Hamgadgets USB Universal Rig Interface kit

††††††††† For those of you that know me, you also know that I canít set around very long without doing something. I found myself setting at my workbench with a soldering iron in one hand and a screwdriver in the other wondering what my next construction project would be.

I have been using a rig to computer interface device for several years however my first interface was a 25 pin serial device requiring two adapters to connect to the USP ports of my laptop. A second USP interface worked but it took some fiddling with to get it set up to the correct communications (Comm.) port. While building a universal keying adapter kit (featured on the cover of the 2008 ARRL handbook) that I had purchased from Dale www.hamgadgets.com a while back, I had noticed on his website that he also had a nice USB Universal Rig Interface kit that looked interesting so I decided to order it with the cabinet and cables which are extra.

The basic kit comes with a well made printed circuit board and all of the on board components. Along with the bag of parts is a mini-CD that contains the construction manual and drivers. It also has a program to change settings on the chip if needed. One word of caution; the kit contains a 28-pin SSOP chip and a USB mini-B connector that can be quite challenging. You can see this chip mounted in the middle of the PC board in the attached photos. I installed all the components with a Weller soldering station with good results. If you havenít installed any surface mount components lately, there is a tutorial link at the HCARC website on how to install SMT components that would be of assistance to anyone with some basic soldering ability. You can also find it here. http://tangentsoft.net/elec/movies. This project took me about 2 hours to build. It took me about the same amount of time to cut the proper locations of the holes in the cabinet. Wiring guidelines are also included in the manual.

Here are some of the features:

 

My hat is off to Dale for providing very nice kits that the average kit builder can master with some basic skills and not bankrupt the piggybank at the same time.

73 for now and Iíll see you at the workbench,

Steve, N2WLH

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