Digirig can be used with any radio capable of transmitting and receiving audio. This includes HTs, mobile radios, shack stations, anything from tube rigs to the latest SDRs, from disposable quality HTs to slick gear from the most worshipped brands. We just need to answer these questions:
Do I even need the external interface for my radio?
It is possible that your radio already offers support for digital modes and does not need an external interface such as Digirig. This is very unlikely with UHF/VHF only radios (HTs and mobile), but the chances are higher with more expensive and newer HF capable transceivers. The manual is the ultimate source for this information, but a presence of the USB connector on the back panel will suggest this possibility.
You can find the list of popular radios with the native support for digital modes in this forum discussion.
What items should I get?
The typical kit includes the Digirig Mobile itself, transceiver side cable(s) and a USB-C cable. Because of the specifics of the transceivers, you may or may not be able to share the same Digirig unit between multiple radios. This topic is covered below. The USB cables are available in the Digirig store, but it’s a common accessory and they can also be found online and locally. The requirements are that the cable has a USB-C connector on Digirig’s end, connector matching your computer’s USB on the other end and has wiring for power and data. Shielding and ferrite beads are not required but will improve the resilience to RFI.
A growing number of high quality pre-made transceiver side cables is available in the Digirig store. The items in the catalog are tagged with the rig models based on their compatibility. Most of these assignments are confirmed practically, but some are assumed based on the compatibility lists from other sources. Refer to the individual product pages for the additional information on the connections and interface configuration. The list of tags can be found at the end of this page. Please submit your notes if you found an existing cable working with an untagged transceiver model or if you have reason to believe the assignment is incorrect.
Additionally, the cables (including homebrew projects for less common models) and transceiver configurations are discussed in the community forum. The discussions are also tagged with rig models and the list of tags can be found here. Please start a new discussion if you need help interfacing your transceiver. Signup to the mailing list at the homepage to receive project updates and notifications about new cable arrivals to the store.
Some operators prefer to have their computer electrically isolated from the radio with the help of USB isolator. The isolation is not required and the majority of interfaces are used without it.
What Digirig configuration should I get?
You can order your Digirig in one of four configurations: logic levels, RS-232, CI-V and TX-500. The port configuration selection only matters if you transceiver is capable of serial CAT control or if you plan to use Digirig for programming the radio (firmware or settings). Serial CAT control can be commonly found in HF transceivers, but rare in VHF/UHF radios, practically non-existent in HTs. Programming can be found in radios across the board, but it relies on a separate set of cables which may not be offered.
Please refer to the cable’s product page, user manual and forum discussions for your radio to determine if the CAT control is available and what Digirig configuration is required. Note that the CAT control is a convenience feature and is not strictly required for the digital operations. You can still share a Digirig in incompatible configuration with a CAT capable transceiver if you don’t connect the serial cable. Digirig configurations can be modified by the end user, but the process involves using solder jumpers on the PCB and it is not something that can be done operationally. More information about Digirig configurations and CAT control can be found here and in this video.
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