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Author Topic: Which Tranceiver has best computer interfacing?  (Read 5677 times)
K4TFJ
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« on: June 13, 2014, 06:08:38 PM »

I want to upgrade my station and would like to get a rig with computer control. Which ones have the most/best features other than basic frequency and mode control?
Looking for something that would almost allow me to keep the rig up on a shelf, out of the way and still be able to perform most, if not all functions from the mouse and keyboard.
Audio and computer based panadapter when be major pluses! No SDR.... Still want to be able to use the rig if the computer is down or for portable.

Tj, K4TFJ
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K8AC
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2014, 04:07:43 AM »

The question should be - which software for remote control best exploits the CAT commands supported by the hardware.  Typically the hardware implements many more features via CAT than most of the software implements. 
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K4TFJ
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2014, 04:31:27 AM »

Floyd (K8AC): I have an Omni VI right now and software that interfaces with pretty much every computer capability the radio has, which is a handful of frequency related items. So by your definition, I have what you claim I am looking for. Nothing could be further from what I want. I want a new radio and one of the criteria I am looking for is more computer capability. Software is limited by what the hardware has, so I am attempting to determine which transceivers score high in this category of computer interfacing. Hope that clears it up for you.

Tj, K4TFJ
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W1JKA
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2014, 06:19:18 AM »

  I don't know about the best, but one of the easiest no hassle ones is the IC-7200.
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N0IU
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2014, 06:40:42 AM »

I have an Icom IC-7410 and it (as well as the other Icom rigs that have a USB interface) works well with HRD and other programs like the N1MM contest logger as well as MMTTY.

The only 2 things that you can not do via the USB connection is "real" CW and FSK RTTY.

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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2014, 07:11:33 AM »

I want to upgrade my station and would like to get a rig with computer control. Which ones have the most/best features other than basic frequency and mode control?
Looking for something that would almost allow me to keep the rig up on a shelf, out of the way and still be able to perform most, if not all functions from the mouse and keyboard.
Audio and computer based panadapter when be major pluses! No SDR.... Still want to be able to use the rig if the computer is down or for portable.

Tj, K4TFJ

This is easy, Kenwood. Ever since 570 it has been pretty much plug and play out of box with no options needed for rig.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
K0JEG
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2014, 10:00:23 AM »

I use an IC-9100, very easy to interface with just a USB cable. Just about every function is available.

However, if you really want something that works well with a PC, why not a Flex?
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2014, 10:39:23 AM »

I have always liked the CAT interface on my Kenwood TS2000s (yes, I have two of them) both with commercial programs and with homebrew apps (Liberty Basic).  Every function available on the front panel is available in the command set.
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K4TFJ
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2014, 11:37:17 AM »

However, if you really want something that works well with a PC, why not a Flex?

As stated in the original post: "No SDR.... Still want to be able to use the rig if the computer is down or for portable."
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W8JX
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2014, 12:24:54 PM »

However, if you really want something that works well with a PC, why not a Flex?

As stated in the original post: "No SDR.... Still want to be able to use the rig if the computer is down or for portable."

I too do not like a rig that must have a computer to work.
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K0JEG
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2014, 04:48:35 PM »

However, if you really want something that works well with a PC, why not a Flex?

As stated in the original post: "No SDR.... Still want to be able to use the rig if the computer is down or for portable."

Point taken, but think about how portable most rigs really are (hint: just because it has a handle doesn't make it portable), and that you can pick up a Windows 8.1 pro tablet that will do everything a desktop machine will do and be a tablet.

I can't recall the last time my PC was "down," but then I run Macs and Linux boxes...
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KA5PIU
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2014, 04:59:17 PM »

Hello.

Some radios offer a virtual control panel, like the flex radios, you do Everything in computer control.
Kachina produced a computer controlled radio as well.
With that said, every function but volume can be controlled on a VX-7r from Linux.
Software defined radios are, by pure definition, computer controlled.
I have added some computer control to an FT-101, but that is very limited.
The FT-897 can be fully computer controlled, every function.
Thank you.
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K8AC
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2014, 05:26:33 PM »

Tj - I'm afraid you missed the point entirely.  The Omni VI is light years away from being a modern rig from a CAT standpoint.  Take a look at the Orion II, still a bit out of date, but that hardware has scores of CAT functions more than you'd ever use.  I haven't seen anyone document a comparison of the current rigs because most of them are that way.  What I recommend is for you to obtain the CAT programming reference for ANY of the current rigs and look through it to see if you can figure out how you'd possibly use each function.  The vast majority of the functions are interesting, but not of much use for the average operator.  But, if you're truly interested in completely controlling the rig remotely, then you'd need software that implemented the entire set of available CAT commands for the rig in question.  It's highly unlikely that you'll find ANY software for ANY rig that supports every CAT command that the hardware supports. 
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NK7Z
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2014, 05:36:05 PM »

I want to upgrade my station and would like to get a rig with computer control. Which ones have the most/best features other than basic frequency and mode control?
Looking for something that would almost allow me to keep the rig up on a shelf, out of the way and still be able to perform most, if not all functions from the mouse and keyboard.
Audio and computer based panadapter when be major pluses! No SDR.... Still want to be able to use the rig if the computer is down or for portable.

Tj, K4TFJ
Elecraft K3
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
K4TFJ
Member

Posts: 31




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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2014, 06:33:44 AM »

Tj - I'm afraid you missed the point entirely.  The Omni VI is light years away from being a modern rig from a CAT standpoint.  Take a look at the Orion II, still a bit out of date, but that hardware has scores of CAT functions more than you'd ever use.  I haven't seen anyone document a comparison of the current rigs because most of them are that way.  What I recommend is for you to obtain the CAT programming reference for ANY of the current rigs and look through it to see if you can figure out how you'd possibly use each function.  The vast majority of the functions are interesting, but not of much use for the average operator.  But, if you're truly interested in completely controlling the rig remotely, then you'd need software that implemented the entire set of available CAT commands for the rig in question.  It's highly unlikely that you'll find ANY software for ANY rig that supports every CAT command that the hardware supports. 

Floyd: Once again, and hopefully the last time... I am not asking about the software. I am fully aware that there are many and not everyone does everything. You have failed to understand my question. I am asking for input on the transceivers themselves. Some may be missing the ability to do one or more needed things that the current user of these radios are more aware of than I, hence my question. If you do not have an observation or opinion of a particular radio, then you really have no useful response to my question. Please do not hijack this thread further and attempt to impose what you think I am looking for. Thank you.

Tj, K4TFJ
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