Hi, folks. I’m encountering strange difficulties trying to set up my Digirig and I’m hoping you all can give me some pointers.
- USB audio devices exposed by the Digirig randomly appear and disappear.
- Lots of RFI, which is quieted when I touch the audio cable.
- VARA FM doesn’t seem to recognize any audio input from the Digirig, showing -97dB input regardless of radio signal strength.
- VARA FM can send PTT, but this is unreliable. Either the radio does not transmit, or else it gets stuck in a transmitting state, or else it transmits one connection attempt and hangs indefinitely, freezing VARA FM and Winlink in the process.
My guess is that there’s too much RFI picked up on the audio cable or over USB – maybe from my residential area, maybe from my laptop – which is drowning out the PTT commands as well as the audio. Or maybe it’s the radio side of the audio cable- even with the new version meant for recessed audio jacks, the connection seems unreliable.
Any pointers for what my issue might be, or what I should test next?
EDIT: I took my setup to an extremely rural area today with a noise floor around S1. I see a clear spike in noise when connecting the audio cable to my radio, so it’s definitely RFI from the computer. The audio cable has built-in ferrites; I’ll add another ferrite to my USB cable and see if that helps.
- My Digirig is logic-level for use with my FT5DR.
- My cable is the Digirig-supplied Yaesu cable compatible with the FT5DR. It’s the newer version designed to fit in recessed audio jacks.
- Electrically bridging the sleeve and closest ring of the 3.5mm connector on the Digirig side of the audio cable will key up the radio.
- For testing, my FT5DR is running low (0.3W) power.
- My laptop is a GPD Pocket 3 running Windows 11.
- Multiple connection methods were tested- short and long USB cables, USB-C-to-C and USB-A-to-C, all USB ports on the laptop, et cetera. The physical connection in the USB port is not loose. I have used other data modes from this laptop with no issue.
- Recent CP210X drivers are installed, and the COM port is visible.
- The USB speaker and microphone exposed by the Digirig have no audio enhancements and are marked as accessible by Windows applications. While the name of the device changes depending on which USB port the Digirig is plugged into, I ensure to select the correct device name in my applications.
- I use a licensed copy of VARA FM 4.2.9, the most recent version. The correct soundcard devices are selected, and PTT is set to the appropriate COM port using RTS.
- The goal is to use Winlink over VARA FM. Winlink has previously worked for me in other modes without issue.