Originally Posted by belizesailor
Be sure and post how it works out for you.
I've been using the radio for a few months now in my office. I mounted the antenna
tuner to a tree and ran some 14 gage wire to another tree as a stand-in for the backstay.
I had some trouble with the control cable that goes to the tuner not activating the tuner. I checked it three times without finding anything wrong. After removing the pins from the plastic housing and then reinstalling them, it began working. My assumption is that the pins were not all lining up correctly inside the Molex connector.
I made up a modified serial cable for controlling the M710 from my laptop
, and bought the OPC-552 programming cable from ebay as mentioned above.
I run the "M710 Control Program
" from Tom Lafleur KA6IQA on a laptop
for remote control of the Icom IC-M710. The remote control makes it very easy to put in Amateur frequencies, change mode, jump from band to band and to store frequencies. It also has two buttons for scrolling up the bands in 5 KHz increments.
I think it is worth noting that with the "M710 Control Program
" I have the best of both worlds. I can run the rig like a ham from the computer or use the radio as a marine service operator from the face of the radio. For the marine channels, the radio is easiest. For ham operations, the radio by itself is cumbersome and slow.
Although I now have the OPC-552 cable, so far I have not yet found a computer that will boot to DOS which also has a DB-9 Serial port. I didn't think that would be a problem since the software that comes with the cable is on a bootable thumbdrive. My computers
with Serial ports
, have BIOS which doesn't allow for USB boot devices. I checked with several IT shops and pretty consistently was told that since things got slow with COVID, they cleaned out their closets and tossed the old iron. I learned that Samsung Toughbooks will do what I need.
The serial port on the radio receives commands in the NMEA 0183
format. The control/programming/clone port receives the commands as HEX code. If you have a PACTOR MODEM
, it would interface with the radio using the control/programming port. Despite my not having run the setup DOS program for opening the Amateur frequencies, the ICOM Control Software overides this and allows me to transmit on the HAM frequencies.
The M710 has a "Speaker" button on the front of the radio. This only kills the audio going to its built in speaker. I wired the speaker out port to my laptop's microphone port. That gives me a lot of options for digital data reception
. There are a lot of software programs available which use the soundcard audio input and perform like you have a MODEM
. When in data mode I just toggle the "Speaker" button to mute the radio's speaker.
I've been having fun with JVComm32
for receiving HF-Weather FAX
. It works well with the Icom and produces very clear results. My only complaint on JVComm32
is that it can't change the frequency of the radio. If it was able to link with the M710 Control software to change the frequency automatically from a WX-FAX schedule, it would be a solid way of gathering weather
information. All the weather charts
are stored in one directory, so reviewing the information once a day is easy.
software also works, but requires a manual frequency setup before you begin unless you have some automated interface software.
I've tried a number of CW decoding software programs with disappointing results, but the possibility is there.
The software that I am using was all written in the 90's. I'm guessing Visual Basic was the program of choice, based on the appearance of the buttons and window. The M710 Control Software
is available on a GitHub repository. I looked into downloading it and making some modifications like adding more memory buttons and creating a script for the auto frequency changes, but I can't get my hands the developer software that would be needed. This was before the dot.net specification, so I'd need a very old version of VB.
I thought I had a breakthrough when I learned that Ham Radio Deluxe software (HRD)
also had a companion program (HRI) Ham Radio Interface
which was written about in several articles as having the ability to control the M710. This was used for email
and fax operations back in the day and had a shareware copywrite.
The original author of HRD and HRI (Simon Brown, HB9DRV) sold
his software license and business in 2011 to a HRD Software. They have continued the development of HRD to include the new radios and have added additional features. (I'm like a little kid when I see waterfall displays... With HRD, even an M710 can have a waterfall display on the laptop.) HRD charges a fee for their license, which I'd be happy to pay, however...
As exciting as that is, the latest releases no longer support the M710 remote control that was offered with the original HRI software. I've spoken to their engineers and they told me that they don't even have access to the old HRI versions.
I wanted to provide an update on my progress and to ask if anyone has a copy of the HRI
freeware version remote control software
in their archives
I am glad that I decided to take the radio home for setup and experimentation. This would have been frustrating to do on the boat
. It has been a good experience. I'm close to having what I want but would still like to be able to schedule frequency changes. Finding a copy of HRI would make that easy.
The last item on my wish list would be to add digital signal processing for cleaning
up the audio signal. Newer radios have this. DSP does a remarkable job of eliminating static and adjacent signals. If anyone can recommend a PC based DPS software program that can process a real-time signal please provide recommendations. I'd like to try them out.
I was looking at some of the new HAM HF radios this weekend. They have some remarkable features but at the end of the day, I appreciate having a marine radio with marine channels which can also be run as a HAM radio.