Digital HF 
I bought a Rigblaster Nomic sound card interface so I can try digital HF on amateur radio. All the cables I needed were included and all I had to configure on the Nomic was the jumper settings that are specific to each radio.

In order to do digital (modes like RTTY, PSK31, Hellschreiber, Olivia, etc.) you need three basic items:

1. A computer with a software application that functions as your control. The software app I chose was Fldigi which has Linux and Windows versions.

2. A rig that that is capable of data modes, which is most nowadays.

3. A sound card interface. This is the device that allows the computer software to work with the radio.

In the digital modes, your rig is just transmitting and receiving data and the computer and software do all the encoding and decoding and use the sound card interface to control the radio. Digital is just data so you aren't using voice and with the software it basically looks like IRC or IM except that you are transmitting and receiving on a specified frequency instead of using the Internet. On the amateur bands, certain frequencies are restricted for data transmissions only.

Hooking everything up was easy and getting the software to work was easy, too. However, I was using the XP side of my laptop. The Linux side is Mandrake 9.2 and it didn't have what it needed to compile Fldigi and I forsaw a massive dependency problem if I updated that check that failed (gcc-cpp) during ./configure. Plus, my main Linux PC does not have an RS-232 port. A serial cable is used to transfer the data between the PC and the Nomic. I will need to buy a USB to DB9 adapter before I try digital HF on my Slackware machine.

I have 'listened' on both PSK31 and RTTY modes; PSK31 seems to have more activity but I haven't made any contacts yet. I can see the data and activity in the window so I am receiving without a problem. I've put out a few CQ's and answered a few but with no luck yet. I am pretty sure I have everything connected properly and the software configured properly so I'll play with it as I get time and update once I know it's working.

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