Monday, September 21, 2020

IC-7300 USB configuration at one place

Have you got your IC-7300 configured with only the USB cable for CAT/FSK RTTY/CW Keyer/SSB (Keyer)? Well you're happy and doing fine. I recently got some questions how this is done. You can find all info on the internet of course but unfortunately not always at one place and there are some differences in setup which is confusing. So I gathered all the information for myself to be here in this post. For others to take advantage as well. And for archive purposes.

On the internet used these links as a guideline:

http://www.cedrickjohnson.com/2017/03/icom-ic-7300-usb-for-radio-control-fsk-keying/
https://enioea2hw.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/configuracion-n1mm-para-cw-con-el-ic-7300/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaOo3D3NAlQ

Unfortunately the description of the settings are quite different and confusing for those that are not that computer minded. It took me a while to find something that would work well for me. Hopefully it will work for others as well.


First of all, I only describe the settings I need for the software I personally use. It might be different for someone else. For instance I do not use CAT control directly in WSJT-X/JTDX/MSHV but let Ham Radio DeLuxe do the CAT control since I use that software for logging on a daily basis. WSJT-X/JTDX/MSHV can be connected to HRD for CAT control and this works perfectly. The main advantage is that I can also control the radio via remote for instance with Teamviewer or Google Desktop. 

What is left now is 2 configuration files saved on the SD card in the IC-7300. And 2 VSPE configurations saved on my desktop.


First configuration is with HamRadioDeluxe.
Second configuration is with N1MM+. Since I sometimes change settings for SSB and memories I did add the date to the HRD configuration name.










First configuration 

WSJT-X/WSJT-Z/JTDX/JS8Call/MSHV software in combination with HRD V5 (last free version). It also includes DM780 with digimodes and CW.

First of all you need to set up the IC-7300:

Menu > Set > Connectors

CI-V Menu

CI-V Baud Rate: 19200

CI-V Address: 94h

CI-V Transceive: Off

CI-V USB -> REMOTE Transcieve Address: 94h

CI-V USB Port: Unlink from [Remote]

CI-V USB Baud Rate: 19200

CI-V USB Echo Back: ON

USB SEND/Keying menu

USB Send: OFF

USB Keying (CW): DTR

USB Keying (RTTY): OFF


Keying FSK RTTY like in N1MM+ is not possible with DM780. Essential to key CW mode in DM780 via the USB cable you need to create a extra virtual COM port with a splitter in the VPSE software. Don't ask me why exactly but it seems you can't use the DTR/RTS lines to activate the CW keyer and the CAT control at the same without this. With this piece of software you can access the radio's COM port via the virtual COM port with multiple programs at the same time.

I suggest to watch this video about the download and setup of VSPE:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtB-DfBMmB0

What you need to know is what COM port you radio is assigned to originally. You can find it on your computer under device management. Look for "ports (COM & LPT)" and click on to see what the driver "Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge" is assigned to.

Because sometimes text is easier as a (fast) video I publish the setup here:

====
VSPE Setup
Start VSPE

Click on Create New Device

Select device type: Splitter, click Next

Data Source Serial Port: COM6 (or whatever the radio serial port is for your radio)

Virtual Serial Port: COM5 (or whichever you want, make sure your logging and FSK CW keying programs use this port).

Click settings:

Speed: 19200 (HRD 5 doesn't go beyond 19200)

DTR/RTS: NO

Parity: no

Bits: 8

Stop bits: 1

Click OK

Redirect modem registers: CHECKED

Initial Modem Registers State: RTS: NOT CHECKED, DTR: NOT CHECKED





Once you’re all setup, click the Play button. VSPE should say that the initialization is OK.

You now are ready to go. To ensure that you don’t have to remember all of these settings each time you restart your computer or VSPE, save the profile to a place you can remember.

Each time you stop VSPE or restart your computer, you will have to open the saved profile. It will automatically load the settings and create your virtual com port. You can minimize this app.

For HRD, I point the radio control (CAT) function to COM5. I now have radio control.
For DM780, I point CW to COM5 for CW keying.
====


As you can see I use the virtual port COM5 to connect CAT control from HRD. SInce the old HRD V5 doesn't know the IC-7300 yet I use the IC-7700 configuration and changed the CI-V address to 94.
In DM780 choose CW mode and find the Options button to get into the menu.






In DM780 choose CW and find the CW options button to get in the configuration menu.
Choose enable (COM) port keying. In my case I choose again COM5 virtual port and toggle pin DTR.













This is how I did it. And so far no problems occured.
For digimodes in DM780 just choose the right IC-7300 soundcard settings in the configuration of the software.



Second configuration:

N1MM+ with FSK CW and FSK RTTY via MMTTY. Including the spectrum window. This software is of course especially for contesting.

First of all you need to set up the IC-7300 (we can't use the same setting as HRD due to baud rate settings):

Menu > Set > Connectors

CI-V Menu

CI-V Baud Rate: 19200

CI-V Address: 94h

CI-V Transceive: Off

CI-V USB -> REMOTE Transcieve Address: 94h

CI-V USB Port: Unlink from [Remote]

CI-V USB Baud Rate: 115200

CI-V USB Echo Back: ON


USB SEND/Keying menu

USB Send: RTS

USB Keying (CW): DTR

USB Keying (RTTY): DTR


Next we setup VSPE, we cannot use the HRD VSPE setting again due other baudrate settings:

VSPE Setup
Start VSPE

Click on Create New Device

Select device type: Splitter, click Next

Data Source Serial Port: COM6 (or whatever the radio serial port is for your radio)

Virtual Serial Port: COM5 (or whichever you want, make sure your logging and RTTY FSK/CW keying programs use this port).

Click settings:

Speed: 115200

DTR/RTS: NO

Parity: no

Bits: 8

Stop bits: 1

Click OK

Redirect modem registers: CHECKED

Initial Modem Registers State: RTS: NOT CHECKED, DTR: NOT CHECKED


Don't forget to save the profile!



Now we open N1MM+ and choose ports configurer. We use the new virtual COM port for CAT control and for CW keying. When tick the "CW/Other" box you can open "settings" and fill in speed, DTR, RTS and PTT settings.


You're now able to do CW keying with the programmed function keys during a contest or QSO.

To use MMTTY (RTTY software) we need a small piece of software called EXTFSK. I think it is already in the MMTTY sowftware package, at least it was here. But if you need to download it you can do that here.

Assume you have installed MMTTY you have to configure it to work with EXTFSK. Go to the setup and choose the TX tab.


Just choose EXTFSK64 at the PTT&FSK port and set this FSK send port in the Misc tab.



Don't forget to disable the transmit output by the soundcard. Just choose nothing...



Somewhere this pops up: 

Port is the virtual com port set up with VPSE and also used for CAT control. In my case COM5. Choose DTR for FSK output and RTS to switch PTT.

You're now able to transmit FSK RTTY with the programmed function keys in a contest or during a QSO.

Well, the above is one possebility to connect you IC-7300. There is another way which is with the Omnirig software. I have no experience with it but you can find a lot of info on the internet just by searching for "Omnirig CAT control IC7300". However I'm not shure if omnirig is supporting N1MM+.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

#60m Saint Barthelemy worked

 

It looks like the 60m DX season has really started again. Yesterday evening I noticed TO0Z was spotted in the morning and from info on the internet I noticed today was the last day of the activity from St. Barths Island. So, when I woke up this morning first thing I did was checking the DX cluster. I already saw spots that TO0Z was active with strong signals on 5360 F/H mode. I quickly finished breakfast and moved to my shack. 5 minutes later I was in the log.Ok, this is a new DXCC on 60m for me. But did I really have fun? ....well this one was too easy. Well, you can't have it all...

The proof:


For those that want to ask. Yes, JTDX doesn't know were TO0Z was. That's because a file called cty.dat hasn't got the call listed. You can add it to this file manually: 

Saint Barthelemy: 08: 11: NA: 17.53: 62.50: 4.0: TO: TO,FJ,=TO0Z; 

Or wait till the next cty.dat update. (tnx DB6LL for info)

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

#60m 5Z4VJ Kenya worked

I was lucky yesterday. After my successful efforts with WSPR I managed to have a QSO with 5Z4VJ from Kenya. Andy was formerly on air as 5Z4/G3AB and I have seen him once on 60m with that call but so far I didn't work him (I did on other bands). It was late in the evening and after I finished my previous blogpost I decided to have a look on facebook. First of all a posting from DB6LL, my fellow 60m band DXer, showed up. He worked 5Z4VJ earlier in the evening. Most of the time a DX station is long gone after a hour or so. But I decided to have a look on 60m just to be shure. And was surprised to see 5Z4VJ with signals up to -02dB which is quite strong on FT8. However the pile-up was still huge and it took me some time. But finally I managed to get into the log.


So, you think, another 60m band DXCC worked. What's so special? Well, with 161 DXCC worked on 60m it is getting more difficult to contact a new DXCC. Every new one is special now. The 60m band is not allowed in every country and so there are a limited amount of DXCC that can be worked. I like the challenge, it gives me a real feel of hunting DX. One of the things I like in this hobby.