Rig Expert WTI-1 Sound card interface with Wifi
There are many sund card interfaces on the market, and all of them share the problem that they have to be somehow connected to the computer. Most interfaces handle this via USB cable, with the usual issues with USB drivers and the required settings. RigExpert has chosen another method and offers the interface WTI-1 with a wireless Wifi connection. This solves the issue with galvanic connection and noise loops very nicely.
A soundcard interface for digital modes has to cover at least the tasks of audio coupling for the modulation, the transfer of the CAT data and keying of the PTT. Some interfaces additionally can key an FSK line for RTTY or read the squelch status. To prevent noise loops between radio and computer, most interfaces use isolating audio transformers and opto couplers. RigExpert follows a different path and provides a wireless interface in the WTI-1. With this Wifi function the interface becomes part of the local area network at home or in the field, and entirely avoids galvanic connection bewteen computer and the radio. Only the setup is done by USB cable, but only once. The interface stores all parameters.
For radio operation a supplied Windows software has to be running on the computer. This programm connects to the WTI-1 interface over the network, then it maps received data to so called virtual audio or serial interfaces in the cmputer. These virtual interfaces are in turn used by the application program like 'Ham Radio Deluxe', 'FLdigi' or 'MixW' or any other suitable digimode program. In principle every digimode program can be used.
The WTI-1 interface connects over standard 2.4 GHz Wifi (802.11b/g/n) to a local accesspoint or router, the access can be encrypted by WPA. With the integration of the interface into the local network, many operatiing scenarios become possible: you can move your computer to the garden and operate from there, or with a normal (wired) computer from the shack. The frequency control is done by CAT commands. And when the internet connection is fast enough you could use this remote access from any place in the world!
To facilitate the setup as much as possible, RigExpert offers various ready-to-use cables for most radios. The website of RigExpert offers many schematics of cables for even more radios, also for FM radios, and een for handheld radios. Please note that the existance of a schematic does not imply that there is a cable which can be bought. The schematic is nothing than a proposal for a DYI cable. Usually such a cable can be homemade without any problem.
- WTI-IC8: for nearly all Icom radios with 8 pin ACC socket. Icom IC-707, IC-275, IC-721, IC-725, IC-726, IC-728, IC-729, IC-732, IC-735, IC-736, IC-737, IC-738, IC-756 (all models), IC-761, IC-765, IC-775, IC-781, IC-970, IC-7600, IC-7610, IC-7700, IC-7800
- WTI-IC13: for all Icom radios with 13 pin ACC socket. Icom IC-703, IC-706 (all models), IC-718, IC-7000 (using DIN-13 ACC socket), IC-7200, IC-7300, IC-7410, IC-9100
- WTI-TS9: for Kenwood radios with 9 pin DIN socket. Kenwood TS-570S, TS-570D, TS-590S, TS-2000, TS-2000X, TS-B2000
- WTI-TSMINI6: for Kenwood radios with 6 pin MiniDIN socket. Kenwood TS-480HX, TS-480SAT
- WTI-FTMINI8: for Yaesu radios with 8 pin CAT MiniDIN socket. FT-100, FT-817, FT-817ND, FT-857, FT-857D, FT-897, FT-897D
- WTI-FT950: for Yaesu FT-950
- WTI-FT1K-S2: for Yaesu radios FT-1000MP, FT-1000MP Mark-V, FT-2000, FT-2000D, FT-DX5000, FT-DX5000D, FT-DX5000MP (using 'PATCH' and 'AF OUT' sockets)
- WTI-FT1K-S7: for Yaesu radios FT-1000MP, FT-1000MP Mark-V, FT-2000, FT-2000D, FT-DX5000, FT-DX5000D, FT-DX5000MP (using 'PACKET' and 'AF OUT' sockets)
Another noteable feature of the WTI-1 is the provided RS-485 serial interface. This interface can be used to control external components like switches and sensors. This is helpful in constructing complex remote controlled stations with antenna switches etc.