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Icom IC-761 CAT/CIV Interface

Mar 6th, 13:04

K1BBB

Joined: May 8th 2013, 22:09
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
First I'd like to say that I spent much of the day yesterday researching CAT (Computer aided tuning), and found little conclusive information in regards to my radio. I've read quite a bit of information which was general in nature, in regards to CAT. After what I read, and the reviews about a particular device, I selected the following:

http://www.g4zlp.co.uk/unified/IcomCAT.shtml

What I am curious about, is if anyone out here has actual experience with the Icom IC-761, and using a computer to control it. I don't necessarily want to hear about other devices or radios, as I've read many posts, blogs, and reviews about other radios already. If someone has done this with an IC-761, and hopefully with this particular device, I'd like to know what I'll be able to do.

My goal (whether possible or not), is to control my radio from my computer, get help with logging, and transmit/receive from the computer, and ultimately by remote location, by a remote desktop connection from another computer. Example: I'm working, and on lunch I remote my home computer, controlling my IC-761, to make some day time contacts.

Thanks in advance,
Matthew, KC9ZFI
Mar 6th, 16:00

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0

The IC-761 is a 25 year old radio. The computer control is quite limited--see page 2 of the instruction manual for the short list. A quick search of the Internet suggests that T/R switching can be added with another interface... In short, for remote control, you will need to work very hard. The contemporaneous product reviews are quite confusing about remote control capabilities as remote control was something in the future for the folks that reviewed the radio back in 1988.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Mar 6th, 16:28

K1BBB

Joined: May 8th 2013, 22:09
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Zack,

Well the IC-761 is what I have available for use, it's in like-new condition, and for the most part, has what I need. I don't mind working hard, when the other option is to spend another $1,500 for a radio, that my current one can do 90-95% of. Maybe in the near future (a couple years), I can look at raising some funds and purchasing a nicer/newer radio. I'm extremely happy with this one so far, though.

It seemed like the internet searches I did were a little nebulous about the control of T/R. Did you find anything that can tell specifics about what I would need, and how to make it function with my 761? I happen to have the manual infront of me (fresh off the printer), and turned it to page two. Looks like I'll be able to control Frequency, Mode, VFO, and Memories. That's a great start for me!

Thanks,
Matthew, KC9ZFI
Mar 6th, 19:55

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0

CT by K1EA was the first really popular contest logging program.
http://www.k1ea.com/download/
See page 18 of the manual for one of the first computer interfaces for radios--you used a 25 pin serial port connected to a transistor that keyed the radio! Page 17 describes using a Parallel Port to control the PTT line to switch the radio between transmit and receive.

These days, you might want to use a more modern USB device and avoid antiquated serial and parallel ports.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Mar 6th, 20:34

K1BBB

Joined: May 8th 2013, 22:09
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Like this thing I bought? Or no?

http://www.g4zlp.co.uk/unified/IcomCAT.shtml
Mar 7th, 13:59

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0

http://www.g4zlp.co.uk/Instructions/DigiMaster%20Single%20CAT%20Interface/Setting%20up%20the%20DigiMaster%20USB%20Single%20CAT%20Interface.pdf
On page 3, the instructions explain that you also need a data interface for audio. Traditionally, the data interface also handles PTT or transmit/receive switching.

Zack Lau W1VT
Mar 7th, 14:51

K1BBB

Joined: May 8th 2013, 22:09
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Alright, so I'm getting closer to understanding all of this I think. I currently have a CAT connector on the way, but need a PTT interface of sorts. In looking at the instruction manual, Page 24-25 seems to show an 8 pin socket for Acc1 - which should do the trick. I've done another internet search, and am once again coming up rather empty handed. There are a few inklings of information from guys who have built some connectors, but nothing that I can find that says "This will allow you to control receive/transmit from your computer to an IC-761"

Zack, in your seemingly infinite knowledge, are you aware of a cable that I can purchase that is already manufactured that will allow me to do this? Similar to the CAT cable I purchased?
Mar 7th, 14:59

K1BBB

Joined: May 8th 2013, 22:09
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Oh lord...ok so I was looking at the rigblaster. If I'm reading the website correctly, this thing will do EVERYTHING I want, all built into this one product? Can you confirm that?

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/tnc/4746.html
Mar 7th, 15:52

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I suggest contacting West Mountain Radio who makes the Rigblaster.

http://www.westmountainradio.com/content.php?page=contact-wmr
Mar 7th, 16:46

K1BBB

Joined: May 8th 2013, 22:09
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I suppose this is all just a work in progress for me. I had purchased the CAT already, so I went back to that site and they have a few choices for DATA connectors as well. Sent a message to Neil over there, and read the FAQs. I'm now just trying to decide between the DigiMaster MiniPro and the MiniProSC

http://www.g4zlp.co.uk/unified/faq/faqs.htm

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