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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: Totally frustrated...  (Read 7811 times)
K0UA
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Posts: 4788




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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2018, 11:09:21 AM »

If you want to enjoy the full experience of FT8 you will need a rig with CAT control.

Does the ICOM CI-V protocol qualify as CAT control?

Yep.  You will need a CI-V protocol converter. A simple CI-V to USB cable typically runs about $20..
I like the ones from G4ZLP. Quick and easy

http://www.g4zlp.co.uk/unified/IcomCAT.shtml
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
K0UA
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Posts: 4788




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« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2018, 11:12:05 AM »

You probably have heard all your life that you can't really control cat's, Smiley  but it is not true, with the proper interface you can enjoy CAT control. Smiley
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
W5DXP
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« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2018, 05:19:31 PM »

Yep.  You will need a CI-V protocol converter. A simple CI-V to USB cable typically runs about $20..

The second one on this page is the one I bought and it works well:

https://www.valley-ent.com/store/two-way-radio/programming-cables/icom/page/1
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My antenna says, "What makes me happy is when the tuner is adjusted for maximum available current through my radiation resistance!" 73, Cecil, w5dxp.com
K0UA
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« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2018, 08:33:10 AM »

Yep.  You will need a CI-V protocol converter. A simple CI-V to USB cable typically runs about $20..

The second one on this page is the one I bought and it works well:

https://www.valley-ent.com/store/two-way-radio/programming-cables/icom/page/1

There you go, looks like a bargain.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
W5DXP
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« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2018, 09:53:22 AM »


Unfortunately, I just noticed that they are out of stock at the moment. Sad
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My antenna says, "What makes me happy is when the tuner is adjusted for maximum available current through my radiation resistance!" 73, Cecil, w5dxp.com
VA3VF
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Posts: 2994




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« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2018, 10:11:07 AM »


I use this one:

http://www.g4zlp.co.uk/unified/IcomCAT.shtml
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KC3NG
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Posts: 122




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« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2018, 06:35:21 AM »

The input and exchange are structured and have minimal data exchange. I rapidly became BORES,
Renrr KC3NG
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N5INP
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Posts: 2309




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« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2018, 07:58:17 AM »

The input and exchange are structured and have minimal data exchange. I rapidly became BORES,

Kinda like most all SSB, RTTY, and CW DX exchanges ...  Roll Eyes
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K5LXP
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« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2018, 04:04:24 AM »


Quote
Isn't there one single manufacturer out there that sells EVERYTHING together so that it is actually "plug and play?"  I mean interface, cables, software and easy-to-understand instructions so I don't have to go to YouTube and mess everything up???

Yes, right here:

https://www.wikihow.com/Text

Yes, kind of a smart ass response but with a bit of truth.  At some point you're going to have to have some understanding of what's going on just to use any soundcard modes even if it was "foolproof".  If you went to someone else's station that was already set up and ready to go, would you know what to look for and what to do to make a contact?  Ham radio isn't a cell phone, and digital modes aren't texting.  At a fundamental level you have to know a bit of how the sausage is made to make it work.  Maybe not as far as the innards of the protocol or how bits are recovered from quadrature, but certainly the operator interface and interpreting indicators on the screen.  I guarantee that even with a rig with a built in interface, you will have to understand and make changes to levels and settings.  No different than a SignaLink.

You don't even need an interface just to receive.  You can put a laptop running whatever mode software near a radio and just pick up the audio with the built in microphone.  I've done it countless times.  You could do this right now, this minute, using the radios you already have and probably with the computer you're reading this on.  If you can't, then that's the first problem to solve.  Interfaces are just the conduit between the radio and software.  Divide and conquer.  Get one functional block working at a time then next thing you know the hardware is transparent to whatever modes you're working.

Yes, you could buy a new radio and that may eliminate one external box in the chain.  But before you go swapping stations to save the (very minor) effort of connecting a pre-built audio cable and modestly priced interface like the SignaLink, experiment with just receiving with the equipment you have.  Once you get a handle on that, the interface for whatever equipment you have is just a layer you add that allows you to transmit.  I have 2 SignaLink interfaces and what makes that path appealing is you can use them with just about any radio, even an old boatanchor if you want.  A lot more flexible and less expensive than buying transceivers.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
 
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WA8MEA
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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2018, 12:45:51 PM »

It was just a matter of time.  I knew there would be a couple of "anti-Elmers" who would shoot off their keyboards and make some crack about my supposed lack of knowledge.  I am not going to go into my background, except to say that I have often diagnosed problems and made repairs of my son's software and hardware issues.  These young men work in the 'puter industry.  So I am not totally ignorant when it comes to computer/packet/digital communications. 

However, having worked in advertising and PR for many years, I am also aware of the "truth in advertising" rules.  My VOIP telephone system is "plug & play."  West Mountain and SignalLink are not.  In fact, I have VOIP running on all three floors of my home w/o exclusively depending on the modem/router.

I just received my tax refund and ordered an Icom IC-7200 as K0UA suggested.  For some reason, I trust him more than those who responded towards the end of this thread.

73, Bill
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K0UA
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Posts: 4788




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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2018, 01:06:23 PM »

I helped a fella just a couple of days ago get his 7200 on the air with FT8, and I believe he was a pretty happy camper.  We talked for about 3 hours, solved a couple of problems and I gave him some tips on operating. I helped him get the latest software loaded, and JT alert too and went over that with him.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
K0UA
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Posts: 4788




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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2018, 05:16:02 PM »

One other little item on your new 7200.  We found this out the other day.  There does not appear to be a method to adjust the level of the audio going from the USB towards the PC and the WSJT-x program.  We had to adjust that level in the Windows "recording devices" down to a very low level to keep the 7200 from driving the heck out of the WSJT-x program audio input level meter.

 It stayed in the red all the time..  On my 7300 there is a level adjustment in the radio for BOTH input and output on the USB port.  On the 7200 there is a level adjustment for the output level, but that is all. Be aware of this, and also when windows does updates it often sets these levels back to 100 percent.  So this is just something you will have to watch.  I always like to leave windows adjustments at default and make adjustments to the radio because of this, but this is not possible with this model of radio.

 Also going into and really out of WSJT-x and back into regular SSB mode, the WSJT-x program will put the radio into USB-D or data mode where a small d appears in your display of the radio, but when you close WSJT-x you will have to manually put the radio back into regular SSB mode but going into the quick set menu and turning off data mode.

Also no big deal, but you will unpleasantly surprised when you go to call someone on regular voice SSB and you mic will not seem to work, because you will have set  Data mode on to kill the mic and acc, by selecting USB,  and data mode off to allow mic and acc input.

You for SURE want to do this so that you are not one of "those guys" that transmits voice audio on the data sub-bands.  You know the ones, who you hear their TV, their wife, their dog barking, and sometimes a string of profanities when they miss a a good DX entity.

Call me if you run into trouble.  Send me an email and we will exchange phone numbers. etc.
Good luck and happy dx ing.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
WA8MEA
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« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2018, 06:40:09 AM »

Thanks again, James.  It will be a short while before I attempt the digital routine once again.  I've got to unload a couple of rigs first.  I will be in touch...

73, Bill
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K0UA
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Posts: 4788




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« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2018, 06:56:17 AM »

Thanks again, James.  It will be a short while before I attempt the digital routine once again.  I've got to unload a couple of rigs first.  I will be in touch...

73, Bill

Rgr that, and will be looking for your email.  73  James K0UA
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
KD8YGW
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2018, 08:48:35 AM »

I helped a fella just a couple of days ago get his 7200 on the air with FT8, and I believe he was a pretty happy camper.  We talked for about 3 hours, solved a couple of problems and I gave him some tips on operating. I helped him get the latest software loaded, and JT alert too and went over that with him.

I am the ham James is talking about and I was not a "pretty happy camper", I was--and am--a VERY happy camper! Outstanding resource! I had a Windows update last night and, afterward, I wasn't getting any decodes. Then, I remembered the time issue that he taught me about, ran my Dimension 4 and, bingo, the left window filled up fast. Thanks again, James!

73,
Kevin
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