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Re: FAROS with IC-R70

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  • Dave
    ... Nope... The IC-R70 used Icom s old 4 bit parallel IO bus, on the 24 way mini-molex connector on the back of the set. The IC-R71 (and later radios) are
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 1 2:59 AM
      > 1a. Re: FAROS with IC-R70
      > Posted by: "Bert - W0RSB" bert.hyman@... bert.hyman
      > Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:28 pm (PDT)
      > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "davemynatt" <dave@...> wrote:
      >> Hi Group- Any one using an IC-R70 with Faros willing to share the >> CAT codes? Are you using OmniRig?

      > I think the R71 used the same command set as the IC-751/751A; maybe > so will the R70.


      The IC-R70 used Icom's old 4 bit parallel IO bus, on the 24 way mini-molex connector on the back of the set. The IC-R71 (and later radios) are totally different beasts.

      The IC-R70 is common to the IC-720 I believe from reading the Icom Interfacing supplement from that era that I have.

      I have though very successfully interfaced my IC-R70 to Faros via Omnirig, using a Windows program I wrote, as an intermediary, also a small hardware interface to connect to a PC via a (unused) printer port. The result can be seen at:- http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/ That all runs on Windows 2000 or XP, though the Radio itself "lives" on another PC, so OmniRig communicates with it via a virtual COM port, and the shack LAN. That is for my convenience, it "should" all live on one PC just fine.

      The IC-251, 451 and 551 (I also have one of each!) do indeed use the same command structure etc, but the physical data line signal levels were based on 9V CMOS, where as the IC-R70 and IC-720 were 5V CMOS levels. The HF radios all had the same "Address" too, so they have yet another control line, to select/enable them. The VHF/UHF radios had individual addresses, so can be paralleled together on that control bus.

      Sadly, you cannot just connect one of these otherwise excellent radios to a common serial port, you have to use the 4 data bit / 3 control line parallel interface, and though not difficult, it's not trivial either. I used home brew software (using the Delphi7 compiler) and a third party DLL so as to use the redundant printer port as a general purpose IO port on the PC, and as above, some minimal hardware (two TTL IC's) to interface that to the radio.

      It works well with Omnirig, once I figured out how to create a radio specific .ini file for that.

      I can make the interface hardware design, also the intermediary program and OmniRig .ini file all available if needed. Although it's only 2 chips, one is not so common these days, and you will need one of the mini-molex 24 way plugs/pins to connect to the radio.

      Have to say, it's brought new life to an old Radio, and it all seems to work just fine.

      The other way, if one can be found, would be to use a Icom CT-10 interface unit. That connects to a PC with a serial (RS232 lead) and then to many of the older 4 and 8 bit parallel IO radios. I have a copy of a manual for one of them, but sadly not one to play with. (Anyone in the UK know of a spare one?)

      All documents I have are in computer readable form, as is the schematic of the crude (but effective) interface I use. I cant at this time make the sources for the windows program available, as I have re-used someone else's code in one part, so I didn't have to write my own serial port drivers (for the OmniRig remote connection) and I do not have permission to re-distribute those sources. The runtime program itself though, no problem.

      I also wish to re-write it when I get time, so it's all my own work!

      I do though, have a much earlier DOS based Quick Basic example source listing showing how to control these radios, but it cannot be used to interface one to OmniRig.

      As for some reason this group does not seem to have a working file repository, I have temporarily put what I can here.
      ftp://omnirig:faros@ Browse the folders for what you may need.

      The Icom_4-bit.png file, is the schematic of the hardware interface I use. (IE will show it, as will FireFox etc.)

      The PICR70.exe program, needs the inpout32.dll and wsc32.dll files too. (I know, more bloatware!) It should run as a stand alone control tool, under Win9x on, up to XP. I've not tried on Vista. (I've extensively used it on 2000, and tested it on 98se and XP.)

      Put the program .exe and the DLL in a unique folder of their own, and make a shortcut if needed to the .exe

      To use it as a link between Faros/OmniRig and the radio, it will need Win2k or XP, also either the N8VB virtual null modem tool, or EterLogic's VSPE kit. Both free downloads. (N8VB's is smaller, VSPE can do much more.)

      Go to http://www.philcovington.com/SDR.html and scroll down to the N8VB vCOM Virtual Serial Ports Driver DOWNLOAD button

      Go to http://www.eterlogic.com/Products.VSPE.html
      for VSPE.

      Effectively, my program will connect to one end of the "Virtual Null Modem", and OmniRig, connects to the other end, or they both use a "Connector" in VSPE (or a server/client via LAN if on different PC's.) Then they can communicate as needed.

      The IC-R70.ini file, is the rig descriptor for OmniRig, put it in the same place as all the others.

      The ICOM4BIT.BAS plain text source file, was created with MS-Quick Basic V4.5, and is a DOS only app. I include it here, as it's all my own work, and illustrates how I interoperated the needs of the 4 bit bus. Other BASIC compilers/interpreters may handle it OK, or you may need to edit some stuff to suit.

      I grant anyone permission to use any/all of that BASIC code for their own personal use ONLY! It may be freely distributed if needed, but it must be kept it in plain text form, with my copyright monikers. It must not be sold or incorporated into any commercial, or "for a fee" software, without my prior permission.

      There may still be unintended bugs in the program, and or code. If so, again I wish to know about such things.

      Everything is believed clean and virus free, but check and/or scan it yourself.
      If anything 'bad' is found, I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT!

      If you break your PC or radio (or anything else) as a result of anything here (or anywhere else for that matter) it's not my fault OK!



      Dave G0WBX
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