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Author Topic: CAT interface for IC 756 PRO III  (Read 2586 times)
IZ2HDN
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Posts: 20




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« on: September 28, 2007, 04:59:13 AM »

good morning,
has anybody experience in interfacing IC 756 PRO III to a PC via CAT?
TNX  and '73 de IZ2 HDN Max
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K8AC
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Posts: 1451




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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2007, 05:09:39 AM »

Yes - what information do you need?
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IZ2HDN
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2007, 05:17:35 AM »

in principle how to do it!
Tnx
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12360




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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2007, 05:18:14 AM »

In Icom "speak" it's CI-V. CI-V is actually normal serial data but the levels are TTL (0V and +5V). You have to use a converter to interface to RS-232 which is -9V and +9V (approx).

The CI-V is also "open collector" drive so that you can parallel multiple radios on the same interface and assign them different addresses.
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N8UZE
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Posts: 1525




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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2007, 05:23:57 AM »

The CI-V is also rather expensive.  If you do not need to interface multiple radios, try the interfaces sold on the N3FJP site.  We bought one for my OM's Icom and it works like a charm.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12360




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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 05:25:32 AM »

The interface that Icom sells is called a CT-17. There are others on the market (google "ci-v") for less money. The Icom unit contains RFI filters and is designed to drive multiple radios. Some of the other less expensive units are not designed as well although they probably work just fine in most cases.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 05:28:34 AM »

"CI-V" is the Icom electrical interface specification. The Icom CI-V to RS-232 converter is the model CT-17.
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G7CIA
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007, 08:29:08 AM »

I have just interafced my Icom IC-706 to my PC, and use the excellent Ham Radio Deluxe software.

The interface is relatively simple to build.

I bought one from Ebay (sourced from China!), but altough it worked was very suceptible to RF getting in.  It had the electronics in a small plastic box on the cable.

I have replaced this with one from ZLP electronics (www.g4zlp.co.uk).  I know he sells worldwide, and that his interface is used by the HRD developers.  It is well built (by a ham), and is cheaper than the OEM.

So my advice, either build your own, or buy a 'good' one.

There is plenty of stuff on the net about the CI-V protocol if you want to write your own software, but there are plenty of good (and free with a donation) software already written.

Good luck!.

Best 73's  Jon (g7CIA)
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N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2007, 08:54:09 AM »

There is sevral local hams around my place using these cables found on ebay. i added some ferrites to mine simply because i had them. but none of use seem to have any problems.  and a few of us run any ware from 800 to legal limit amps  in are shacks.

http://cgi.ebay.com/USB-CI-V-interface-cable-for-ICOM-USA-Radio-NEW_W0QQitemZ170152404897QQihZ007QQcategoryZ40066QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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G7CIA
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2007, 09:12:14 AM »

I tried the ferrites, and even screening the box on the cable, but the thing kept locking up the USB driver that came with it (when running near 100W, but not at lower watts).  This meant having to restart the computer.

The 'screened' one seems to work fine.

Probably just me, but other stuff in the shack (like my home built BSX2 that I use for APRS) doesn't seem to suffer.

Probably just bad luck!
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K8AC
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Posts: 1451




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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2007, 10:43:12 AM »

Hi Max.  If you have any technical skills and some simple tools, you can build a simple interface and level converter to connect to a COM port that will work as well as the Icom interface or any of the others sold today.  Here's a link to a schematic for one version of the converter: www.seed-solutions.com/gregordy/Amateur%20Radio/Experimentation/CIVInterface.htm

All the necessary parts can be purchased here for less than 10 USD.  From a software standpoint, what you need depends upon what you want to accomplish.  Some of the software that gives you nearly complete control over your transceiver can be interesting for a while, but they don't add much to your operation unless you intend to control the rig remotely.  Many of the more popular general purpose and contest logging programs use the CAT interface in a way that can add value to your daily operation.  For example, a logging program will automatically record the band you're operating on in your log entries, as well as the mode and actual frequency.  Those with a good DX Spotting interface (DXLAB for example) allow you to mouse on a DX spot and have the transceiver automatically set to the right frequencies (and split if required), mode, etc.  In addition, some logging programs (DXLAB again) can also tell you the settings for your linear or external antenna tuner based on the frequency read from the transceiver.  Complete control of a rig for remote operation adds another layer of complexity and software.  All require the basic PC to rig communications, which can be accomplished using the converter shown at the site mentioned above.  There are many other versions of this same converter, with minor differences, and they can all be found with a Google search.  Best of luck.
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9793




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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2007, 10:33:42 PM »

http://members.fortunecity.com/w2eny/
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AD5PE
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2007, 09:11:44 PM »

If you only need one radio to the computer, Radio Shack sells a programming cable for certain scanners (part number 20-247) which is 1/8" mono on one end and USB on the other - with an orange translucent box in the middle housing the converter circuitry and a couple of status LEDs.  It sells for <$30.

Same as the ones on Ebay if a little more expensive, but.... you know it works, you get it when you pay for it and you can drive out and get it tonight (well, tomorrow, since it's late on a Sunday and RS is closed by now) - without having to wait for shipping.

Added advantage is being USB it works with new computers and laptops (that now frequently lack a serial port) without having to mess with another converted.
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N2GJ
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2010, 02:27:49 PM »

I found that Radio Shack part: it's 20-047. I think there was a tiny typo.  Thanks to everyone who has responded already!  I was pleased to see it's an FTDI chip.  That means there are already 64 bit drivers available.  73
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