It is surprising ARCS II (http://www.qsl.net/wb5kia/arcs/arcslite.htm
) developed by WB5KIA has so little activity in the form of a focus group or forum.
After having being dormant in the hobby for the past two decades and retiring to the "golden years", I once again am bitten by the bug. I bought a Kenwood TS-430, then a TS-B2000. I am amazed in the progress of digital formats and further amazed in the advances of CAT. Amateur Radio is never stagnant making it a wonderful hobby.
I am a retired engineer (mostly RF and advanced communications networks) with some self taught programming, computer programming, etc, so CAT isn't that daunting. There are many applications developed around CAT but it seems still in infancy for all intents and purposes.
It is not my intentions to making any contentious comparisons as we are dealing with a wide field of endeavor, covering a great deal of products with varying degrees of computer literacy. Also manufacturer or brand fealty plays a big part. So, a lot of toes get stepped upon and even though unintentional.
First, ARCS II seems solely built for the Kenwood TS 2000. But I would go out on a limb saying adaptations could be made for other bands. Just my opinion and not in any way implying the fellow who developed this should progress it beyond its present boundaries.
If you visit the above link, you will find a good comparison matrix for other programs. It is factual and I would say it does not promote a "my chocolate tastes better than yours" debate, but a honest comparison. But if you are looking for CAT for your Yaesu or Icom, don't waste your time.
In no way do consider myself expert with ARCS II. Rather, I am still a babe in the woods with it. But my exposure has been enough to tell you this pie tastes mighty good. I am seeking those who wish to form a group or forum to consider sharing their levels of expertise.
Foremost for me, CAT software must approximate real time knob twisting and not an exercise in walking your mouse. Selecting bands and spinning through them is important. HRD (Ham Radio Deluxe) has the best approach with slide rule tuning; HSU (Ham Station Ultra by Callsign Software) has a slider but not that fluid in comparison. ARCS II is somewhere in between these two in my opinion.
Then, easy tune up, SWR checking, TX audio control are next in importance.
I hope to add more as I learn more about ARCS II and solicit any who can add to the experience. There is no gain on my part other that learning something new. I still use HRD, still own a HSU license and will be using them as well as ARCS II. No one can make a product that is all things to everyone so the option of using many is the closest one could imagine.
Feel free to email me with your ideas or comment at email@example.com
. Serious users only, if any wish to stir a debate based on anything other than honest evaluation, please don't.