In the world of radio communications there are many varied methods of using digital signals, known as digimodes. Often argued as the earliest form of digital mode is Morse Code or CW as it is also known. In morse code an audible tone is either on or off. This equates to the digital (binary) states of 1 or 0 transmitted over the air. Modern digital communication is simply sending data bits consisting of 1’s or 0’s, in other words, on or off as in CW at extremely high speed.
Like almost every other radio ham, I use a computer for log keeping, digital modes and other tasks.
For the majority of computing processes in the shack I employ the use of a home built Windows PC.
What’s a SignaLink?
A SignaLink is a small unit manufactured by Tigertronics which functions as an interface between a computer and transceiver to enable the use of digimodes. The latest version of the SignaLink connects to the computer using a standard USB cable. The connection to the transceiver is made by a RJ45 (ethernet) socket on the rear of the unit. The other end of the RJ45 cable is terminated to suit the radio. Wire jumpers inside the unit allow the SignaLink to be used with any radio. Tigertronics also supply pre terminated RJ45 cables and pre-configured jumper blocks.
Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) is a digital system that uses radio to send small packets of data to transmit information and messages over the amateur radio network.