How To 101 for CI-V installations.
Following Mel's message earlier I decided to make to post to put together a list of DOs and DONTs for CI-V...
1- Use only mono 1/8 cables
2- do use ferrite cores rf choes that snap on the cables to prevent damages to your radios, the ICOM CT-17 and VE2DX CT-17B do use RF filtering to help, but simple snap on ferrite cores are also a very good ideal and easy to install!
3- do your CI-V buss planning properly, the beauty of CI-V is that it is an addressable network wich means you CAN have multiple radios on the same CI-V bus, BUT if you use 2 identical radios in an environnement like SO2R, you MUST manage your CI-V adressing since by default both radios would have the same address (exemple : IC-7300 both would be 94H) thus one of them would have to be changed to an address not used on your CI-V network.
4- Should I put everything on a single CI-V network or NOT? well the answer is it depends! You see not all applications support multiple radios on a single serial port? for exemple HRD does not, thus if you want all your radios on the same CI-V buss you WILL have to use multiple USB (FTDI recommended!) serial ports. also you must keep in mind that you may want to seperate the radios and there assigned devices on seperate CI-V Networks, a lot of these devices are NOT device specific, they just listen to ANY CI-V comms going on the CI-V Network and react to it (for exemple change bands!), thus if you have multiple radios and you want to use one Bandselector on radio1 and a second on radio2 you WILL have to use a device like the CT-17B-12DualUSB that gives you the possibility of seperating the hub into two seperate hubs by removing JP-1.
5- My ICOM radio have a USB port should I use it for the CI-V communications, the answer is YES, if supported like on most newer ICOM radios then you should. The radio CAN be configured to echo the CI-V commands from the USB port on the CI-V port in the back of the radio (Remote connector) you can then configure your radio to do so and thus still attach your CI-V devices via a CT-17B on the back of the radio.
6- Do I need special 1/8 or USB cables for the radio ; NO, good quality standard cables can be used just make certain to add snapped on ferrite Cores to filter the RF.
7- Why would I use a CT-17B-12DualUSB; well simply to give you if needed the flexibility of splitting easilly the CI-V Network into two distinch networks,
8- Should I use Tranceive in my radios CI-V settings; the answer is it depends! Some external CI-V device NEED CI-V Tranceive to be on, but if you do beware of you CI-V network planing, since Tranceive WILL make other radios on the same CI-V Network react
1- NEVER USE stereo 1/8 cables on your CI-V netwrok.
2- DONT pay for SPECIAL CI-V 1/8 or USB cables, these are just regulare cables with possibly a ferrite core.
3- DONT use your USB port ONLY for CI-V, you can also use it for AUDIO CODEC and other interfacing.
4- Try not to use cables that are too long forcing you to coil them behing the radio, this is an RF nightmare and WILL cause you trouble.
More info and tips on our web site www.ve2dx.com .
Hope this helps :P
Richard VE2DX, Jesus Island, PQ-014nd, PQ-014
Follow my projects on www.facebook.com/VE2DX/