Icom IC-9700 users topic

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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK4GHZ » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:46 am

Came across this useful guide for IC-9700 owners looking at playing on satellites using PCSAT32.

SatPC32-IC9700-Setup-1.pdf
(1.29 MiB) Downloaded 467 times

This guide is structured in three parts:
• Part 1 Setting up the IC-9700
• Part 2 Installation of SatPC32 and control of the IC-9700
• Part 3 Enabling the SatPC32 “Scope” function.
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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK4GHZ » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:32 pm

The following information comes from a very brave Chuck, VA7UL, and is shared FYI.

- - -

Here is some documentation showing the installation of a Leo Bodnar MiniGPS clock entirely inside my 9700, such that the only things on the rear panel of the radio are an additional SMA antenna connector plus access to the clock's USB connector.

This in no way touches Icom's clock sync connection or its function, but it does eliminate the need to use it. Results have been very satisfactory, with the 9700 maintaining rock-solid frequency stability as its cooling fan cycles on and off.

A few precautions must be noted .....

- Installation requires drilling two access holes in the rear panel casting, so it is *essential* that the entire interior of the radio be completely masked off to prevent any drilling crumbs from getting inside. Don't say I didn't warn you!

- Soldering to the internal 5VDC power source requires great care, so if you are not used to precision soldering, please do not attempt this upgrade !

- You will note a diode has been inserted in the lead from the radio's 5V source to the GPS board, to prevent current backflow from the USB power source (if connected) to the radio's 5V rail. This allows connection to the clock's USB for monitoring satellite connectivity at the same time the radio is switched either on or off.

The power lead to a trace on the GPS board is anchored with some hot-melt glue to prevent any damage from accidentally flexing the wire.

Some Kapton tape keeps the wire in place across the fan.

Not shown in this posting is fitting of a short length of PMMA end-glow optical fibre to conduct the red status LED light from the GPS board to the underside of the radio's front bezel. It will be run through one of the bottom cover vent slots to a mount point under the bezel, in such a way as to allow removal from the mount so that the bottom cover can be removed when necessary (which should be almost never).

Most of the credit for this project goes to Mike VE7HMW at Burnaby Radio for the physical installation and for exhaustive testing with a lab-grade spectrum analyzer to ensure proper operation. Testing has verified that no spurious signals are introduced on transmit or receive, and that frequency drift has been eliminated as the cooling fan cycles on and off during full power operation. The Bodnar solution works superbly well. The GPS receiver locks to satellites in just a few seconds after turning on the radio.

It is highly recommended that you configure and test the MiniGPS before installing it inside the 9700. That way you have established the initial satellite lock and verified correct operation. Subsequent locking is much faster as you power the 9700 on. Of course you could leave the GPS permanently powered on via its USB connector. Please note that when the 9700 is in Standby mode, it does not power the GPS board.

Here are photos showing what was done .....

1) There is plenty of empty space to install the GPS board that has been removed from its original case:
Checking for enough space
Checking for enough space

2) Masking off the interior of the radio to prevent drilling crumbs causing nasty problems:
Mask off the interior of the radio before drilling !!
Mask off the interior of the radio before drilling !!

3) Using the board's SMA connector as the anchor:
The board's SMA connector anchors the board to the rear panel
The board's SMA connector anchors the board to the rear panel

4) Leo Bodnar's Coupler Board, with its SMA connector reversed:
Leo's coupler with the SMA connector re-soldered in the reverse direction:
Leo's coupler with the SMA connector re-soldered in the reverse direction:

5) Tapping the 9700 internal 5VDC power, with diode inside the red heat shrink:
5VDC tap from the radio to the GPS board:
5VDC tap from the radio to the GPS board:

6) Be VERY careful soldering the power lead to the GPS board trace !!
Anchor it with a generous dab of hot-melt glue.
GPS board power lead carefully soldered to the USB power trace:
GPS board power lead carefully soldered to the USB power trace:

7) A small piece of prototyping board is bonded to the GPS board for future bonding of a fibre light pipe to propagate the status LED:
Status LED fibre optic mounting point for future bonding of the fibre
Status LED fibre optic mounting point for future bonding of the fibre

8) The two new connectors (sat antenna and usb) at the bottom of the rear panel:
Two new connectors on the rear panel of the 9700
Two new connectors on the rear panel of the 9700

9) The GPSDO locks to satellites, no problem!
Showing solid GPS lock of the MiniGPS, using the USB connection to its PC application
Showing solid GPS lock of the MiniGPS, using the USB connection to its PC application


- - -

Hi Chuck and others,

As a manufacturer and designer of (marine) electronics, I would like to add two comments against this particular type and method of installation:

1. You fixed the GPSDO board using the SMA connector and just that. Inserting a USB cable into the socket from the rear panel causes severe stressing of the solder joints of the SMA connector. The length of the USB plug and the distance between the SMA and USB socket present a lever, increasing the force applied to insert the USB plug at least 5 times. Eventually the solder joints of the SMA connector will break, especially when lead free solder is used.

Lead free solder cannot stand mechanical stress very well. Neither could leaded solder but the latter would flow a little to alleviate permanent stress. Lead free solder does not.

In this case, it would be best to also mechanically fix the GPSDO board at the other end somehow,

2. You inserted a diode to prevent current from the USB port (when connected to a computer) into the 5V supply of the IC-9700. But nothing prevents current from flowing from the IC-9700 to a connected computer when this computer is in stand-by of switched of. There should be a diode in the 5V supply from the USB port as well!

73, Meindert - PAøMHS
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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK4GHZ » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:13 pm

VK1XX Lock board becomes available ~2 weeks.
AUD$80 (inc GST) posted within VK.
+ $4 for Paypal fees, or +$0 if using credit card.
Adam, Brisbane
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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK7HH » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:41 am

VK4GHZ wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:13 pm
VK1XX Lock board becomes available ~2 weeks.
AUD$80 (inc GST) posted within VK.
+ $4 for Paypal fees, or +$0 if using credit card.
Was about to post this here. Should get a few orders.

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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by 4Z5CP » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:48 am

Something wrong with VK1XX mail.
All Emails returns "User unknown in local recipient table" :(

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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK4GHZ » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:45 am

Version 1.23
Update 2020/04/03
Major changes

Changes from Version 1.21

• Changed the screen drawing sequence to keep the previous frequency screen layout when exiting from a function displayed in fullscreen.

• Fixed an issue where the standby beep may sound approximately two seconds after receiving a reply when simply pushing PTT to key up the repeater.

Changes from Version 1.22

• Fixed an issue where the DV Gateway function may not work properly when it is turned off and then turned on again.

• Fixed an issue where the RTTY DECODE screen was displayed while leaving the Mark Frequency and Shift Width settings at other than 2125Hz and 170Hz.

To update the firmware

Thoroughly read 13. UPDATING THE FIRMWARE of the ADVANCED MANUAL and follow the instructions displayed on the IC-9700 LCD screen.

This update initializes the transceiver's settings when updating from a firmware earlier than version 1.20. Save your current settings before updating the firmware, and then write it back to keep the previous setting on the updated firmware.

The firmware will be updated to the following versions.
Main CPU: 1.23
Sub CPU: 1.00
Front CPU: 1.00
FPGA Program: 1.06
FPGA Data: 1.00
DV DSP: 1.06

https://www.icomjapan.com/support/firmware_driver/2650/
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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK4GHZ » Sun May 24, 2020 9:51 am

Version 1.24
Update 2020/05/22

Changes from Version 1.23

• Improved transmission quality in the 1.2 GHz band.

To update the firmware

https://www.icomjapan.com/support/firmware_driver/2709/

This update initializes the transceiver's settings when updating from a firmware earlier than version 1.20. Save your current settings before updating the firmware, and then write it back to keep the previous setting on the updated firmware.
The firmware will be updated to the following versions.
Main CPU: 1.24
Sub CPU: 1.00
Front CPU: 1.00
FPGA Program: 1.07
FPGA Data: 1.00
DV DSP: 1.06


If you need a reminder on the steps involved in performing an update, Hayden VK7HH did a video (7 mins) on this:

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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK7HH » Sun May 24, 2020 9:57 am

The improvements to 1.2 GHz is interesting. I wonder what they actually are?

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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK7HSE » Sun May 24, 2020 11:15 am

Very ambiguous in its description!

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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK4GHZ » Sun May 24, 2020 1:03 pm

There have been some moans about it from the UK posted elsewhere;
I use mine for satellite work.

You can always tell when someone is using a 9700 because the audio sounds ‘robotic’ and ‘digital’ and lacking in personality. What ever you do with tone controls etc have no bearing on the sound.

Many operators have complained to Icom here in the U.K. and are disappointed by the TX audio on FM.

This is not a satellite issue it’s the processing in the radio as it sounds like DSTAR.
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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK7HSE » Sun May 24, 2020 6:05 pm

The only thing I've noticed is that some who are using FM on 23cm sound like they have speech processor on! Maybe that's it?

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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK7HH » Mon May 25, 2020 10:14 am

VK7HSE wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 6:05 pm
The only thing I've noticed is that some who are using FM on 23cm sound like they have speech processor on! Maybe that's it?
I'll have to reflash my firmware when I go to collect my remote 9700 next visit. Nobody has mentioned to me that it sounds like that, but perhaps the audio sounds different as it's travelling over the net via the remote utility.

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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK4GHZ » Mon May 25, 2020 10:42 am

I remember with the IC-910, it was easy to accidentally leave the speech compressor on when switching from SSB to operate on FM.
Naturally, it sounded over-driven, compressed, and generally awful on FM.
That can't happen on the IC-9700, because the speech compressor is disabled on FM, as it should be.
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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK4GHZ » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:32 pm

FYI...
A new(er) version of the IC-9700 Basic Manual, dated May 2020 is available for download;

https://www.icomjapan.com/support/manua ... oad_result
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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK7HH » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:59 am

Thinking of buying a Icom IC-9700? Or own one already and want to get the most out of the rig?

This presentation was recorded at the REAST (Radio and Electronics Association of Southern Tasmania) clubrooms in Hobart, Tasmania.
http://reast.asn.au/

- Outline of the IC-9700 functionality and Operating the rig out of the box
- Impressions
- Frequency Stability and GPS Locking
- 23cm operation
- Digital/EME operation
- Linear/Transverter operation
- Satellite operation
- Key configuration items that can be/need to be tweaked to improve
- Digital modes setup video reference
- Firmware update video reference
- Remote Operating Software
- RA-BA1 remote software
- VA2FSQ remote control


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