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Our first iPhone App is now in the App Store! FoxHunt is a direction-finding app for transmitter hunting (t-hunting, or fox hunting). Head over to the FoxHunt site and have a look.

RadioPort - USB "soundcard" interface


The RadioPort™

Few things are more central to life than communication. We've been doing it for a long time. Our methods have improved and become more diverse. As amateur radio operators, we understand this as well as anyone, and hams have taken a leading role in advancing the craft of communication. At RAI Laboratory LLC, we strongly believe in the power and promise that digital modes have brought to amateur radio. Great advances have been made by others in encoding and decoding (PSK31, MFSK16, and other digital modes). In each case, the marriage of radio and computer technology has allowed us to move forward at the speed of software.

But if you are like us, you've sufferred your share of frustrations of getting your rig and your computer to work well together. Good quality audio, galvanic isolation, compatibility with different programs, and management of the Windows audio subsystem have brought some challenges.

We decided to take matters into our own hands - to create a world-class, no-compromise rig interface that brings together the best of current technology and leaves the door open to advances that the ham community can bring. We designed and built the RadioPort™.

The RadioPort presents an alternative to uneccessarily complex setup for digital mode operation. Consider that the following equipment is needed to get going:

  • A high quality soundcard. A poor soundcard introduces distortion on receive and can cause spurious signals on transmit.
  • A rig interface that provides full isolation and that adapts to the characteristics of your rig. Many rig interfaces simply skip the full isolation part and handle rig adaptation through some combination of internal jumpers, trimpots, and front panel knobs.
  • Many, many cables. A typical setup includes separate lines to the computer for TX audio, RX audio, push-to-talk and possibly squelch status (for Echolink). And on the rig side, lines for TX audio, RX audio, PTT, and squelch are needed. If you use CAT/CI-V, another wire is needed. This gets out of hand pretty rapidly. If you want digital control over more than one rig, then you face a real mess.
  • Multiple serial ports. For more than one radio, this means buying serial port cards or adapters.
  • A fatplug (wall-wart) to power each rig interface.
  • Miscellaneous - more outlets, USB to serial converters, and so on.

Getting all of this set up properly and keeping it set up properly across different usage cases and different digital mode programs can be enough to discourage even the most persistent person. A rig interface with a good number of features can have as many as 15 wires and 17 jumpers plus two spots on the outlet strip (because most fatplugs take up this much space). All for one rig interface. And if you travel with a radio or plan on a digital DXpedition, you can carry all of this complexity with you - if your laptop has a decent built-in soundcard (some don't). There has to be a better way. And now there is - the RadioPort.

We invite you to explore this amazing interface in depth and to place your order today via our secure online store using the links in the toolbar above.


RAIL, RadioPort, RadioPort UA, and RadioPort Manager are trademarks of RAI Laboratory LLC. Other marks are the property of their respective owners. Don't steal foxes.