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.

73.

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.

 

Rich Gattie, KB2MOB, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New York, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

8 Responses to “Where’s the Love West Mountain Radio?”

  • Matt W1MST:

    Although I’ve been tempted over the years to switch to Mac, frankly it’s this sort of scenario that keeps me with the PC — in spite of the fact that I believe the Mac OS and hardware integration to be superior.

    I’ve owned several industrial machines that connected via USB and do not support Macs. I suspect that from a manufacturers point of view, it’s an issue of diminishing returns. It may not be worth the development costs to bring comparability to the 10% who use Macs.

  • Marty W5MRM:

    I have a RigBlaster plug and play and it works with my Mac in very specific circumstances. I run Windows 7 in a Parallels VM and it works fine with HRD, DM780 and a few other programs. I have not been able to get it to work natively with any of the applications I have tried on the Mac such as Aether and MacLoggerDX. I have installed the “experimental” driver to no avail. In the end I guess you could say it doesn’t work with the Mac at all.

    I too am ready to buy another interface and I thought the Advantage looked like it might be a good piece of equipment. I guess I will wait and see what is said on message boards and reviews before I take the plunge.

  • KB2MOB:

    @Marty

    Yep, that’s my point. I wish I didn’t have to wait.. But yeah, I guess I could fire up VMWare and run XP.

  • K4TOJ - Tom:

    I have the Plus II and had to look for a USB driver as well. However, since I have already been through that, it’s probably safe to say that it would work fine with this one. My issue is software for the Mac working with all functionality. I’d like to use pure CW with my 930SAT, but it seems Fidigi won’t work the keyer even though everything else works great. Guess that’s what VMWare is for…….

  • Stewart VA3PID:

    It /probably/ would work, but who is going to spend the money to find out? It’s just going to be a very generic USB sound card plus some PTT controls, in a nice box. If it works with Fldigi, or works with Linux, you’ll be able to get it to work with OS X. Might not be easy, but it should work.

    I run a completely Linux-based radio setup, but use Mac for day to day work. There are a couple of kinds of USB-Serial chips, and a very few different USB audio devices in these interfaces and keyers. Of the two serial interfaces, the Prolific PL-2303 is the more common, but its drivers for OS X are rather poor.

  • Rich, KB2MOB:

    There is also the Mac Ports project. I installed that so I could run GTrack since I couldn’t find anything that I liked for Mac. It was quick and simple, and it works. But I would still like something that was a little more full featured and didn’t cost a fortune.

  • WB0POH:

    On a similar topic…I am using a Rigblaster Advantage which I bought at Dayton. When I first hooked it up, my HRD put a rainbow on the screen instead of the standard waterfalls. Thought I bought junk…until I took it to Field Day and used a different computer. NO PROBLEM AT ALL! Found out the problem…my XP computer has a USB Codec from 2001!! I have been searching everywhere with no luck finding a replacement CODEC. (Tried Microsoft – good luck!)

    Anyone have a clue where to get a later XP USB Codec Driver?

  • open source sitemap maker:

    My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not consider just how so much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

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