Anyone try connecting an IC-735 to an older iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Ham Radio on macOS & iOS' started by W3RXO, Dec 5, 2016.

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  1. W3RXO

    W3RXO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an October 2006 iMac 24" desktop. I also have an IC-735 for HF. Does anyone have experience running this setup, for rig control?
    Any recommendations on which rig control software?
    MacLoggerDX? HRD? FLDigi?
    The computer cannot run OSX more recent than 10.6.8, and only has USB, FireWire and Ethernet ports. I'd like to get into digital modes, and maybe run CW from a keyboard (my skills suck, after 27 years of not practicing). I am trying to work on my CW skills, but seem to be having great difficulty. I'm hoping to use it through a computer, to get me more interested, and used to the sound.
    The computer shouild already have a sound card, but I think that a SignaLink might make it much easier to adapt.
    Recommendations please? Preferably from someone with enough experience to Elmer an old guy into the computer age.
  2. K8AJS

    K8AJS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I can supply some information, but I have no experience running Icom radios; I've always avoided Icom because of their computer control functions, which always seem to be a bit of a kluge in terms of adequate control of the radio. The other side of that coin is that the ham radio software programmers have mostly written the code necessary to deal with it.

    MacLogger DX is a good selection for logging software. It's expensive, but it provides a lot of features for the ham shack. You can download it and check it out before you spend your money. You can't use the current version with your OS version, but version 5.62 will run in Snow Leopard.

    HRD is Windows only. There are users who run it in Windows on the Mac using VM software like VirtualBox or Parallels, but here again you'll be handicapped by your Mac OS version. Not that it can't be done, but you have to get older versions of the necessary software.

    FLDigi is cross-platform, just keep an eye on Mac OS version requirements.

    Other logging software available for the Mac:



    For contest logging, SnookumLogger

    There is quite a list of other Mac ham radio software on the Black Cat Systems web page

    I've been running my radio using computer control (various radios) for about 15 years, and can probably help with some of your questions. The hardware may be different, but a lot of the techniques are the same regardless of what type of radio you're running. Post your questions here, and there are a number of people who can help you out.
  3. W3RXO

    W3RXO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks John. I will likely check back with you, once I have the software. It will not be until the end of the month, before I can buy the full version. In the meantime, I'll look into the MacLoggerDX free-ish version to get an idea of what it does. I downloaded it several years and a few hard drives ago, then never bought the program, as I went to all vacuum tube equipment, so it went bye-bye, with one of the hard drives.
  4. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It sounds like John has given you enough information to get started. I don't have a Mac, but I do have a IC-735 which I use for digital modes.

    I simply use a home brew interface. For rig control you will need a signal converter. The IC-735 CI-V input is a 2-wire Bi-Directional TTL signal. The usual method of communication is with a USB to Serial Port converter. This is then fed into a converter box that adjusts the signal levels. I built my own converter box but the ICOM equivalent is the CT-17. Also, if you look around on the net, there are converter cables that go from USB to CI-V. That kind of cable should work fine for you.

    I use HRD but the other digital mode software works fine too. I have used Fldigi and DXlab with my IC-735, and they all work fine. Both of those has a full suite of applications that include log books.
  5. W3RXO

    W3RXO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Martin, I have SEVERAL USB cables, that are not being used for anything else, and could easily sacrifice one, to make my own, as opposed to paying near $25 for one already made. Since you have experience at it, how do I make one? Which connections go to which others?
  6. W3RXO

    W3RXO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Martin, by the way, I have you beat, when it comes to dogs.
    6 here. 1-Beagle, 1-Catahoula Cur, 1-Mini Schnauzer, 1-Toy Poodle, 1-Boxer, 1-mixed (Boxer, rotty and pit). Every one of them a rescued dog.
  7. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, here is the schematic of the one that I made for my CI-V connection. I just built it on a small perf board and put it in a plastic box. Initially, I had a hard time making it connect, until I realized that pins 2 and 3 (RS-232 RX/TX) were reversed. This is a pretty common circuit. If you look around the net, there are other ways to do the same thing.

    Well, I have 4 1/2 horses too. The 1/2 horse is a 4 month old Mustang. That foal's mother was a rescue a few years ago and she came with a foal at the time. But I don't keep them in the house.:)

    Attached Files:

  8. W3RXO

    W3RXO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, you've definitely got me beat there. No horses. Just about 70 chickens, 6 ducks, 20 guineas, 2 goats and 5 pigs. Trying to get the pasture fenced in completely, then I'll get a few head of cattle.

    Thank you for the schematic!
  9. W3RXO

    W3RXO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was hoping that it was the schematic to wire USB, instead of RS-232. But, I can make it work.

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