Howard Nurse, W6HN
The CI-V address should be \0x98, using a backslash.
The Power macros must start with *1w<space> for Icom radios. There is a possibility the 7610 has a slightly different command to set power levels. Please check the CAT programming manual for the 7610. You will see a popup message since the Icom sends back a Hex code, but it shouldn't disconnect the radio.
I'm not clear on what you are asking in your left/right question.
I agree, a bit of wine is always a fun project! :-)