problems integrating IC -746 as second radio into commander


Jim
 

Dave,
I have just installed an IC-746 as a second radio in Commander. The first radio is an IC-7300 which seems to work correctly.  I intend to use the 746 for VHF on 50/144 
 
Mhz SSB/CW/Digital (mainly FT8). The radio performs well without the computer interface on SSB and CW I have not figured out the mechanics of using the Signal Link 
 
USB and the 7300 on one computer yet. 
 
The problem I am encountering is that the 746 does not want to play nicely with the cat interface meaning I cant control the radio in any fashion. I do however see the 
 
Xcvr1/Xcvr2 radio button on commander and both show up in black and I seem to be able to switch between the two buttons without any problem but as I said nothing 
 
changes on the radio. 
 
So here is what I have looked at I have have tried installing the 746 as comm 1,2,11,19-256 (I never heard of comm ports that high but thats ok I tried them anyhow) and still nothing works. I have set the parameters on the comm ports ( all of em) to N-8-1 and I have tried the default comm port on the 746 which is 9600. I have tried enabling the "Second CAT serial Port" but that doesnt seem to accomplish anything either. 
 
So my question is what did I do wrong.. I have read through the setup procedure in the docs and so have sent the error file and some pictures showing the commander panels that I believe are relevant along with the error message that pops up with some (I dont think this includes 1,2,11 &19) of the comm ports to your email address.  I think I still have it. 
 
My end goal is to get digital on the 50/144 MHz with the Tigertronics working which I have not figured out how to do with one instance of WSJT-x but I am working on that because thats a seperate issue. 
 
Thanks in advance for your efforts..
 
Jim K3YBN  

Note: info also sent via email  ... like the error file and clips of Commander config tabs


Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

I have just installed an IC-746 as a second radio in Commander. The first radio is an IC-7300 which seems to work correctly. I intend to use the 746 for VHF on 50/144

Mhz SSB/CW/Digital (mainly FT8). The radio performs well without the computer interface on SSB and CW I have not figured out the mechanics of using the Signal Link

USB and the 7300 on one computer yet.

The problem I am encountering is that the 746 does not want to play nicely with the cat interface meaning I cant control the radio in any fashion. I do however see the

Xcvr1/Xcvr2 radio button on commander and both show up in black and I seem to be able to switch between the two buttons without any problem but as I said nothing

changes on the radio.

So here is what I have looked at I have have tried installing the 746 as comm 1,2,11,19-256 (I never heard of comm ports that high but thats ok I tried them anyhow) and still nothing works. I have set the parameters on the comm ports ( all of em) to N-8-1 and I have tried the default comm port on the 746 which is 9600. I have tried enabling the "Second CAT serial Port" but that doesnt seem to accomplish anything either.

So my question is what did I do wrong.. I have read through the setup procedure in the docs and so have sent the error file and some pictures showing the commander panels that I believe are relevant along with the error message that pops up with some (I dont think this includes 1,2,11 &19) of the comm ports to your email address. I think I still have it.

My end goal is to get digital on the 50/144 MHz with the Tigertronics working which I have not figured out how to do with one instance of WSJT-x but I am working on that because thats a seperate issue.

Thanks in advance for your efforts..

Note: info also sent via email ... like the error file and clips of Commander config tabs

+ The errorlog your sent me by email shows that your IC-746 is not responding to Commander's "report your frequency" and "report your mode" directives.

+ The possibilities are

- radio and Commander not set to the same baud rate

- radio's CI-V address is set to something other than the default 56

- connection between radio's backpanel "remote" connector and the external CI-V interface is broken

- external CI-V interface is broken

- connection between external CI-V interface and your PC's serial port is broken

- Commander is not set to the serial port to which the external CI-V interface is connected

- radio's internal CI-V address is broken

73,

Dave, AA6YQ


Adrian Fewster
 

I was wondering if Jim has used device manager to identify the CAT comports ?

- Commander is not set to the serial port to which the external CI-V interface is connected

- radio's internal CI-V address is broken

73,

Dave, AA6YQ








Jacob Derenne
 

I also had issues when I hooked up my 746 I purchased used, but 2 706mkiig work correctly thru commander.

I come to find out the CIV port on back of radio is not functioning and broken, so that may also

Be an issue for your 746. I forget how to check if it is working, as it has been awhile since

 

Hope that helps some

Jake – W9BLI

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Dave AA6YQ
Sent: Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:19 PM
To: DXLab@groups.io
Subject: Re: [DXLab] problems integrating IC -746 as second radio into commander

 

+ AA6YQ comments below

I have just installed an IC-746 as a second radio in Commander. The first radio is an IC-7300 which seems to work correctly.  I intend to use the 746 for VHF on 50/144
 
Mhz SSB/CW/Digital (mainly FT8). The radio performs well without the computer interface on SSB and CW I have not figured out the mechanics of using the Signal Link
 
USB and the 7300 on one computer yet.
 
The problem I am encountering is that the 746 does not want to play nicely with the cat interface meaning I cant control the radio in any fashion. I do however see the
 
Xcvr1/Xcvr2 radio button on commander and both show up in black and I seem to be able to switch between the two buttons without any problem but as I said nothing
 
changes on the radio.
 
So here is what I have looked at I have have tried installing the 746 as comm 1,2,11,19-256 (I never heard of comm ports that high but thats ok I tried them anyhow) and still nothing works. I have set the parameters on the comm ports ( all of em) to N-8-1 and I have tried the default comm port on the 746 which is 9600. I have tried enabling the "Second CAT serial Port" but that doesnt seem to accomplish anything either.
 
So my question is what did I do wrong.. I have read through the setup procedure in the docs and so have sent the error file and some pictures showing the commander panels that I believe are relevant along with the error message that pops up with some (I dont think this includes 1,2,11 &19) of the comm ports to your email address.  I think I still have it.
 
My end goal is to get digital on the 50/144 MHz with the Tigertronics working which I have not figured out how to do with one instance of WSJT-x but I am working on that because thats a seperate issue.
 
Thanks in advance for your efforts..
 
Note: info also sent via email  ... like the error file and clips of Commander config tabs

+ The errorlog your sent me by email shows that your IC-746 is not responding to Commander's "report your frequency" and "report your mode" directives.

+ The possibilities are

- radio and Commander not set to the same baud rate

- radio's CI-V address is set to something other than the default 56

- connection between radio's backpanel "remote" connector and the external CI-V interface is broken

- external CI-V interface is broken

- connection between external CI-V interface and your PC's serial port is broken

- Commander is not set to the serial port to which the external CI-V interface is connected

- radio's internal CI-V address is broken

       73,

                Dave, AA6YQ








 


Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

I was wondering if Jim has used device manager to identify the CAT comports ?

+ Unlike his IC-7300, the IC-746 does not have a built-in USB CI-V port; thus one can't use the technique of connecting the radio to the PC with a USB cable while watching the Ports section of the Windows Device Manager to see which serial port is created when the connection is made.

+ The IC-746 requires an external CI-V interface that must be connect to a PC serial port, or must be connected to a USB-to-serial-port adaptor. If a USB-to-serial-port adaptor is being used, making the USB connection while monitoring the Device Manager will reveal the serial port. Connecting the CI-V interface directly to a serial port requires knowing that serial port's COM #.

+ Correctly configured, Commander continuously directs the radio to report its frequency, mode, RX/TX status, etc. You can monitor the outgoing and incoming traffic in Commander's Messages window:

<https://www.dxlabsuite.com/commander/Help/MonitoringMessages.htm>

+ If the radio is not responding to the directives Commander is sending, one can use an oscilloscope to check the CI-V bus for radio responses. If they are present, you can then trace the signals through the CI-V interface to the serial port.

+ The CI-V interfaces inside Icom transceivers are vulnerable to failure from static discharge damage, but prosaic failures like "wrong baud rate" and "wrong CI-V address" are more common.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ


Jim
 

Yes thats where I got them to plug into Commander  and thanks for asking..  sometimes you miss things like that.. 

Jim


Jim
 

Dave I have an aftermarket USB to cat cable. it is about 12 years old and so could be bad... I am going to try the CT17 tomorrow ... but I have no idea how to test for a good com port other than shutting down DXLab and setting up something like mixw to see if that works.  Let me see if any of my USB utilities will work on this.. 

Dave I saw that string of reports indicating the 746 was not responding to the commands and nothing I sent it seemed to work. Thats why I started wondering about baud rate and data bits etc..  

Lets see what happens tomorrow 

 thanks guy


Adrian Fewster
 

Dave, Ok on , that. Well it seems in either case Device manager is a useful tool to see ;

 

 

Real DB9 serial ports if known directly connected, such as above, of which there are usually few, numbered low, and ;

 

usb-ser ports which are well identified, with properties showing the type, ftdi etc which the user may know regarding the adapter ;

 

 

 

So only these would be considered , and the either type of connection of the two groups above, further defining the selectable range to try,

rather than guessing.

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: DXLab@groups.io [mailto:DXLab@groups.io] On Behalf Of Dave AA6YQ
Sent: Sunday, 20 September 2020 10:06 AM
To: DXLab@groups.io
Subject: Re: [DXLab] problems integrating IC -746 as second radio into commander

 

+ AA6YQ comments below

 

I was wondering if Jim has used device manager to identify the CAT comports ?

 

+ Unlike his IC-7300, the IC-746 does not have a built-in USB CI-V port; thus one can't use the technique of connecting the radio to the PC with a USB cable while watching the Ports section of the Windows Device Manager to see which serial port is created when the connection is made.

 

+ The IC-746 requires an external CI-V interface that must be connect to a PC serial port, or must be connected to a USB-to-serial-port adaptor. If a USB-to-serial-port adaptor is being used, making the USB connection while monitoring the Device Manager will reveal the serial port. Connecting the CI-V interface directly to a serial port requires knowing that serial port's COM #.

 

+ Correctly configured, Commander continuously directs the radio to report its frequency, mode, RX/TX status, etc. You can monitor the outgoing and incoming traffic in Commander's Messages window:

 

<https://www.dxlabsuite.com/commander/Help/MonitoringMessages.htm>

 

+ If the radio is not responding to the directives Commander is sending, one can use an oscilloscope to check the CI-V bus for radio responses. If they are present, you can then trace the signals through the CI-V interface to the serial port.

 

+ The CI-V interfaces inside Icom transceivers are vulnerable to failure from static discharge damage, but prosaic failures like "wrong baud rate" and "wrong CI-V address" are more common.

 

         73,

 

                 Dave, AA6YQ

 

 

 

 

 


Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

Dave I have an aftermarket USB to cat cable. it is about 12 years old and so could be bad... I am going to try the CT17 tomorrow ... but I have no idea how to test for a good com port other than shutting down DXLab and setting up something like mixw to see if that works. Let me see if any of my USB utilities will work on this..

+ Since Commander correctly controls your IC-7300, you can use IC-7300 to test your USB-to-CIV cable with the same COM port you're using with the IC-746.

+ There is a small risk that your USB-to-CIV cable is damaged in a way that damages the connected transceiver's internal CI-V port. I've not seen this happen with Icom transceiver and interfaces, but have seen it in other debugging scenarios.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ


Jim
 

Update - I found something interesting. Apparently the IC-746 needs a special cable in order to use the accessory port for data on vhf. for some odd reason they decided to put vhf data (originally for packet ) on the 7 pin DIN connnector while the HF data connection goes to the 8 pin DIN.  Initially I thought this strange but thinking back its not at all. THis radio was designed early to mid 90's for the packet craze. Remember we had DX clusters on vhf packet for spotting purposes hence it is wired to support this easier.   
Unfortunately I will have to find a source for both the 7 and 8 pin DIN plugs before I can proceed with this operation,. ANd then this still doesnt resolve the issue with why the CAT connection doesnt work. 
I have removed to original CAT cable and now have the old CT-17 in its place... now if I can only keep the wife from finding more of those "Honey-Do's" for me I will maybe get to it..

But we are working the issues... oh Dave I want to reserve checking the old USB CAT cable by plugging it into the IC-7300 as I find resetting the soft settings in the radio a pain and I always mess them up.. 

Jim K3ybn


Peter Laws / N5UWY
 

On Mon, Sep 21, 2020 at 4:30 PM Jim <wa3mej@qsl.net> wrote:

Update - I found something interesting. Apparently the IC-746 needs a special cable in order to use the accessory port for data on vhf. for some odd reason they decided to put vhf data (originally for packet ) on the 7 pin DIN connnector while the HF data connection goes to the 8 pin DIN. Initially I thought this strange but thinking back its not at all. THis radio was designed early to mid 90's for the packet craze. Remember we had DX

The ACC port pinouts for the IC-746Pro are on p21 of the PDF manual.
If you actually have an IC-746 you'd need the correct manual (which I
assume is online if you google hard enough). I expect the ACC ports
are the same because they are pretty much the same across Icoms, at
least the pre-USB models. VSEND had to go to ACC(2) because HSEND was
on pin 3 of ACC(1) already. A better question might be "why did they
need two PTT lines" but I don't have an answer.

If you use the 6-pin mini-DIN "DATA" port there appears to be only a
single PTT. It's truly a pity that the industry never got behind this
standard (see http://www.wa8lmf.net/6-Pin-MiniDin-Data-Connector/index.htm).

The IC-746Pro dates from about 2001. I don't believe the non-Pro was
out for more than a year or two before the Pro came out. The only
difference that I know of is that the Pro has DSP filtering while the
non-Pro requires a fleet of FL filters.



--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


Joe Subich, W4TV
 

VSEND had to go to ACC(2) because HSEND was on pin 3 of ACC(1)
already.
Icom's "PTT lines" are strange in that they are bidirectional.
Pulling HSEND or VSEND low puts the rig into transmit *BUT* if
one uses the mic PTT switch (or VOX, or Semi Break-IN CW, etc.)
HSEND (for HF/6m) or VSEND (for 144 MHz) will also "go low".

A better question might be "why did they need two PTT
lines" but I don't have an answer.
Because there are no (known) amplifiers that cover 1.8 - 144 MHz
and one typically needs a separate amplifier keying line (amplifier
PTT) for a 2 meter amplifier!

If you use the 6-pin mini-DIN "DATA" port there appears to be only a
single PTT.
That is a good solution if one has an IC-746Pro (IC-7400 in Europe).
Unfortunately, the mini-DIN6 is not present on the IC-746.

73,

... Joe, W4TV


On 2020-09-21 5:44 PM, Peter Laws / N5UWY wrote:
On Mon, Sep 21, 2020 at 4:30 PM Jim <wa3mej@qsl.net> wrote:

Update - I found something interesting. Apparently the IC-746 needs a special cable in order to use the accessory port for data on vhf. for some odd reason they decided to put vhf data (originally for packet ) on the 7 pin DIN connnector while the HF data connection goes to the 8 pin DIN. Initially I thought this strange but thinking back its not at all. THis radio was designed early to mid 90's for the packet craze. Remember we had DX
The ACC port pinouts for the IC-746Pro are on p21 of the PDF manual.
If you actually have an IC-746 you'd need the correct manual (which I
assume is online if you google hard enough). I expect the ACC ports
are the same because they are pretty much the same across Icoms, at
least the pre-USB models. VSEND had to go to ACC(2) because HSEND was
on pin 3 of ACC(1) already. A better question might be "why did they
need two PTT lines" but I don't have an answer.
If you use the 6-pin mini-DIN "DATA" port there appears to be only a
single PTT. It's truly a pity that the industry never got behind this
standard (see http://www.wa8lmf.net/6-Pin-MiniDin-Data-Connector/index.htm).
The IC-746Pro dates from about 2001. I don't believe the non-Pro was
out for more than a year or two before the Pro came out. The only
difference that I know of is that the Pro has DSP filtering while the
non-Pro requires a fleet of FL filters.