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ICom 706mkII (not G) and FLDIGI

Discussion in 'Rig Control, Propagation, Cluster, & Other Softwar' started by KE0KDQ, Jul 14, 2018.

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  1. KE0KDQ

    KE0KDQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello all,

    Trying to get these two to talk to each other using a C-IV serial interface from EBay. I can hear the MCW signal through the radio when I hit "Tx" in FLDIGI but can't get the rig to key and transmit.

    When I push the key on the mic/handset, it flickers between Tx/Rx and I have to restart the radio.

    I'm only a Tech so can't Tx in any mode on HF digital other than MCW (can't run the key all by myself, don't have the skill yet.)

    Found a rigcat file online, but who knows if it's the right one, and not sure how to adjust settings in the "rig setup" menu in FLDIGI.

    Any advice?

  2. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    First a few questions:

    What is the name of the interface you obtained from E-Bay?
    Does Fldigi show the correct frequency?
    Do other CAT functions work correctly?
    What do you use for an audio interface?
    How do you connect in to the IC-706mkii? Microphone or rear accessory connector?
    And, most importantly, does your IC-706mkii have a "TX" command?

    I took a quick look through the IC-706mkii manual. On page 41 there is a Command table. These are all the commands your radio should respond to. But unless I was misreading it, I do not see a "TX" command. In order to make your radio go into transmit you need a hardware PTT or you need to configure your VOX, to put your radio in transmit. Page 25 of your manual has information on configuring your VOX.

    I can use Fldigi with my IC-735 and it also does not have a "TX" command. I also use the ACC(1) connector for audio in and audio out. Doing it this way bypasses the VOX on the IC-735, so I use a RS-232 signal (RTS), and a few small parts, for a hardware PTT. Hardware PTT is also on the ACC(1) connector.

    If you carefully read the help files for Fldigi you will see that there is a interface that you can build that converts your audio tones to key closures. Then you can operate with your radio in the CW mode and possibly take advantage of options, that are only available in that mode.

    Be careful about referring to MCW on HF. MCW is NOT allowed anywhere on HF, but is allowed on VHF.

    If you were operating in the AM mode, you would be generating MCW. But when you are working with software like Fldigi, you are usually running Upper Sideband (USB). Injecting a tone into the radio's audio input, while the rig is in Upper Sideband (USB), does not generate MCW. Unless you severely over drive the audio, the signal generated by the radio can not be distinguished from a normal CW signal.
  3. KE0KDQ

    KE0KDQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is the link to the eBay cat control cord I am using:

    Connection to the transceiver is the CatIV interface and accessory plug.

    Audio is integral to the cable set as I understand it.

    I'll look into how to key Tx using this cable and the CatIV interface as I can't adjust my VOX/ANTIVOX correctly, other suggestions online have suggested rfi re-keying tx regardless of ANTIVOX setting so need to work on my ground. Can I route this from the back of the transceiver into the ground of a 120V wall socket?

    I am attempting CW generated by fldigi in LSB/USB mode depending on band so my use of the MCW term was in error.

    Thanks for all your help and advice! I appreciate the patience as I'm clearly still learning
  4. KE0KDQ

    KE0KDQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've tried using "toggle RTS for PTT" as well as "CAT for PTT" and "DTR for PTT" along with the +12V options for all.

    Can't seem to get it to work.

    Do the XML files change which pins do which action?
  5. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry for the delay. I have a small ranch and board horses, which doesn't give me a lot of free time.

    Anyway, you need to take it slow and look at everything closely. I read the manual on the interface you purchased (XGGCOMMS IC-Cable-8) and it looks like everything should work. So let's start with communication.

    Does Fldigi communicate with the Icom? In your SETUP items, there is item 25 and 26. Unless you have other ICOM transceivers connected to the REMOTE connector, item "25 CI-V Address" should be left to the default (4EH). Item "26 - C-V Baud" should be left at "Default = Auto". With my IC-735, there is only 300 and 9600 Baud available, so I use 9600 Baud. But you should be able to work at 19200 Baud.

    Start up Fldigi and bring up the configuration menu and select "RigCAT". In that window you define the basic communication specifics. So select the correct XML file, COM Device, Baud Rate, etc. For me I use Retries = 2, Write delay = 50ms, Retry interval = 10ms, Init delay = 200 ms, 9600 Baud, and 2 stop bits. Then, in the check boxes, check only "Toggle RTS for PTT" and "DTR +12V". All other check boxes should be empty. The interface is powered by the DTR signal. If RTS and DTR are not set this way, the part of the interface that talks to the radio will not work. DO NOT set +12V options for all.

    Under "Fldigi configuration --> Hardware PTT", UNcheck "PTT tone on right audio channel" and "Use separate serial port PTT". The other four checkboxes, for RTS and PTT, should also be unchecked.

    Now click on the "Initialize" button. This should cause the computer to attempt to connect to the radio. If it doesn't, it will tell you. But when it does, the main Fldigi window should show the radio's frequency in the upper left. You should also be able to change bands and modes, directly from the Fldigi window.

    The setup is slightly different for my IC-735. Because the serial port for my CI-V interface is separate from the serial port for PTT and direct CW Keying.
  6. KE0KDQ

    KE0KDQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    K7MEM, your suggestions made everything work... most of the time. FLDIGI gets in a bad mood and loses connection sometimes. So, sometimes I have to restart the program.

    Any idea why, when I transmit in CW, the audio is not a nice clear beep but a muffled buzz? I checked the PSU and I never drop below 12 V when transmitting. At rest, I'm at almost 15 V. Doesn't matter how far up or down I turn HF power out, various volumes in/out, MIC gain, etc.

    Any (further) advice is appreciated.
  7. KE0KDQ

    KE0KDQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Update: I've since gotten my General ticket and experimented with other modes on HF.

    Turns out you're not supposed to hear anything through the radio's speaker during transmit in digital mode (nobody told me that!) So what I was hearing during transmit turned out to be RFI caused by the 20 A power supply not QUITE putting out the 20 A I needed for my transmitter's settings, so it was on the verge of shutting down all the time. Hence the weird noises.

    SO that's fixed--but I still lose connection between the 706mkii and FLDIGI when I switch to 2 M. Any idea why that would be?
  8. KE0KDQ

    KE0KDQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Still trying to use this transceiver and FLDIGI on 2 M. Any advice?

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