Digirig + Alinco DJ-MD5 + Windows 11 + Fldigi

Digirig arrived in the mail today. I’ve used Fldigi a couple of times by just holding the radio up to the speaker of the laptop. Now I’d like to use the Digirig for this and having a little trouble. Is there a basic guide available for setting this up?

So far I’ve plugged in the Digirig to the laptop, it recognizes it, then I open up Flmsg and click “AutoSend” but the sound comes out over the laptop speakers and not through the Digirig.

Here’s a screenshot of the Device Manager…

UPDATE: I was able to get the device configured with Fldigi. I had missed the specific “sound card” configuration in Fldigi itself.

I set the VOX on for my Alinco, but the radio on the other end only receives bursts of audio. If I plug headphones into the Digirig I can hear the entire transmission.

Any ideas?

Two resources @K0TX has created are:

Getting Started with Digirig Mobile – digirig

Troubleshooting Digital Modes – digirig

73 Constrainted

I do not have your radio, and I do not use VOX, so take what I offer with a grain of salt. Consider squelch setting 0 on the RX radio. Consider using hardware PTT(if possible) rather than VOX for the TX radio. Make sure AGC is set off in Windows 11 for microphone audio devices on RX and TX radios.

73 Constrainted

I did set squelch to 0 (or off on the Alinco), but that didn’t make any difference.

How do I use Hardware PTT?

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Also, I just discovered that if I hold down the PTT button manually the same thing happens. Audio only comes through on the other radio in bursts.

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Usually through the 2-pin connector to the handset and the Digirig.

73 Constrainted

That’s frustrating. As I said, I don’t have your radio. Are both the radios are operating in VHF/UHF mode and not in DMR mode? If they are in analog mode, then there could be an RF interference problem. When the radio goes into transmit, RF interferes with the USB connection.

Have you tried putting RF chokes on the USB cable or on the TRRS cable going from the Digirig? I also use a remote antenna, like a roll-up J-pole when using digital modes on a VHF/UHF radio.

73 Constrainted

Both radios are in UHF, same frequency. They are analog and not in digital mode. I can speak into the Alinco and voice is heard on the other end.

I tried chokes in addition to the ones that are already on the cables but no difference.

OK, it’s almost certainly an Fldigi setting that I’m getting wrong. I had the idea to route the system volume through the Digirig and it came through clear as day. So I can get Windows system sounds through but not Fldigi sounds.

Please make sure to select Digirig’s input and output components in fldigi’s configuration. You’ll be able to easily recognize them if you renamed them as explained in “getting started” tutorial.

As for hardware PTT you want to select “Use RTS” / COM4 under Config Dialog → Rig Control → Hardware PTT.

See screenshot of my settings. I thought I had it right but maybe not…

I got this part to work.

This looks alright as far as I can tell.

Were you able to monitor static out of the radio on computer’s speakers by enabling “listen” checkbox? This test requires correct assignments of the default devices. More on that here:

Yes. I tried that and I could hear the static.

I decided to try my Mac as well to see if I could come up with anything different. Same settings and similar issue. Whereas the Windows machine cuts in and out, the Mac is steady for the first 5 seconds or so, then the audio cuts out completely. Fldigi still shows that it’s sending audio into the Digirig, and my HT still shows that it’s transmitting. But nothing comes through on the other radio after about 5 seconds.

Ok, so RX works fine, the problem is with the TX side of the setup. Earlier you mentioned that with the headphones connected directly to Digirig you hear the entire transmission. This narrows down the issue to the cable or radio. The cable wouldn’t know if it’s beginning of the transmission or the end - the flaky contact would randomly fail. Let’s test the radio: are you able to continuously TX voice or tone through the mic from the same radio?

Yes. That part works perfectly fine.

Here’s another development…if I adjust the Digirig volume in the Windows/Mac OS settings I get more or less audio coming through the radio on the other end.

So for example, on the Mac, when I turn down the Digirig volume in the system “Sound” settings, the last 3/4 of the transmission comes through. But if I return the volume a little higher, maybe 50%, only the first 1/4 (or 5 seconds) of the transmission comes through. I can’t seem to find the “sweet spot” where all of it comes through.

Try even lower audio levels. Maybe the radio is overmodulated and some protection of hardware failure kicks in. It would be helpful to try the same setup on a different radio to confirm this theory.