I was excited when the postman rang the doorbell the other day and he was holding my RIGblaster Blue in his hands. Couldn’t wait to get through the packaging and physically get it out of the box.
I should point out after much deliberation I had a reason for buying the Blue and not another model or brand name. With the xyl having health issues this was a way I could be with her and be a ham at the same time.
So now it’s out of the box and I start reading the manual like I was told to do. That was a mistake, took me far longer to setup the Bluetooth function that way instead of just doing it. OK, Bluetooth now setup, what’s next? Hook it up to my radio. Looked at the pretty diagrams in the manual and had it hooked up to the radio in a minute or two.
Now the moment of truth, will it work? Turned on the radio and computer. The blinking green light turned to solid meaning the Bluetooth had connected and clicked on HB9’s JT65 software and I couldn’t believe my eyes. In the years I’ve been doing digital modes and especially JT65 I have never seen the waterfall so crowded. But the acid test would be PSK. I know that waterfall won’t be so crowded. Wrong again there were signals all over the place. I haven’t seen this kind of activity in years. So the question came to my mind “have I just hit it lucky on a day where 20m is super wide open or do I have a problem in my signalink that I’m unaware of.” A techie friend of mine will have a look at my signalink to see if there is an issue.
OK, that’s receive, still haven’t transmitted any CQ’s yet. Since I had the PSK software still running I thought I would send out a CQ. First go around and I had a contact. WOW! Usually it took me a few tries in the past. Let’s try JT65. Again made two or three contacts just like that.
I’m still reserving judgement on all these full waterfalls for awhile to assess as band conditions go up and down and see how it plays out. The unit itself, I was impressed on the smoothness of how the knobs turn. They feel like quality has been built in. Some reviews I read on the unit before I bought criticized the unit for NOT having the microphone connector on the back but it doesn’t bother me and when I saw how the back was laid out the unit would have to be considerably larger to accommodate it there.
This is my first equipment from West Mountain Radio and if you are considering this unit I give it an 11 out of 10. Totally happy and far exceeded what I was hoping for. I guess I had better start looking at Bluetooth headsets now!