Well, well, well… Look what we have here. The early access batch of Digirig Mobile is on the schedule to become available to early adopters later this month. The first 144 boards are assembled and being tested. Make sure to subscribe to the updates to be among the first on the invite list.
Separately, the aluminum extrusion enclosures are also in production. If everything goes as planned, each Digirig will have its proper home. Here are some pictures of the enclosure before application of black finish and engraving.
One of the local hams asked for help setting up his XIEGU G90 for digital modes and this sounded like a perfect opportunity for Digirig to shine. It worked out beautifully with one of the prototypes I had around the shop. For the first time Digirig was on both ends of the FT8 QSO. Many more to come.
Many no doubt will ask about interface isolation. Traditionally, this is done using audio transformers and opto-couplers on the rig side. Digirig offers a simple option for ground loops isolation on the computer side instead. I tested the prototypes with the affordable off-the-shelve USB isolators based on ADUM3160 chip:
It worked without any issues. Personally though, I wasn’t able to detect any difference between isolated and naked USB connection. It is sure nice to have this simple option available for those who might need it. Additionally to your usual online marketplaces, I plan to have this USB isolator in Digirig store available for combined shipping.
That’s all for today. Thanks all for your patience and please stay tuned for future updates.
2 thoughts on “Tester Batch Manufacturing Update”
This is great Denis! Really happy to see these prototypes. Regarding the grounding options I must be honest that I would really love to see this interface provide the USB isolation feature in the same package but I understand it might be out of scope for the majority of users. I can, however, provide you with a probable usage case and a step by step connection scheme that would make this option a must. When you mention you were not able to detect any difference between isolated and naked USB connection, I believe it’s because there wasn’t a prejudicial ground loop in that case to begin with. A simple experiment (which I can abide to): Take a Xiegu G90, and a raspberry pi running and digital mode software. If you have the Xiegu’s AF in/out connected to the raspberry and both are powered by the same power source and therefore share the same ground, you will certainly see and hear the various ground loop artifacts and noises from the Raspberry’s CPU and USB ports coming in the soundcard input. I had that resolved by using one of these ADUM3160 dongles / Also tested isolating through a simple transformer and the GL was gone. My point being, even if it’s not everybody’s case, given most hams who want a digital mode interface for their radio are most likely to try it out on portable configurations with one shared power source, I can see this issue becoming a regular topic. Nothing wrong with bringing one of these isolators with you, of course, but having everything in the same package would be perfect / or as you mentioned, having two versions. Again, awesome job with the prototypes. Really looking forward to have one on my backpack! cheers de Carlos CS7AUS
Carlos, thanks for more info on the isolation. This is very helpful. I’ll continue collecting feedback from the testers and will later decide if the barebones version of the interface will benefit from onboard isolator. This definitely is going to be a standard feature on the shack version of the interface.
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