The Navigator from US Interface – a First Look

Many times I have built home-brew radio to computer sound card audio interfaces with success. The goals were to have some fun with the many digital modes out there including PSK31, MFSK, Olivia and RTTY with an emphasis on PSK31.

Also available for use are handy CW decoders like CWGet and CWSkimmer.

To complete the computer to radio marriage I purchased and built a WinKey and Winkey USB kit from K1EL.

By this time, the number of cables between the computer and the radio was getting a little out of hand. I sought a new approach that connected to the computer with just one cable.

Last year I reviewed many models of sound card radio interfaces from several manufactures. I put together a traditional systems engineering trade study by…

  • Creating a list of attributes to examine as evaluation criteria
  • Find a selection of products to compare
  • Comparing them all to one baseline product
  • Picking a winner

The details of this analysis are available on the QSOParty.com web site at…

The analysis was never quite completed leaving the Rig Blaster Plus wanting of critique and no analysis of operating systems. Still a winner emerged with sufficient clarity to suggest a purchase.

Finally, in 2009 one year later, I purchased a Navigator Interface from US Interface.

This article will start a series where various aspects of this device are critiqued.

For now let’s just get the box, open it up, and see what is inside…

For some reason, I thought the unit was quite a bit smaller than it really is. I guess I missed comparative size clues. Oh well no big deal.

This Navigator is remarkably light. It is just like a cardboard box full of air. However, I did verify the case is aluminum and construction feels OK.

If you think there is something critical missing you have good eyes. Yes, the cable that connects this unit to the radio is not in this package. I did order one, but Glenn from US Interface says it is coming from a third party straight to me. I ordered the Icom White cable set for use with my Icom 746.

I wait with baited breath.

6 thoughts on “The Navigator from US Interface – a First Look

  1. Interesting series, I just bought one of these, saw it in Dayton. I'll look forward to reading your on-going comments, as I'm hoping to be able to set this up effortlessly when it arrives. I already tried, and failed, with a MicroHam.

  2. It has been a few months now and I can say the Navigator works pretty well. There are a few nits here and there, but in the end it works.

    I made my first Olivia contact last night and have used it regularly with CW Skimmer, MixW, HRD, Digipan, N3FJP and even that K7RE RTTY add on to the N3FJP software.

    Oh yes, the Icom-746 cable adapter came just a few days after this post and married the radio and interface just fine.

    I like it.

    It was sad news about Glenn.

  3. I have used the Navigator since 2010 and really have had excellent success with it. It always performed as advertised and I must really got my moneys worth as the saying goes.

    I do however have problem. Recently I moved, and in the process I am unable to find my installation disc, hence no drivers.

    Can any out there advise me as to how I can get another disc,or download drivers? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    de Garnie VE7DXH

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