SkyCommand vs Cross Banding


WD8ARZ <wd8arz@...>
 

Cross banding a base, portable or mobile dual band radio brings valuable
operation for low power stations and rubber duck antenna systems.
Really helps extend the battery life of HT's for example, as they can
operate on their lowest power setting in most cases.

Several times while I am out taking a walk using my HT to operate my
mobile or base station with cross banding enabled, I had times when I
wished I could change frequency and other aspects of the station I was
using. I didnt like having to go back to the station to make changes.
Answer turned out to be Kenwoods SkyCommand operation.
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/fm_txvrs/0710sky2.html
http://www.kenwood.com/usa/com/amateur/th-d72a/

Interesting to note the number of rigs that support Kenwoods wonderful
SkyCommand.

HF Rigs: TS2000 series, TS-480 series, The TS570S, TS-870S and the TS-590S.
Dual Banders: TMD700A, TMD710A, and RC-D710 Control Head, TM-V71A/E
with 2.10 Firmware.
HT's: TH-79A KSS, THD7A and THD72A.

Have been using SkyCommand for some time now, and once you get used to
it, you don't want to be with out it. It is way KooL to walk away from
your base, portable or mobile station and do hf operations on your HT.
That includes changing bands and frequencies using the hf rig vfo and
memory system from the HT. Of course you can also use a dual bander in
your mobile and operate your base HF rig as long as you don't drive out
of your reception control range. Don't worry if you do though. The dual
bander will time out based on your transmit time out setting, and will
quit transmitting the hf audio to you. When you drive back into your
control range, press button two on your radio and the HF rig audio will
resume transmitting to you again.

For me there were several key items that made the initial system setup
very difficult to work on my end. Makes me understand why so many said
they could not make it work and gave up.

* Most discussion of the SkyCommand setup by users were using the
TS-2000. The dual bander and hf rig are in one box, so less to configure
and cable up. However very different instructions need to be followed
if using three separate pieces and not using the TS-2000. Was challenging
to be sure.

* The TS-480HX instruction manual says to use 9600 baud for SkyCommand
db9 null modem serial cable to the dual band radio. No mention was made
in this manual that the baud rate chosen 'Needed To Match' the dual
bander being used (TMD700A / TMD710A) which 'Might Not Be 9600". Both
rigs of course need to be set to the same baud rate. The dual band radio
manual didn't mention the baud rate for the serial cable at all. I am
using 19200 because other programs and an antenna tuner use that rate.
Most folks could not get by the "Push [0] Key To Start Commander !!" on
the HT display because of this.

* It is easy when reading the TS-480 or TMD700A / TMD710A instruction
manuals for SkyCommand to miss the fact that the keypad assignments are
different for the THD7A / THD72A HT keypad than for the dual banders.

* It is nice that the SkyCommand II uses the display of the HT to tell
you to turn on the HF rig by using button #1. So why doesn't it tell you
to enable the audio from the HF rig through the Transporter to the
Commander by turning it on by using button #2 ?!? Another key point
where users gave up because they couldn't get audio to their Commander
(HT) from the hf rig.

* Have the TS-480 powered on, turn on the dual band radio and enable
SkyCommand Transporter mode. Enable the HT SkyCommand for Commander
mode. The HT screen will then tell you to press 0 to start. If no audio
is received from the HF rig, press 2 on the HT and viola, your on HF
using your HT. You can even power off the HF rig with button 1 on the HT
and turn it back on.

Have fun using SkyCommand and let us know how your doing and what your
using.

73 from Bill -
WD8ARZ-7    HT TH-D7AG
WD8ARZ-9    Mobile TM-D700AG
WD8ARZ-10  Android Smart Phone - APRSdroid  and U2APRS
APRS Viewer on Android for displaying APRS stations only, no beacon / transmitting.


Chris Quirk
 

Sky command is really great at monopolizing frequencies and wasting spectrum. They have been a constant source of problems in our area as the system does not monitor the channel for other users and broadcast HF audio for hours on a vhf frequency. Some folks have them at high elevations so they can be heard for many miles. We have one station 20 miles away that is using the output frequency of our repeater. The user could care less and he is not the only one in the area that causes problems.  
Yeah we are a big fan of them here
From: "WD8ARZ wd8arz@comcast.net [TMD700A]" <TMD700A@yahoogroups.com>
To: "TMD700A@yahoogroups.com" <TMD700A@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 6:56 AM
Subject: [TMD700A] SkyCommand vs Cross Banding

  Cross banding a base, portable or mobile dual band radio brings valuable
operation for low power stations and rubber duck antenna systems.
Really helps extend the battery life of HT's for example, as they can
operate on their lowest power setting in most cases.

Several times while I am out taking a walk using my HT to operate my
mobile or base station with cross banding enabled, I had times when I
wished I could change frequency and other aspects of the station I was
using. I didnt like having to go back to the station to make changes.
Answer turned out to be Kenwoods SkyCommand operation.
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/fm_txvrs/0710sky2.html
http://www.kenwood.com/usa/com/amateur/th-d72a/

Interesting to note the number of rigs that support Kenwoods wonderful
SkyCommand.

HF Rigs: TS2000 series, TS-480 series, The TS570S, TS-870S and the TS-590S.
Dual Banders: TMD700A, TMD710A, and RC-D710 Control Head, TM-V71A/E
with 2.10 Firmware.
HT's: TH-79A KSS, THD7A and THD72A.

Have been using SkyCommand for some time now, and once you get used to
it, you don't want to be with out it. It is way KooL to walk away from
your base, portable or mobile station and do hf operations on your HT.
That includes changing bands and frequencies using the hf rig vfo and
memory system from the HT. Of course you can also use a dual bander in
your mobile and operate your base HF rig as long as you don't drive out
of your reception control range. Don't worry if you do though. The dual
bander will time out based on your transmit time out setting, and will
quit transmitting the hf audio to you. When you drive back into your
control range, press button two on your radio and the HF rig audio will
resume transmitting to you again.

For me there were several key items that made the initial system setup
very difficult to work on my end. Makes me understand why so many said
they could not make it work and gave up.

* Most discussion of the SkyCommand setup by users were using the
TS-2000. The dual bander and hf rig are in one box, so less to configure
and cable up. However very different instructions need to be followed
if using three separate pieces and not using the TS-2000. Was challenging
to be sure.

* The TS-480HX instruction manual says to use 9600 baud for SkyCommand
db9 null modem serial cable to the dual band radio. No mention was made
in this manual that the baud rate chosen 'Needed To Match' the dual
bander being used (TMD700A / TMD710A) which 'Might Not Be 9600". Both
rigs of course need to be set to the same baud rate. The dual band radio
manual didn't mention the baud rate for the serial cable at all. I am
using 19200 because other programs and an antenna tuner use that rate.
Most folks could not get by the "Push [0] Key To Start Commander !!" on
the HT display because of this.

* It is easy when reading the TS-480 or TMD700A / TMD710A instruction
manuals for SkyCommand to miss the fact that the keypad assignments are
different for the THD7A / THD72A HT keypad than for the dual banders.

* It is nice that the SkyCommand II uses the display of the HT to tell
you to turn on the HF rig by using button #1. So why doesn't it tell you
to enable the audio from the HF rig through the Transporter to the
Commander by turning it on by using button #2 ?!? Another key point
where users gave up because they couldn't get audio to their Commander
(HT) from the hf rig.

* Have the TS-480 powered on, turn on the dual band radio and enable
SkyCommand Transporter mode. Enable the HT SkyCommand for Commander
mode. The HT screen will then tell you to press 0 to start. If no audio
is received from the HF rig, press 2 on the HT and viola, your on HF
using your HT. You can even power off the HF rig with button 1 on the HT
and turn it back on.

Have fun using SkyCommand and let us know how your doing and what your
using.

73 from Bill -
WD8ARZ-7    HT TH-D7AG
WD8ARZ-9    Mobile TM-D700AG
WD8ARZ-10  Android Smart Phone - APRSdroid  and U2APRS
APRS Viewer on Android for displaying APRS stations only, no beacon / transmitting.
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David Ranch
 


Hey Bill,

Very nice email and I hope it inspires some people to try out this really cool feature from Kenwood.  I wanted to just add that there are TWO forms of SkyCommand (1 and 2).  With SkyCommand 1 (or 2), I can remotely control my D710 with any extended DTMF enabled analog HT (just needs DTMF A/B/C/D buttons; no tnc or other fancy feature required).  Sure, SkyCommand-1 won't show on the HT's LCD display what the remote frequency, etc. is since it requires a secondary packet connection to communicate that information but it's still very functional.  You can fully control the D710 in say crossband repeat mode and QSY the other VFO to other manual frequencies, memory presets, etc.  Very slick though it does take a little practice on how to use.

Ps.  At least on the D710 in crossband repeat mode, the TOT is fixed at 3 minutes.  Unless the other VFO gets a complete squelch close to reset it's timer, the D710 will stop crossband repeating.  This is a real problem when the other VFO is listening to a remote repeater that's very busy and keeps it's carrier going a bit longer and the remote HAMs are quick-keying just after the remote courtesy tone for their turn vs. letting the repeater completely drop.

73
--David
KI6ZHD


On 10/07/2015 06:56 AM, WD8ARZ wd8arz@... [TMD700A] wrote:
 

Cross banding a base, portable or mobile dual band radio brings valuable
operation for low power stations and rubber duck antenna systems.
Really helps extend the battery life of HT's for example, as they can
operate on their lowest power setting in most cases.

Several times while I am out taking a walk using my HT to operate my
mobile or base station with cross banding enabled, I had times when I
wished I could change frequency and other aspects of the station I was
using. I didnt like having to go back to the station to make changes.
Answer turned out to be Kenwoods SkyCommand operation.
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/fm_txvrs/0710sky2.html
http://www.kenwood.com/usa/com/amateur/th-d72a/

Interesting to note the number of rigs that support Kenwoods wonderful
SkyCommand.

HF Rigs: TS2000 series, TS-480 series, The TS570S, TS-870S and the TS-590S.
Dual Banders: TMD700A, TMD710A, and RC-D710 Control Head, TM-V71A/E
with 2.10 Firmware.
HT's: TH-79A KSS, THD7A and THD72A.

Have been using SkyCommand for some time now, and once you get used to
it, you don't want to be with out it. It is way KooL to walk away from
your base, portable or mobile station and do hf operations on your HT.
That includes changing bands and frequencies using the hf rig vfo and
memory system from the HT. Of course you can also use a dual bander in
your mobile and operate your base HF rig as long as you don't drive out
of your reception control range. Don't worry if you do though. The dual
bander will time out based on your transmit time out setting, and will
quit transmitting the hf audio to you. When you drive back into your
control range, press button two on your radio and the HF rig audio will
resume transmitting to you again.

For me there were several key items that made the initial system setup
very difficult to work on my end. Makes me understand why so many said
they could not make it work and gave up.

* Most discussion of the SkyCommand setup by users were using the
TS-2000. The dual bander and hf rig are in one box, so less to configure
and cable up. However very different instructions need to be followed
if using three separate pieces and not using the TS-2000. Was challenging
to be sure.

* The TS-480HX instruction manual says to use 9600 baud for SkyCommand
db9 null modem serial cable to the dual band radio. No mention was made
in this manual that the baud rate chosen 'Needed To Match' the dual
bander being used (TMD700A / TMD710A) which 'Might Not Be 9600". Both
rigs of course need to be set to the same baud rate. The dual band radio
manual didn't mention the baud rate for the serial cable at all. I am
using 19200 because other programs and an antenna tuner use that rate.
Most folks could not get by the "Push [0] Key To Start Commander !!" on
the HT display because of this.

* It is easy when reading the TS-480 or TMD700A / TMD710A instruction
manuals for SkyCommand to miss the fact that the keypad assignments are
different for the THD7A / THD72A HT keypad than for the dual banders.

* It is nice that the SkyCommand II uses the display of the HT to tell
you to turn on the HF rig by using button #1. So why doesn't it tell you
to enable the audio from the HF rig through the Transporter to the
Commander by turning it on by using button #2 ?!? Another key point
where users gave up because they couldn't get audio to their Commander
(HT) from the hf rig.

* Have the TS-480 powered on, turn on the dual band radio and enable
SkyCommand Transporter mode. Enable the HT SkyCommand for Commander
mode. The HT screen will then tell you to press 0 to start. If no audio
is received from the HF rig, press 2 on the HT and viola, your on HF
using your HT. You can even power off the HF rig with button 1 on the HT
and turn it back on.

Have fun using SkyCommand and let us know how your doing and what your
using.

73 from Bill -
WD8ARZ-7    HT TH-D7AG
WD8ARZ-9    Mobile TM-D700AG
WD8ARZ-10  Android Smart Phone - APRSdroid  and U2APRS
APRS Viewer on Android for displaying APRS stations only, no beacon / transmitting.



WD8ARZ <wd8arz@...>
 

Hello David, and thanks for sharing.

73 from Bill - WD8ARZ

On 10/7/2015 12:03 PM, David Ranch tmd710@... [TMD700A] wrote:

Hey Bill,

Very nice email and I hope it inspires some people to try out this really cool feature from Kenwood.  I wanted to just add that there are TWO forms of SkyCommand (1 and 2).  With SkyCommand 1 (or 2), I can remotely control my D710 with any extended DTMF enabled analog HT (just needs DTMF A/B/C/D buttons; no tnc or other fancy feature required).  Sure, SkyCommand-1 won't show on the HT's LCD display what the remote frequency, etc. is since it requires a secondary packet connection to communicate that information but it's still very functional.  You can fully control the D710 in say crossband repeat mode and QSY the other VFO to other manual frequencies, memory presets, etc.  Very slick though it does take a little practice on how to use.

Ps.  At least on the D710 in crossband repeat mode, the TOT is fixed at 3 minutes.  Unless the other VFO gets a complete squelch close to reset it's timer, the D710 will stop crossband repeating.  This is a real problem when the other VFO is listening to a remote repeater that's very busy and keeps it's carrier going a bit longer and the remote HAMs are quick-keying just after the remote courtesy tone for their turn vs. letting the repeater completely drop.

73
--David
KI6ZHD

On 10/07/2015 06:56 AM, WD8ARZ wd8arz@... [TMD700A] wrote: