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[TenTec] Paragon on PSK31?

To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: [TenTec] Paragon on PSK31?
From: johnclif@ix.netcom.com (John Clifford)
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 13:25:11 -0700
It's easy to set up a Ten-Tec Paragon, Omni V, Omni VI, or Jupiter for PSK31
(these are the Ten-Tec rigs that I _know_ have PTT and AUDIO IN RCA jacks on
the back panel).  You can also use the microphone connector.  The
instructions below describe how I have my rig set up... a little
interpolation will let you do this with any rig and any interface (or no
interface at all).

If you are not into home-brewing, the easiest way is to buy one of the
commercial rig-to-soundcard interfaces like the RigBlaster, Tigertronics, or
MFJ units.  I personally own a RigBlaster NOMIC... in my opinion at $34 it's
a steal.  I chose this unit for it's portability and ease of adaptability to
different rigs.  The BuxComm RASCAL is another inexpensive and popular
interface, and if you are only going to hook up only Ten-Tec rigs (or only
rigs of one brand that will take the same cables) it is a very good buy at
under $30 with all of the cables/adapters you will need.  I personally don't
like any interface that require external power whether from a wall-wart or
from my rig.

You will need a cable to connect the NOMIC's (or any other interface's )
output to the transmit side of your rig.  On my Omni VI, I have made a cable
from a 6' Ethernet cable, easily acquired at any chain electronics store
like CompUSA, Computer City, etc., for about $6 (you can get them even
cheaper if you have a discount computer place around).  I cut my cable in
half (I wanted the RJ-45 jacks for the NOMIC) and made two cables, one from
each half, for my Omni and for my Elecraft K2.

For the Omni, I decided to use the back-panel PTT and AUDIO IN connectors
rather than the front-panel 4-pin microphone jack (I wanted to be able to
hook up my mic without having to unplug the digital cable).  I attached two
RCA plugs I bought from Radio Shack ($1.50 for both) to two sets of wires
from my cable.  Because I wanted the NOMIC to work without hassle with both
of my rigs, I set the internal jumpers to work with the K2 (I used the front
8-pin mic connector for that cable), and then wired the Omni cable so that
the AUDIO IN and PTT hot/ground pairs ran to the same RJ-45 pins as the K2
cable used.

I run a 6' shielded stereo 1/8" stereo plug cable from my Omni VI's
headphone jack (using a 1/4" stereo plug to 1/" stereo jack adapter) to the
input of my computer's sound card.  (Actually, I run the wire to my
amplified speakers' IN jack, where a dual 1/8" adapter is used, and I plug
in a separate cable that runs into the sound card... this way I can hear
incoming audio.)  Another 6' shielded audio 1/8" stereo plug cable runs from
the soundcard's SPKR OUT jack to the AUDIO IN jack on the NOMIC.  Finally, a
DB-9 RS-232 female to male straight-thru cable runs from my computer's male
COM4 port to the NOMIC's female SERIAL IN DB-9 RS-232 connector -- this is
used to control PTT or for CW keying with the appropriate programs.

You can just plug in cables, and use a 1/8" stereo jack to mono RCA plug
adapter and VOX to control keying... but you will probably run into ground
loop problems, and you will also find that the audio from your soundcard is
much too high in volume (and voltage) for your rig and will cause splatter,
and the granularity (difference in adjustment range) of your soundcard
volume control is not fine enough to really control the audio.  The NOMIC
has an externally available LEVEL ADJUST pot/volume control so you can set
and forget the soundcard output volume.  You are better off making, or
buying an interface.

The most popular frequency is 14.070 mHz and it will be CROWDED during the
early evenings.  Try 18.100 mHz and 21.070 mHz also... I find a lot of DX
stations on 15m.  I've seen the infrequent PSK signals on 7.070 mHz but
never any on 3.580 mHz or on 7.035 mHz (supposedly the Region 1 & 3 PSK
calling freq).  You will also see RTTY on or near these freqs, and your
interface will support these with the free software available (most
commercial interfaces come with a CD-ROM loaded with freeware HF digital
software for PSK31, RTTY, SSTV, etc.).

Sorry about the long posting, but hope this helps,

 - jgc

John Clifford KD7KGX

Heathkit HW-9 WARC/HFT-9/HM-9
Elecraft K2 #1678 /KSB2/KIO2/KBT2/KAT2/KNB2
                  ...waiting for KPA2 & KAF2!
Ten-Tec Omni VI/Opt1

email: kd7kgx@arrl.net

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