True, but you also paid a lot for that radio to provide those extra USB interfaces, instead of some cheaper radio with only a data port (or even just speaker and mike jacks) and no built-in sound cards (don't remind me how much I paid for my Icom IC-7100 when it first came out., versus the new price now. ouch!). Considering the DRAWS board's GPS provides 1PPS for precision time setting (can't do that with a USB puck), plus it has not one but two sound cards on it for the two ports, it's cheaper than a GPS puck and a pair of SignaLinks and takes up less room and power, and you could be using two less expensive radios simultaneously (Kenwood TM-V71 or something even cheaper like a single-bander).
I assume you got the radio before the DRAWS board.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> on behalf of Charlie Hein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 3:40 PM
Subject: Re: [draws and udrc] OK, How about connecting to the FT-991A?
Well Andrew, you might certainly make the case that I don't really need the DRAWS board at all for the 991A (although that's a really awful sales pitch to an owner of the radio I suppose, as an external USB GPS and a cheapie buck converter/regulator would be far less than the cost of the DRAWS board), but in this case I want very much to test the functionality of the ports that are are on the board and the ability of these ports to minimally control PTT and pass audio to the radio for packet radio. Ultimately I will very likely not be permanently setting up the 991A with the DRAWS workstation in this fashion, but for now my only other other option to get this up on the air and working for testing and software setup is to hook up to a hand held to test direct connection to the radio ports on the board, and I've been gently discouraged from trying this due to expected poor performance from the hand held.
Hope that makes sense.