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Author Topic: Interfacing ICOM 725 with N1MM logging  (Read 3680 times)
VP9HW
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« on: June 07, 2016, 07:58:13 AM »

I need to connect my Icom 725 with my computer to use the N1MM software for cw. Is it necessary to get something like RigBlaster or is it ok to run straight to computer with a mike connector at one end and a USB connector at the other end?
Thanks
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K7MEM
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2016, 02:10:31 PM »

I need to connect my Icom 725 with my computer to use the N1MM software for cw. Is it necessary to get something like RigBlaster or is it ok to run straight to computer with a mike connector at one end and a USB connector at the other end?
Thanks

Your IC-725 is very similar to my IC-735. You can make some connections through the microphone connector, but it would better to interface with the rig through the rear connectors. ACC(1) can be used for all audio in/out and PTT. CW Keying can be done through the rear key jack. And rig control can be done through the rear CI-V Remote Control Jack. But there is usually a interface between them.

The N1MM software should be pretty straight forward to interface with your rig. I like to split the interfacing into three pieces, the Audio, CW Keying/PTT, and Rig Control. Each one requires a slightly different interface.

Audio - The PC Audio Output can be wired directly to the Rig Audio Input via the ACC(1) connector Pin 5 and Pin 2 (gnd). Rig Audio Output to PC Audio Input can be wired directly again via the ACC(1) connector Pin 4 and Pin 2 (gnd).

CW Keying/PTT  - This is usually handled through the use of a Serial Port. This can be a real serial port, if your PC has one, or it can be a USB to Serial Port Converter Cable. You should be able to specify CW and PTT to be on different pins. But the output of a Serial Port is a RS-232 level signal. This needs to be converted to a on/off signal with a one transistor interface.

Rig Control - This is handled by another Serial Port. But, again, the input/output signal levels need to be transformed to match the levels used with CI-V (TTL). This is a little more complicated than the CW Keying/PTT because the CI-V is a bi-directional communication port. Icom specifies the CT-17 as the interface to use. However, others are available.

I made my own interface, but many hams prefer to purchase one. A good choice is the Rigblaster, but be careful which one you get. Generally, the higher the price, the more options. For example, the RIGblaster Nomic is pretty cheap at $60, but it doesn't have rig control capabilities. Of course, you could add RIGTalk for another $55, but now you have two interfaces. Whereas, the RIGblaster Advantage, for $200, has a USB interface, a built in RIGblaster audio, CAT control (CI-V), and true CW keying. A little pricey but best for almost plug-and-play. They should have pre-made cables specific to your rig. I checked and they do have cables for the IC-725

I would recommend you read over the N1MM_Presentation. It provides a nice high level look at the N1MM software and it's interfaces.

Martin - K7MEM
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Martin - K7MEM
http://www.k7mem.com
VP9HW
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Posts: 43




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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 09:09:42 AM »

Hi Martin,
Many thanks for your thoughtful, in depth reply. I guess I will have to bight the bullet and get the Rigblaster after all.

Cheers,
Steve H. (vp9hw)
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VP9HW
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2016, 10:42:17 AM »

Hi Martin,

I checked RIGblaster on N1MM without finding any reference to the plug and play model. Do you think that the plug and play RIGblaster would work with the program interfaced with the Icom 725?

Thanks again,

Steve (vp9hw)
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W0SMR
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2016, 10:57:13 PM »

Hey Steve,

In your setup for the N1MM software you should just have to tell it where to look for the rig blaster, if it is unable to do this on it's own (I'm not as familiar with the N1MM software but I tried to do some research before responding)

When the rig blaster is connected to your computer it should occupy a COM port, which is unique for each connected device. When the COM port is assigned for the specific radio in N1MM you may have to adjust a few other settings as well.

Things to look at if it doesn't initially work, (most of these settings should be changed in the software)
 - Is the CI-V address correct for the radio? (default for the IC-725 is 28H)
 - Is the BAUD rate set correctly? (Standard and default for the IC-725 is 1200)

All of this information was obtained from pg. 12 of the user manual obtained at http://www.icom.co.jp/world/support/download/manual/disp_down.php?ID=20010101093&GNR=Amateur&TYPE=Base%20Station&PDNM=IC-725&INQWORDSWT=No

 - Check to make sure the Rig Blaster is plugged in Wink


For me, I have had a lot of luck using the Tigertronics Signalink USB and a USB CI-V cable. Tigertronics makes a cable which interfaces with the IC-725 to provide the audio input for FSK (part number TGR-SL-CAB8PD) and the CI-V cable allows for computer control and monitoring of the radio.

As Martin (K7MEM) mentioned, there are a number of ways this can be accomplished Rig Blaster is nice because it does everything in one box, although it is the most expensive. What I have just mentioned will probably cost around US$130-150 if you get everything new.

K7MEM did a fantastic job breaking everything up into what all of the pieces are. Hopefully this helps you and if you have any other questions I'll try to remember to glance back here otherwise you can always shoot me an email, found good at QRZ.

If you are interested in a signalink one possible purchase option would be at https://www.dxengineering.com/search/product-line/tigertronics-signalink-usb-digital-communications-interface-combos?autoview=SKU&keyword=signalink&sortby=BestKeywordMatch&sortorder=Ascending&N=390470%2B4294935529

for a CI-V cable they can be found for a very good price on ebay and I haven't had any problems with any of the 3 I have bought there.

Take care and have fun!
Sean R. W0SMR
 
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 11:08:56 PM by W0SMR » Logged
VP9HW
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Posts: 43




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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2016, 10:05:19 AM »

Hi Sean,
Many thanks for your input. Very appreciated. My only concern is why the N1MM manual did not include the plug and play version of the RIGblaster while including other RIGblaster gear.

Thanks again,
Steve vp9hw Smiley
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