|Success and failure...USB-TTL to ICOM M710 programming cable|
I need to reprogram my I-COM M710 Marine SSB/HAM HF rig. I have been using it aboard my sailboat since it was new in 2006 with an older Pactor IIe.
I would like to play with WinMOR and soundcard modem and some of the digital modes.
I searched the Internet and found most people were making (8 years ago) clones of the ICOM interface OPC-478.
So I first made clone cable like the CI-V cable with dual 2N2222s, a diode, some resisters and a DB9 connector. It needed to be plugged into my current laptop with a USB-serial adapter/emulator. It failed. I must have put a transistor in backwards or something. Then I found the ICOM software. The software for cloning and configuring the M710 seems to be EX1726.exe for DOS. It does direct manipulation of the serial port register so a PC with an real DB9 serial port running DOS, not Windows, would be required. I do not have these.
I kept searching.
I next found web page that says the ICOM clone port is TTL open collector, just one wire. And also elsewhere found the clause, "NMEA 0183 sentences at 4800 baud".
And a note describing how to make a clone cable from a USB-TTL adapter, commonly used to program Arduinos, and a phone plug.
connect tip of mono phone plug to Rx and Tx soldered together and ring to ground of a USB to TTL serial adapter. I used a PL2303 based 5 pin adapter.
Mine shows up in syslog as:
Feb 2 14:50:18 nav3 kernel: [27157.768171] usb 1-4.4: Manufacturer: Prolific Technology Inc. Feb 2 14:50:18 nav3 kernel: [27157.768585] pl2303 1-4.4:1.0: pl2303 converter detected
The user belizesailor at Cruiser Forum says the DosBox emulator for games emulates the serial port so well that the ICOM software will work.
OK! I quickly made the cable for the USB-TTL adapter in the photo. Then downloaded DosBox from www.dosbox.com, for debian to my ubuntu 15.10 system.
I actually used the synaptic package manager and checked the box to include dependent packages from the repository. It worked fine. All this after a failed attempt to download the source tar ball and compile it myself. And I had also tried to install the packages on WinXP, but I have no XP driver for the Prolific USB.
Then found EX1726.zip at http://ea4yx.jimdo.com/software-radioaficionados/control-equipos/software-icom/
After unzip'ing it, edit the config file ~/.dosbox/dosbox-0.74.conf
to set the serial ports to emulate, these two lines:
serial1=directserial realport:ttyUSB0 serial2=directserial realport:ttyUSB1
So to program the M710 from Ubuntu-Gnome 15.10, select:
Menu> Games> DosBox
Then in DosBox:
Z:\> mount c ~/Data/Radio/EX1726 Z:\> C: c:\> ex1726 /expert # see the README maybe called M710.DOC ESC > Clone > Rs232 >port2 # ttyUSB1 ESC > C > T # read from transceiver to PC ....