CAT Control

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CAT Control

Postby N9AVY » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:36 pm

No, not the 4-footed felines, but Computer Control of your rig !

Wonder what, if any, 10-10 folks are using ?

My FT-1000MP runs off N1MM logger which is tied to a Telnet server via my DSL line. It enables me to watch DX spots as well as switching bands with a couple of mouse clicks or direct entry on keyboard. If I type in "28345 Enter" my radio goes to 28345 no matter what band I'm on.

With DX spots, they appear on a band map and all I do is click on them when I see them and "voila !" I'm on frequency. I used the DX Cluster to spot beacons and encourage other hams to get on 10m when they think band is dead. Have seen others do this on DX Cluster.

Next thing for me to investigate is computer aided rotor control.

So, anyone else using CAT control ??
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CAT Control

Postby KK3Q » Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:00 am

I am using an Icom rig and the software from N3FJP allows for both DX spotting and rig control. Spot comes on the lower portion of the screen, click on it and the rig is set to go.
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Postby wx5nco » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:42 pm

I just started doing computer aided rig control. I have a Icom 718 and I use Ham Radio Deluxe for the software. I found a neat interface that has rig control, but has lines for your sound card. This way you can do the sound card modes and have rig control on one cable.

I don't know if I can put the link on here for that site or not. If I can, I will edit this message with the link

Jon
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Postby wd5wr » Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:09 pm

I use Rigblaster PnP with Yaesu 857 & 817 using N3FJP and Ham Radio Deluxe Software.
Will WD5WR 10X - 67213
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microKEYER

Postby wb6mrq » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:11 pm

I have an Icom IC-756ProII and a MicroHAM microKEYER. I like the flexibility of the microKEYER -- it handles the CAT interface to the rig and gives you all the digital modes, as well as a built in K1EL WinKey keyer chip -- but I've had problems with losing connection between the PC and the rig when running Ham Radio Deluxe (which is a fantastic program, by the way).

In all fairness, I think the problem is more likely Windows Vista than the microKEYER itself. Vista's so buggy that it's just plain annoying. I'm going to install XP in a dual-boot configuration so I can run it until (if ever) Vista gets cleaned up. We'll see if that fixes my connectivity issues with the microKEYER.

The only other downside to the microKEYER is the number of cables that have to run between your rig, the microKEYER and the PC. There's a bunch. As a permanent installation in the shack, that's not really a problem. But taking it portable for Field Day, for example, is a chore.

I have a friend who is testing out the SignaLink USB from Tigertronics. If it works, it will be a much simpler alternative. It has it's own internal sound card, so the only cables are the USB cable from PC to the SignaLink box and the CAT cable from the SignaLink to the rig (two cables to the rig if yours doesn't have receive audio in the mic connector). Sounds like a good solution, and would be perfect for portable operation.

One more comment: as I mentioned above, I love Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD). N9AVY mentioned running Telnet to a DX cluster. If your PC is connected to the internet, HRD will give you a list of spotted stations right in a window inside the application. Click on any station in the list to tune the rig there in one click. You can configure which spotting sites the software monitors, and a lot of it is preconfigured so setup effort is very minimal. Pretty slick.

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CAT Control

Postby KR7RK » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:52 am

I use Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) through a Navigator interface to control my Yaesu FT-2000 for general rig control and logging. HRD comes with another program called Digital Master 780 that adds digital mode operation. Works great!
HRD can even control the rotor but I haven't set that up yet.
For some contests I switch over to the N3FJP suite for a basic but very effective interface.
73,
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Postby KC8ZTJ » Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:07 pm

I have been using the West Mountain Rig Talk with HRD and my Icom 718. Seems to work well enough.
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Re: CAT Control

Postby KC8ZTJ » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:31 pm

I also just received the ham gadgets USB rig interface kit to hook up FT840. I will have to learn some surface mount skills before I tackle though...
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Re: CAT Control

Postby KC8ZTJ » Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:58 pm

Have been playing with CAT control for my aged FT-840. The stock FIF was expensive and hard to find even on Ebay. My West Mountain RigTalk would not work with this old a radio. However found N0AXS of HamGadgets who makes a universal interface kit. Built that and have found Commander ( http://www.dxlabsuite.com/commander/ ). It is free and works well. Not quite as slick as HRD but functional and efficient. N1MM logger now works with my FT-840 :D

Have not tried the Universal Interface on my Icom yet. That is coming up....
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Re: CAT Control

Postby W4ZYD » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:32 pm

Hello All,
I am using the CIV controller from Icom on my Icom 746Pro with a USB to DB23 (ask me what it took to find that HI HI.)
Also using HRD (http://www.ham-radio-deluxe.com) mostly for control. I did find this neat little program though at
http://www.dxlabsuite.com/HRD_Bridge/ will interface HRD to MultiPSK (f6cte.free.fr/index_anglais.htm) one of my
favorite multimode programs, though DM780 is a nice peice of software. So MultiPSK now can log my freq, and control
the rig through the HRD interface. WHEEE. Using the RigBlaster to get audio in and out of rig, also on a USB to DB9 cord.
All of this is running on an OS that would make Mr. Mel pull his hair out. HI HI. Windows 64 bit. While I have had the
controller for a long time, I never hooked it up until about 3 weeks ago, and it still seems a little funky to have the
computer changing my frequency for me. HI HI. I still have a bad habit of wanting to highlight the DX spots so I can
read them better, but OOPS, there goes my rig changing frequency! I'm still fairly uncertain that I like all this, but
the EQSL direct from HRD is a mighty nice feature, though HRD is sorely lacking when it comes to 10-10 use. Luckily
HRD stores it's log files in an MS Access database, and that I can do something with as far as adding back 10 numbers
and the likes. So long story short, I am using CAT Control now, and will continue to experiment with for the time being.
73,
Mike W4ZYD
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SCI Chapter 2350FM
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Re: CAT Control

Postby KC8ZTJ » Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:04 pm

I will have to look into the MPSK and HRD interface. MPSK offers a lot but is a bit of a challenge to configure as I recall. Another program out there is Fldigi. It has built in frequency control but not all the rig features of HRD. It also does not look like it uses as many computer resources when running. Will be interesting to look at that.

FWIW, 10M was open on 1/24/09 north and south. Mass stations came booming into michigan.... interesting band.
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Re: CAT Control

Postby KC8ZTJ » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:45 pm

HamGadgets Universal Rig interface is up and running. Works well with my older FT 840 but controls are bit limited as one might expect from this generation radio. The interface so far has been reliable and Dale, N0XAS, has been very helpful with answers to assorted questions. The surface mount parts now come pre-soldered from what I read.
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