FT8, digital modes and IC756Pro3, CAT control

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by VE3GZB, Apr 27, 2020.

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  1. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wasn't quite sure where to post this.

    What does it take to connect the above mentioned radio to a PC so FT8 and other digital modes can be used? This radio seems a little different than others.

    geo VE3GZB
  2. K5TEE

    K5TEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the Icom IC-756pro3 hooked up to a Signalink USB with the accessories port cable and a USB to CI-V CAT cable.
    I use this for FT-8, FT-4, RTTY, PSK, and others.

    VE3GZB likes this.
  3. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can you recommend where I might find just such a CAT cable? Any brand?

  4. AA4PB

    AA4PB Ham Member QRZ Page

    In Icom speak, the cable is called a CI-V to USB cable. It plugs into the USB port on your computer and has a phono plug on the end that plugs into the CI-V connector on the back of the radio. That permits the computer to control the radio band, mode, frequency, etc. I've seen them advertised on ebay.

    Another, more expensive, option is to use a data interface like the RigExpert TI-8 that provides the Tx/Rx audio interface and the CI-V control for the radio all in one box with a single USB connection to the computer. I think the TI-8 has been replaced by the TI-5000 if you a buying new. The one issue with the RigExpert (other than it has no rig control feature) is that it keys the radio PTT via an internal VOX circuit. That seems to work fine for FT8 but might cause some timing issues with other digital modes. The TI-8 provides WSTJ-x with a direct PTT control via a virtual com port.
  5. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is Icom the only one who uses a CI-V to USB cable or are there any other brands by which to become confused?

    I have a SignalLink USB which does work with the 756Pro3 but computer control is lacking, so if I search for a cable I need to be sure it's the right type.

    Using a USB interface makes good sense since my PC doesn't have any other older traditional type of ports.

  6. AA4PB

    AA4PB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Icom makes the only radios that use CI-V. Other companies make the USB to CI-V cables. You can probably find some with an Internet search. Perhaps someone here can make some recommendations (I have a TI-8 so don't use a USB to CI-V cable). Note: Icom makes a CT-17 which is a CI-V to RS-232 serial converter. Since most computers no longer have a real RS-232 port, that means you have to follow it with a USB to Serial converter.
    VE3GZB likes this.
  7. AA4PB

    AA4PB Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. VE3GZB

    VE3GZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks. This is all very useful to know.


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