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Author Topic: My PSK-31 Set-up  (Read 5492 times)
WB0AXN
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Posts: 90




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« on: March 09, 2008, 07:45:19 AM »

Yesterday,  I thot I'd better try this PSK-31 thingy, so I downloaded Digipan software and installed it with no problems.
Placed my headset microphone a few inches away from my external speaker and began receiving good transmissions on 20, 40 and 75mtrs.  
Hey, I said, this is okay.....so I better send out a CQ.  I turned the power level down to 10% on my Icom 746 and placed my desk mic in front of a computer speaker and pressed the transmit button on the rig.
Clicked on the "CQ" button on Digipan and out went my CQ call.   Someone must have seen my CQ, cuz they answered my call.  Unfortunately,  I did not answer their call, cuz at this point in time I didn't know what the heck I was doing.
Anyway, the set-up works, but operating this way is too difficult and confusing.......and stupid.
I need to make some kind of interface cable between the computer and my rig.  
Of course, Icom doesn't give you any blank accessory or data plugs.   The extra ten cents they would cost would probably bankrupt the company.
Looking forward to making my first contact using
PSK-31.

Roland
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KB9CRY
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Posts: 4283


WWW

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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 07:52:34 AM »

Asking my friend Google and searching for "psk interface cable" yielded a bunch of hits.

Here's one:  

http://www.geocities.com/n2uhc/interface.html
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AA4PB
Member

Posts: 15067




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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 12:10:06 PM »

I wouldn't transmit using a microphone. If it picks up any room noises, acoustic reflections, etc then you will not become very popular with the digital users and may even hear from the FCC. You need a proper wired interface to maintain a clean signal.

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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
WB0AXN
Member

Posts: 90




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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2008, 07:39:45 PM »

AA4PB wrote: You need a proper wired interface to maintain a clean signal.<<<<

This is true, but I need to find out what kind of "data" plug I need and then where to buy one.  
You'd think on a $1600 rig, Icom would be generous enough to toss one or two in.  Like I said earlier, it might cost them ten cents and that could bankrupt the company.  
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W6BP
Member

Posts: 536




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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2008, 08:26:15 PM »

There are about a zillion interface vendors, most of which will have a version with the proper cable and connector for the 746.  Here are a couple you might try:

Donner Digital:
http://home.att.net/~n8st/DDI-index.html

Tigertronics (Signalink):
http://tigertronics.com/

You can find lots more, as well as their ratings, here:
http://www.eham.net/reviews/products/53

If you want to roll your own interface, the 746 uses an 8-pin DIN accessory connector that's common to a lot of models.  I bought some of these connectors at Halted Electronics, but I'm sure you can find them elsewhere, too.
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KC3EF
Member

Posts: 99




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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2008, 11:23:52 AM »

Thats funny.  My IC-706 and IC-7000 came with a 13 pin and 6 pin DIN connecter with short pig tails for the accessory and data sockets.  

73's
KC3EF
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WB0AXN
Member

Posts: 90




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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2008, 12:55:53 PM »

KC3EF wrote: Thats funny. My IC-706 and IC-7000 came with a 13 pin and 6 pin DIN connecter with short pig tails for the accessory and data sockets. <<<<<

Yep, my 706 came with an accessory plug too, but I sold my 706 two months ago.
I found a few places online where I can buy the plug and six foot cable for my 746.  

btw,  I found out the "data" socket on the 746 uses a PS2 plug....which has been used on keyboards (and mice) for years.  Problem is....finding a plug you can solder wires to...everything I have is molded with plastic or rubber..



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VA7CPC
Member

Posts: 2831




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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2008, 06:27:38 PM »

Every old, broken-down mouse has a PS/2 plug attached.

Cut the cord, discard the mouse end, and use the plug and pre-soldered wires.

    Charles

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WB0AXN
Member

Posts: 90




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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2008, 05:25:57 AM »

Hi Charles,

As luck would have it....I don't have an old mouse laying around...but I'm sure I can find one from someone.
I cut the cable on an old keyboard, and one connection I need doesn't have a wire.  
Perhaps a mouse is wired different and it will be usable.  

Roland
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KV9U
Member

Posts: 165




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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2008, 06:48:50 AM »

It was my understanding that the ICOM 746 uses a similar DIN plug arrangement to the ICOM 756 series. One of the best sources of information on pin outs and rig connections is at microham-usa.com. The specific pinout for many newer ICOMs, except for the smaller rigs is at:

http://microham-usa.com/Products/USB/Cables/DB15-IC-8.pdf

Although this uses the 8 Pin DIN, the 7 Pin and 5 pin DIN plugs will physically fit the same socket. They will be oriented correctly with pin numbers because the key is in the same place. This means you can use alternative (and easier to find plugs) because the connections you will likely need are:

Pin 2 Ground
Pin 3 PTT
Pin 4 Audio In
Pin 5 Audio Out

If you need other pins, such as power for an interface, then you will need plugs with additional pins. However, for the lowest possible cost, high quality interface on the market, you might consider the Unified Microsystems SCI-6 available for $25 + $5 shipping. This is a kit but assembly takes less than an hour plus additional time to make up cables to the rig and the computer. I used to have RFI feedback with my partially homebrew interface, but this unit seems to have solved that problem.

If you wish to also control the rig and send back information to the computer using the CI-V, I would suggest taking a look at the West Mountain miniature USB to CI-V adapter.

Some programs can also key the rig via the CI-V, and it is convenient but not quite as solid as PTT via a COM port to an optoisolator such as used in the Unified Microsystems product. It can sometimes hang up with the transmitter left on.

Needless to say, operating digital modes using the microphone to send data is not legal because you are using phone instead of RTTY/Data and you definitely want to avoid that with even the simplest interface.
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N2RIU
Member

Posts: 6




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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2008, 06:58:01 PM »

But doesn't the DATA-IN pin lead to AFSK generator? Or is ICOM different from others (like Yaesu) in this?
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