I solved the drive issue… got a SignaLink USB box which has its own sound card built in. The box needs four wire jumpers installing inside and these are supplied, along with a diagram of where they need to go. The Allen key needed to open the box is also provided. This device plugs into the FT450D’s Data socket and a USB on the PC – no audio leads needed.

It was quite easy to set up except Linux is not supported officially and the sound setting instructions are for Windows. But, hey, you run Linux you are sort-of expected to know stuff, right? So I figured out what the sound card was called and found it in in Pulseaudio – it found it as PCM2904. My settings in the Pulseaudio volume control – so far so good – are:

Playback – playback on PCM2904 – I set the level to 100%. I tried this at 50% but got no ‘music’ when listening via the ICR2; at 100% it ‘sounds’ fine, and obviously worked because I managed a QSO.

Recording – capture from PCM2904 – again set to 100%

Output devices – PCM2904 and 100%

Input devices – PCM2904 and 100%

My levels seem ok on the SignaLink at Tx straight up, and Rx about 11 O’clock. I had a good quick BPSK-63 call to prove it, and the FT450D shows peaks of 10W on the meter (10W is the Foundation licence limit).

I noticed the overall audio bandwidth is less than I had with the audio lead cable I was using. For example, when tuned to 14.070 the BPSK-63 QSO was right at the right-hand side of the waterfall and the Tx generated very little power – I had to re-tune to 14.071 and then got the full whack. This is no biggie.

The other thing to note is the box itself sorts out the PTT. I had fldigi using flrig for PTT before so I deselected that option so the SignaLink box can get on with it.

Nice box. I’ll see how things go earlier in the day – it was quite late when I got home and the band is flattening out.



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