SignaLink USB a review by ZS1JHG

I have been using DigiVox for PSK and digital modes with Tx hangup and computer freezing on occasions and so started to look for a proper interface. The idea of having the sound card built into the interface appealed to me.

The SignaLink USB has isolation transformers to prevent ground loops and its own low noise sound card. You have only one cable to connect to the Laptop Computer, a USB cable which carried the audio in/out and PTT signals. Nice and neat and looks good on your desktop,no more dangling wires hanging off my Laptop Computer. The other Big plus is front panel controls for your TX and RX audio drive and the Delay is also adjustable (the transmit hangtime). The unit is supplied with a custom cable to connect to your radio by manufacturer data connector type. Almost plug and play as you still need to open the box and setup internal jumpers. If you like a neat job then custom jumper boards are available for each radio data port pin-out type. Simply plug into the socket like an IC and away you go. When you get the transport box you expect a fairly large unit, open it up and you find that the Signalink is very compact and looks lost on top of a compact HF radio. The box and fittings give a quality fit and finish impression and the screws are allen key type, very neat. A set of stick on feet are also supplied plus an allen key. The knobs are however attached directly to the pcb so handle with care when adjusting. The instructions supplied are comprehensive with additional info on the Website for Vista and Windows 7 and info on certain Radio types that require special settings. So if you are having problems look in the trouble shooting section.

Read the instructions well and look at the website info and you will be able to setup in about 20min including opening the case for the jumpers.

So how did your SignaLink USB work first time out ?? I connected the usb cable to the Laptop and unit and the cable to the radio data port and using Digipan straight away had signals on my waterfall display with the Rx knob set at about 11 o clock. Then I tried a contact and the red ptt light came on so we are in business YES …NO stations not hearing me. Ok so my radio is one of the ones that needs to be set up slightly differently. Adjusted the power output and Tx knob per the website info and PSK DX on 15m with a solid contact and guess what ? two of the contacts were also using the SignaLink USB. I also requested a local PSK fundi Don ZS1LG to check my signal and he gave me a clean bill of health.

Summary A well made digital interface with a lot more than just isolation transformers and ptt switching So if you are looking into a digi mode interface and like the idea of the sound card in the unit then this is the one to get.

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