPR.
  • Matt wants to know the artist and title of a song in Episode 48. The song was “Endline (Choose Nothing)” by I Am Not Lefthanded from the album “Yes Means No”. Check out the show notes for Episode 48 for a link to the song.


  • Scott, AD7MI, sent a donation just before we recorded! Thanks, Scott.
  • If you’d like to help the podcast, please consider making a donation. It’s easy! Just a click on the Donate button on the web site.

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